Kate Middleton covers the October 3 issue of Newsweek Europe and the article was released online titled “The Duchess of Cambridge: How Britain Stopped Believing in the Royal Fairytale”. There is an accompanying poll commissioned by Newsweek Europe and published by YouGov which details how a randomized sample of 3,000 British adults feel about Kate. The article uses the poll’s data to suggest that the fairytale attitude towards royal women has dissipated since Diana, which may be good for Kate and the monarchy in the long run. The article also suggests that Kate is hugely influential to the future of the royal family and to William and will basically be the “power behind the throne” and almost a “co-regent in all but name” because she’s the most intelligent royal and holds a lot of power over William and George.
I do not agree with the article’s summations as I think Kate’s intensions and priorities have been misread. Before I get to that, I’m going to mention some poll results because not only are they interesting they are important to understand the article. Then I’ll discuss the article. Prepare for a long post.
Only 1% of women said they wished they could be Kate (though 32% said they would like to be friends with her). Oddly enough, the poll was conducted the same day Kate announced her second pregnancy, and still very few people cared about it. Only 2% of people thought Kate’s new baby was the most important news story, while only 7% thought Kate’s new baby was the most interesting news story.
As far as Kate being a role model goes, 43% of people thought Kate represents a step forward for woman and reflects modern women, though only 3% of people thought of her as a feminist and 25% consider her “traditional”. Yet in terms of being a role model to young women, on a list that includes JK Rowling, Malala Yousafzai, and Hilary Clinton, Kate ranked second with 38% of the vote.
So 1) Kate’s popularity in terms of how many people care about her and her life seems to be waning, and 2) hardly anyone wants to be Kate, yet they still think she’s a great role model for young women? That doesn’t make sense.
The Newsweek article takes this data and implies that due to the rise of social media and the interconnectivity of the world, the public-royal relationship has changed. Out with the hysteria and adulation that came with the fantasy that was Princess Diana, and in with reality that the public’s relationship with the monarchy is a socio-political contract and Duchess Kate is a commoner who married a royal.
I agree with Newsweek’s take here. There has definitely been a huge shift in how the public views the royals and that shift happened because of Diana. Diana was sainted by many people, but the divorce (and her death) caused the public to view the monarchy in a different way. And while the Palace and Kate probably thought she would receive the same or similar adoration that Diana received, the public climate changed. The curtain was pulled back, and thanks to social media, the curtain has been pulled back even farther. The fantasy is gone and all we’re left with is the reality that Kate isn’t all she’s cracked up to be.
Before I move forward, let’s go back to the poll results. 76% of people thought Kate had some form of influence over William—50% of that was considered “strong” influence. 74% of people thought Kate had some form of influence over how George is raised, with 46% of that being considered “strong” influence. Though only 23% thought Kate has some form of influence on the monarchy in general, with only 6% of that being considered “strong” influence.
Back to the article. Newsweek talked to Germaine Greer, Marina Warner CBE, and Caroline Watson to pay lip service to their thesis that Kate will be the “centripetal force around which the monarchy revolves”. All three imply that Kate is “muted, contained, and controlled” and is not a vehicle for feminism, and yet Newsweek tries so hard to say that Kate is such a deep person under the surface and could make a meaningful role model if she were only allowed to speak.
Newsweek admits that until now Kate has been the antithesis of feminism by “wait[ing] for a prince, becom[ing] a princess and then ced[ing] all authority to the man while assuming the subservient role of mother and wife.” BUT, claims Newsweek, “this doesn’t have to be the end of Kate’s story, rather it can be the beginning.”
Newsweek makes reference to Shakespeare when describing how Kate’s role could be played—basically as the driving force behind the action and narrative because Kate is the “centripetal force around which the monarchy revolves”.
Then Newsweek makes reference to William and Mary—that’s William III and Mary II, the co-regents who reigned from 1689-1694, when Mary died (William reigned alone until his death in 1702). Why, you ask? Because William and Kate are seen as basically a single entity by the public with her power being quite strong.
“Theirs may well prove a co-regency in all but name. William for show; Kate for substance. And, again, this shared responsibility could and should afford Kate further opportunity to lead, to shine and to speak, if for no other reason than Britain needs strong women who inhabit themselves fully and are not corralled into narratives that they themselves did not chose.”
