Late Friday/early Saturday, the Daily Mail and several other British outlets published grainy paparazzi photos of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge just outside Heathrow airport. William and Kate were with their three kids and Nanny Maria. They looked like a harried middle-class family. Well, now those photos are only up on a handful of Twitter accounts, accounts which grabbed the photos before they were deleted from every British outlet. The Daily Mail deleted their tweet, which had the photos, and they also deleted their story entirely.
So what was so damaging about the photos? Why did Prince William presumably scream down the phone at every tabloid editor in the country? Well, a variety of reasons. The photos were taken on Thursday, as the Cambridges were clearly flying off on holiday, presumably internationally, because the kids’ school is off next week. The Mail also pointed out that they were checking into the Windsor Suite at Heathrow, basically a first-class lounge which costs £3,300 for three people (and maybe £6600 for six people?). The photos included the kids looking like normal kids, not dressed up like Little Lord Fauntleroys. And yes, Maria was ever-present too, and the Cambridges hate when people see that they have a full-time nanny.
In addition to all of that, they were clearly leaving to go on another vacation just as the Queen returned to Windsor from her hospitalization. It makes the Cambridges look lazy and work-shy, but also heartless, like they weren’t going to cancel holiday plans just because the Queen is in poor health. The Cambridges were truly leaving on the same day that Buckingham Palace admitted that they lied about the Queen’s hospitalization!
The questions people are asking: was this originally a Cambridge set-up pap stroll to make them look relatable, only it blew up in their faces like the “pub lunch”? Or did the British papers publish the photos without Kensington Palace’s authorization, as a way to needle Will and Kate for being work-shy and heartless? I’m going more with the latter. I don’t think the photos were originally authorized at any point. I think they were taken and published to send a message to William and Kate. The Mail and the Sun were telling them: look, we own you. We are keeping your secrets. We can tug on your leash at any moment. There’s a very real power struggle happening right now, especially between William, Charles and the British media.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, social media.