A week before the Duchess of Cambridge’s 40th birthday, Becky English at the Mail wrote a lengthy piece to advance certain keen birthday narratives. English’s piece was kind of bonkers, honestly, as “sources close to Kate” could not keep Meghan’s name out of their mouths, and those same sources also made Prince William sound like he goes berserk constantly, and like he’s too emotional, angry and depressive to lead without Calm Kate by his side. I halfway wonder if Becky English got a call after that, and perhaps she was convinced to take a mulligan on some of those narratives. Which is why she wrote a second piece for Kate’s birthday and this one adheres more to a sugary narrative about Country Kate, the local beauty of Bucklebury, who never wanted to reveal all of her inner glamour to the world but she happened to fall for her Prince Charming. Seriously. Some highlights:
Kate never would have sought a public role had she not fallen in love with Prince William: One confidante described the future king as ‘absolutely the love of Catherine’s life’, explaining: ‘There is no way Catherine would be doing anything in public life if she hadn’t fallen in love with William. She is very open about that. She doesn’t want to go [to] parties and would prefer to live the quiet life at home with her family. But she did fall in love with a prince and they have developed into a really good team. William and their children are the centre of her world and nothing works without her family. They have worked hard together as a couple to create a balance [between their public and private lives] and whatever comes next, they are doing it from a place of stability.’
Country Kate & Country Bald: Another source added of their relationship: ‘They met at the beginning of university. They were still young and have grown up together. And they still get on really well, they have similar interests and they enjoy doing the same things. Catherine and William are most in their element when they are out in their wellies in the sticks, muddy and scruffy with the kids. They love that side of their life together. They have the same brilliant sense of humour, they tease each other, they have fun together still and there is huge comfort and security in the longevity of their relationship for both of them. Behind closed doors family life is pretty simple, really. For William, having a really solid family life is so important and he loves Catherine for giving him that.’
Humble Kate is only being so attention-seeking because that’s her position: Speaking to the Mail, one friend emphasised this week that while the duchess is not one who naturally pushes herself forward, she has ‘come to terms with her position’ over the last ten years.
What Kate would have done instead: ‘Having found a space where she feels she can really make a difference makes everything worthwhile, and she is absolutely dedicated to supporting the Queen and her husband. She was the brains behind her new Centre for Early Childhood and is more happy to push herself out of her comfort zone now. Funnily enough, if she hadn’t have married William I think she would have started some kind of business as she comes from an entrepreneurial background and is very creative herself. She’s now bringing that to her work. She has been in the public eye for 18 years now and has had a public role for a decade. She never wants to disappoint and has the confidence now to deliver.’
I’ve mentioned this in some of the other ‘Kate at 40’ pieces, but I legitimately find it depressing that for her big birthday, Kate’s gift to herself is pushing a big, public narrative that… her husband enjoys spending time with her. That their marriage is okay. And none of it ever jibes with what we see with our own eyes, which is that William is constantly on edge around her, that he barely tolerates her.
As for the narrative of Kate as some kind of heroine in a Jane Austen novel, well… they’ve tried to sell versions of that for 15 years. Anything to distract from the fact that Kate sat on her ass for a decade, waiting for the ring after William repeatedly dumped her and tried to persuade other women to be with him. This was Carole Middleton’s plan, and over the years, I think I understand why Carole made sure to position Kate this way. Carole must have picked up on the fact that William really isn’t some elegant catch, that women with intelligence and ambition would run screaming from William’s whole deal. So that’s why Carole and Kate could afford to wait – William would always come back to them after all of the Jeccas and Isabellas inevitably turned him down.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, WENN.