Newsweek REALLY wants Kate to take a strong, leadership role in the changing monarchy. The problem I have is that I’m not sure that’s what Kate wants. Trust me, I am all for Kate stepping up her duties and showing her personality through her charities and she definitely needs to make more speeches, but Newsweek seems to think that Kate wants to basically be a monarch herself. And while I’m sure Carole would LOVE that, I don’t think that’s what Kate wants. From everything I’ve seen, Kate wants to be a stay-at-home wife and mother and not do any duties she doesn’t have to do.
Newsweek said, “corralled into narratives that they themselves did not chose.” But the problem is Kate DID chose that narrative. She changed schools so she could specifically meet William, she waited around being his beck-and-call girl for years without ever holding a full time job, and she put up with a ton of abuse in order to secure her place as his wife. And once she did get the ring she took the easiest route she could and barely did any work. She took most of her first pregnancy off, and then took a year of maternity leave only to become pregnant again and take even more time off. She chose her own narrative, and that narrative was, “wait for the prince, marry the prince, have the prince’s baby, all the while being subservient to the prince.”
I appreciate what Newsweek was going for in wishing Kate would step up her role and become a hardworking role model, but that’s just not what Kate wants. Or at least that’s not what Kate has shown herself to want. I don’t know Kate personally, so I have no idea what Kate really wants, but she’s shown up until now that she wants to be the wife of a prince and mother to the prince’s children… and that’s it. I would love for Kate to want to be a hardworking individual with her own thoughts and opinions, and if that’s what she wants out of life, then she better get on it. As this poll has shown, the public’s interest in her is waning and if she wants to make a difference then she needs to start right now before all the interest in her is gone.
Links: Newsweek article. Poll results article.
Photo: Newsweek Europe.
56 thoughts on “Kate Middleton covers Newsweek: poll results reveal ‘end of the fairytale’, but does Kate want an influential role?”
Great summation of the article. I honestly think (and as you pointed out I don’t know Kate) that based on her past and current actions Kate isn’t really there to make a mark on humanity or the monarchy in her role as William’s wife. She has had ample opportunities to step up and back things that she wants to support and show herself as more than a clothes horse.
Rather we get someone who is seemingly reluctant to do more than take care of herself, her husband and her home. There’s nothing whatsoever wrong with that, but the powers that be behind the scenes need to accept that, let her be and quit trying to make her into something she doesn’t want to be and/or can’t be.
For her own reasons she has chosen be wife/mother/socialite. With the considerable amount of help she can get in her position, she could add a lot more to her plate. How many people would love to have the ability to help or influence something good? Instead of trying to convince us (the public) of her intellect and chances to be influential, perhaps they need to speak directly to Kate. She needs to be convinced of this more than we do.
Unless of course her whole dippy, hair and skirt blowing, overly emotive facial expressions and lack of work ethic is just a ruse she’s using until she gets to an actual position where she has some power to flex. But by then it will be too little, too late. She should take Diana’s example in using her capability of drawing massive amount of press to charities and causes she believes in. But maybe I’m expecting too much.
As you said, if W&K wait until they are farther up the food chain to start doing anything, then it will be too little, too late. The public interest has already waned for Kate and William is getting more criticism recently than he has ever gotten. If they wait, they won’t have jobs.
Will was only two percentage points higher than Kate in the “who is your favorite royal” poll–10% for Will, 8% for Kate–while Harry scored 20% of the total and HM got 17%.
If W&K spent half the energy they put into their PR into actually doing royal duties, they would be fulfilling enough royal hours to keep the public happy. They put more energy into fooling the public and complaining about privacy than they would if they actually did royal duties they spend so much energy to get out of.
She isn’t Maxima, Mathilde, or Letizia and she never will be. Those are powerful women who are equal partners to their royal spouses. Just isn’t going to happen with Middleton. This is all there is to her, and there just isn’t a whole lot there. Diana is gone, Newsweek needs to give up trying to make Middleton “happen”
I think the Palace needs to give up making the Cambridges happen. It’s pretty damn clear that neither Will nor Kate takes their roles seriously and don’t want to participate. The Palace should just cut their loses before they lose the entire monarchy.
It saddens me to think you might be right there, KMR.
