On Christmas Day, the Kensington Palace staff posted a special message from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Ordinarily, we would have seen William and Kate on Christmas Day, either at Sandringham (Norfolk) or Bucklebury (Middleton Manor). But not this year. By all accounts, it seems like the Cambridges spent Christmas in Anmer Hall, but they weren’t photographed going to church or anything like that. My guess is that they just stayed inside and had a quiet Christmas without Carole and Mike Middleton. So, loneliness was possibly on their minds, which is why they posted this message on Instagram:
This Christmas our thoughts are with those of you who are spending today alone, those of you who are grief stricken from the loss of a loved one and those of you on the frontline who are somehow mustering the energy to put your own lives on hold and at risk to look after the rest of us.
Wishing you a merry Christmas doesn’t feel right this year, so instead we’re wishing for a better 2021.
And for those who are struggling today, there is support out there if you need it: @giveusashoutinsta, @MindCharity, @SamartiansCharity, @CalmZone, @SilverlineUK, @ourfrontline, @nhscharitiestogether, @royalvolservice
It’s a nice message and the substance of it is similar to what many public figures have said this holiday season: check in with people who are alone for Christmas, etc. I am feeling nitpicky about this message though, and not just from the Cambridges! Yes, I’m sure lots of people were alone on Christmas because of the pandemic. I’m sure many people were lonely. But those two things are not the same (alone/lonely). I also feel like there’s a lot of unnecessary “alone” shaming happening, under the passive-aggressive guise of “you poor lonely, pathetic person.” Many people chose to be alone over the holidays to maintain social distancing, for the greater good. Many people chose to be alone because their families are toxic. And plenty of people who spent their holiday with their toxic relatives/significant others need help too.
Plus, the message of “our thoughts are with the frontline workers” just feels tone-deaf to me from the Cambridges because they were literally wandering around maskless and breathing on people for much of the year.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Instagram.