Prince William criticized by activists after claiming to be ‘too busy’ to go to Qatar

Last week, we heard that Prince William will be “too busy” to attend the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. The FIFA World Cup starts on November 20 (group stages) and the final will be held on December 18. There are huge human rights concerns around Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup – the government used and abused migrants to build all of the stadiums and hotels, and Qatar has a number of anti-LGBTQ laws, meaning gay football fans are being told to stay away from the World Cup. Given the human rights abuses and anti-LGBTQ issues, one would think it would be pretty easy for Football Association President Peggington to make a solid excuse as to why he will not attend the games. He did not – his office has let it be known that William will be “too busy” to attend the games. The only thing he has scheduled for that four-week period is the trip to Boston for Earthshot. Otherwise, the dude is free as a bird. So, even activists are calling out the lazy Peg, especially since William’s office has backtracked and said it’s possible he’ll attend the World Cup if England makes it to the final.

Prince William ’s indecision over whether he will snub the Qatar World Cup due to diary clashes has been branded “implausible” by human rights campaigners. The Prince of Wales currently has “no plans” to travel to the Middle East in time for England’s opening game against Iran on November 21.

But royal sources today confirmed the heir, who is President of the Football Association, could try and clear his diary to make the trip if the England team reach the final on December 18. The controversial hosts have been hit with protests over its poor working conditions for stadium workers during the build-up to the competition, as well as same-sex relationships being illegal there. Sources close to William, 40, have blamed a busy diary during the World Cup for him not attending.

Leading activist Peter Tatchell, who was stopped by police in Qatar this week while holding a solo protest on the country’s abysmal human rights record and treatment of LGBTQ+ citizens, questioned William’s excuses over his busy schedule.

He said: “The suggested excuse that Prince William’s decision is because of a diary clash is implausible, given that the dates of the WC have been well known for over a year. This is a human rights issue, not a political one, so the Prince is entirely justified, morally and constitutionally, to speak out.”

A Kensington Palace spokesperson said the prince could not make the journey “due to the busy winter schedule”, but insisted the heir would “explore” options to travel should England end up in the final as part of a government delegation.

[From The Daily Mirror]

I understand the argument being made to William, where his Tory advisors are telling him that he can’t be “political” at all, meaning he can’t explicitly refuse to attend the World Cup because of human rights concerns. But that brings up several other issues. One, it’s not political to say: LGBTQ people should not be criminalized. It’s not political to say: it’s extremely problematic that the government of Qatar used slave labor to build the stadiums. That fact that William thinks he can side-step those “political statements” by merely claiming to have a booked schedule shows William’s lack of leadership and lack of political sensitivity. It will also look f–king awful if, after all of that, England makes it to the semifinals or finals and William isn’t there OR if he does show up. This is a delicate diplomatic situation and instead of coming into it with some nuance and sensitivity, William’s Tory advisors have carefully positioned him to be screwed no matter what.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.

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40 Responses to “Prince William criticized by activists after claiming to be ‘too busy’ to go to Qatar”

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  1. Ceej says:

    It probably is considered political to call them out for their human rights abuses if they’re giving you money in briefcases (or otherwise) or making backhanded deals with members of government.

    • SquiddusMaximus says:

      Snort! That’s what you would think, right? So I wonder what their definition of ‘political’ is — I was under the impression is was purely toward domestic issues, but clearly that is not the case. Does that mean the RF is prohibited from talking about Ukraine? How about Chinese genocide?

      I imagine the only real metric is how much $$$ is being funneled in through those countries. :-/

  2. Julia K says:

    A Qatar billionaire is allegedly behind the King Charles money scandal. Doubt he would allow William to say a peep that could alienate this source of possible future cash.

    • notasugarhere says:

      William picked up his own suitcase of cash for ‘environmental charities’ in the UAE this year. William is no ethical power player here; he’s taking cash from unethical people in competition with Charles.

  3. Vanessa says:

    When are the people of England going to wake up and realized William doesn’t care about anything he got what he always wanted which is access to more money and more power . All William can do with limitless amount of money and resources is a smile and a kind word that’s all . The only way to get William to speak out if Harry would have say something jealousy is the only thing that motivates William and Kate to step up. William hides behind the royal mottos of not speaking out about politics like racism or the black lives matter but If a subject will get William praise for the press will speak out like how he criticize Billionaire for going to space while William is in fact himself one the richest people on earth or how William say a few words about social media bullying while allowing the most vile racist comments about Meghan and Harry and their kids left out in the open for the whole world to see.

    • SquiddusMaximus says:

      If the RF can’t speak out against obvious human rights abuses, what good are they at all? It’s not like they can actually DO anything; their words are all they have. So if they’re not using their words on anything more significant than — what, art? Horses? Football? Trees? — please explain to me how they’re not useless.

      How about making some public statements on bullying, Pegs!

    • Concern Fae says:

      And I don’t think he really cares about power, only that people pay him deference and the papers say nice things about him.

  4. K8erade says:

    Honestly, it’s a good day for me anytime William gets screwed due to his own idiocy. I mean all he has to say is “no” to going. That’s a complete sentence and everyone is happy but he couldn’t even do that. 😂

  5. Amy Bee says:

    If he fully booked in the winter he better be doing 2 or 3 public engagements a week.

  6. Jaded says:

    The last time he opened his diary a moth flew out. Too busy my a$$.

  7. Linney says:

    Gee, is this like when he and Kate couldn’t open The Paralympics because they were busy with other engagments? (They were vacationing in the south of France and the topless photos were taken.) Who in their right mind is going to believe that William is just so frazzled and busy and overscheduled? Can you imagine any “regular” employee behaving in such a manner? Oh, I forgot. William is just starting to “coming into his own…”

    • AnnaKist says:

      Absolutely Linney. And let’s not forget that all his private secretaries and assistants know about important upcoming events months and even years in advance. So the lame excuse of being “too busy” to attend an important cultural event, just illustrates what a lazy oik he is. He will take all the spoils, but does not want to earn them. Auntie Anne needs to go around there and give him a good arse-kicking.

  8. Truthiness says:

    Qatar bribed their way into this, it’s not a good look for anybody. Their human rights violations are obscene, I’m sorry the athletes have to go there. Of course if British athletes advance Will may have to go. Women aren’t safe traveling there, the recent flight leaving Qatar that had women strip searched for a v*ginal inspection sounded gruesome.

  9. Becks1 says:

    Yeah I feel like William’s team bungled this one. Saying he couldn’t attend because of his busy schedule was stupid for two reasons – since the WC dates have been known for a while now, if he was planning to attend, he could have scheduled around that attendance. But also, everyone knows he’s not busy so no one believes for a second that the reason he isn’t going is bc of his “busy diary.”

    I understand this is a somewhat nuanced situation, in that it could be problematic if the future head of state says “I am not going bc I don’t want to support this government in any way shape or form” when the UK is officially on ‘normal’ terms with Qatar, right?

    But that’s the flip side of being the unelected head of state though. You may have to deal with countries that you might be personally opposed to because you can’t “be political.”

    IDK what the best way to deal with this would have been, whether he should go or not go, etc. but I think blaming it on his diary was a stupid mistake.

    • Chloe says:

      But when is comes to Qatari money the royals are more than happy to accept…

      Him not going is purely for show. He doesn’t care about what regime is in charge.

      • Becks1 says:

        Oh I agree with that. I don’t think he actually cares about the Qatari regime. But now hes kind of walked into this situation where if he doesn’t go he’s making a political statement, and if he goes he’s also making a statement. I don’t think HE personally cares and would be fine with going, but then his team should have said something like “his royal highness has a busy schedule but would try attend the final if the team makes it” or something, IDK.

        Saying he was too busy makes it look like he’s trying to avoid going (which he probably is, but that’s just prob bc he doesn’t want to work.)

    • Amy Bee says:

      @Becks: I’m sure he will be making his way to Qatar at some point to secure those arms deals for the British Government.

    • ShazBot says:

      I think he should have planned to go and then he could have worn one of the LGBTQ armbands England is planning to wear. He wouldn’t have to say anything, but he’s there supporting the England football team and making a statement about at least one of the human rights issues.
      And maybe he could plan something with Eugenie and her anti-slavery initiative. It’s not THAT hard to come up with things, his team is just incompetent.

  10. Steph says:

    I tink the problem is that Pegs just doesn’t care to go, like the BAFTAS. I doubt he was even aware of the human rights violations going on in Qatar.
    However, of he wanted to make a statement without making a statement he should have called up his paparazzi friends to “catch him” out and about as he is walking by somewhere with a prominent Pride Flag on display. Then have someone shout “are you going to the world cup?” Then he gives a firm no and keeps it moving.

  11. salmonpuff says:

    Also, 6500 of those migrant slave laborers died building the stadium where the World Cup will be played. It’s obscene that anyone is going.

    • Roan Inish says:

      @SALMONPUFF Is that true and not a exaggeration? I haven’t heard anything about that. My god it sounds biblical. How can people be subjected to this shit in the 21st century! Can you post a link so I can read more?

  12. detritus says:

    Let’s be honest here – William would be the same as a Qatari prince if he could. He won’t speak against him because they are his kin, more than us plebs.

    The man doesn’t have morals or ethics and most definitely doesn’t serve the people.

  13. Jaded says:

    Peggy will never speak out even though human rights should be first and foremost the reason why he should speak out. But we all know the BRF is making all sorts of lucrative arms deals and accepting bags of cash from Middle Eastern potentates. It’s like the LIV Golf tour — the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia is its majority shareholder. Many of the players were slapped with a lifetime ban from the PGA but that doesn’t matter. Every last one of them received a massive payout — greed trumps integrity I guess.

  14. Noki says:

    Another thing of note is that William has such poor sportsmanship,he will only clear his schedule IF England reach the final. What a stroppy baby!

    • BeanieBean says:

      Good point! He’ll support them if they’re winning, but not support them if they’re losing. Wow. How’d they get stuck with him as a president? You’d think they’d want someone who really supported them.

  15. Mary says:

    Of course he is busy, doing NOTHING as usual. Maybe it’s about time people woke up to what he and his lazy wife are really like

  16. Cessily says:

    All that money and staff and the only thing they seem to excel at is running a hate campaign targeting his biracial sister-in-law. What a wasted human being.

  17. Mooney says:

    Didn’t he once say that he won’t mind if George turns out gay? (I hate myself for remembering such useless info 😬).
    His going or not, but he could simply make a powerful statement regarding this but wait, he’s finding his voice and maybe coming of age too….

  18. Sue E Generis says:

    In that first picture William’s hand on his face looks like it belongs to a different body.

  19. AmelieOriginal says:

    This is a “d*mn if you do d*mn if you don’t” situation and not really William’s fault. If he goes, he will be criticized for attending an event riddled with human rights violations and hosted in a country that is anti-LGBT. If he doesn’t, he’ll be criticized for not supporting England as the Football Association president or whatever his official title is.

    I think also any other heads of state debating on attending the World Cup are in a similar position. I doubt the USA will make it far so Joe Biden won’t have to even put out a statement or worry about it but for the South American/European teams, their heads of state will have to decide what to do.

  20. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    NOT speaking out against human rights abuses IS political in itself. I suspect his real reason to avoid the area is to not draw attention to where large sums of cash in the Windsors’ pockets are coming from.

  21. Lizzie says:

    1, I’m glad to see someone besides us calling Peggy on his bs.
    2. For sure he is booked solid with his Welsh tutor. LOL.
    3. Too bad he outright lied. He looks bad no matter what he does now, his own fault.

  22. Emily_C says:

    It is political to enable slavery and human rights abuses. I don’t get why right-wingers get to claim that their politics are somehow not “political.”

  23. QuiteContrary says:

    He’s the lamest of the lame. Just a blah, shallow human being.

  24. PrincessK says:

    Even the Cambridge supporters are saying that Bill and Kate are taking too much time off.
    I bet Charles, Ann and the others are furious that they have taken two weeks off for half term!