I firmly believe the ship has sailed without these two, the public knows it and the media had better stop pushing the fantasy of this lazy couple on a world that has wisened up and realized that they may not the ones to save the British monarchy. Oh, for a Harry upon the throne……
Harry would make such a better King than William.
They are both ill-suited for the role. A King requires intelligence, dignity, and honour.
Harry might not be the brightest bulb in the shop, but he’s got dignity and honour.
Harry got the service gene. It is what he lives to do – serve his country, his family, the children of Sentebale, wounded veterans.
I agree. While he may orotest, Harry is better suited. Between his job in the army and the IG, he has made a huge impact. What has W&K accomplished? Nothing. I honestly think that this may be the beginning of the end. Diana’s death put a dent into the monarchy. W&K are further diminishing it.
Lol that the “golden couple” will most likely be the couple who destroys the monarchy.
Here is what I do not get – their IS a female monarch. Her name is Elizabeth.
Is the author (and the people quoted) suggesting that Elizabeth is muting, containing, and controlling Kate and not allowing her to speak? And speak about what? The premise that she is being held back by the “man” is false. IF she is being controlled at all – it is by a woman.
You are spot on when you say that the article is trying to imply that Kate is deeper then she has shown herself to be. What evidence is there of that? She earned a degree in art history and then did not apply that knowledge towards any type of endeavor. She was given a flex job in her parents company and did some marketing tasks – to sell goods and help make her family rich. Pretty much all her contributions have been self-serving.
And driving force behind what? Kate has no experience in world affairs or economics – furthermore what is often overlooked is that charities exist because society has failed these populations and it is an attempt by capitalists to make themselves feel better about the effects of their policies and treatment of others. What is this wealthy white woman going to do to improve the lives of anyone? Cheering up people whose children are dying is not the same as trying to come up with a cure. Yeah, I said it.
This was one of the stupidest articles I have ever read
Given the fact that Kate has been relegated to the role of subservient wife who is super controlled and doesn’t speak means that she is in no way participating in feminism. The sex of the person who relegated her to that role doesn’t matter. The point is she’s not a feminist nor a good role model for young women.
Also, maybe the article and the people quoted meant the patriarchy in general rather than a specific person–man or woman. Just a thought.
The article also assumes that Kate is the most intelligent royal, and I have no idea where that’s coming from. Will has the same amount of education and Charles went to university, too. Sophie had her own business at one point so must have been educated. Also, having a degree doesn’t necessarily guarantee intelligence or knowledge.
The statistics are interesting, but I agree that the article was dumb.
“What is this wealthy white woman going to do to improve the lives of anyone? Cheering up people whose children are dying is not the same as trying to come up with a cure.” I agree with you on the whole cheering people up is not the same as researching a cure. But let me ask, do you think Diana did any good and/or improved the lives of anyone?
Also, I agree 100% with the fact that Kate could never be a driving force behind the throne due to the fact that she has no experience or knowledge or education on world affairs or economics and doesn’t know how to hold an intelligent conversation with a foreign leader. What would she talk about? That’s why I was so interested for her to go to Malta and chat with the prime minister and whatnot because I wanted to know what Kate would say to someone like that.
Has Kate been relegated – or has Kate chosen it? Perhaps Elizabeth knows what she is doing when she helps Kate be silent – “can you test the smell by smelling it” does not exactly inspire confidence. This was at a shopping tour where Kate walked behind Camilla who walked behind Elizabeth, this is a family where they take birth order VERY seriously. My point being – these women have power through birth order and marriage – which may be the antithesis of feminism. Talking about feminism in the construct of a society that elevates one family above all others – and where they all bow to one woman – is a bit goofy.
Without Diana, the world would not have cured Aids, ended homelessness, and stopped all the wars. Oh! Wait a minute… in 1997 there were 20 million cases of aids – in 2011 there were 30 million. But I think she improved the lives of the makers of condoms and pharmaceutical researchers and reps? Yesterday’s landmines have nothing on today’s toy and candy bombs. Perhaps Kate can take up that cause. In 1993 there were 143,000 homeless in the UK, in 2013 it was 185,000. I will say this – Diana was kind to those she met and she took time to go meet them. People enjoy Santa Claus too.
““can you test the smell by smelling it” does not exactly inspire confidence” Which is exactly why the article’s theory that Kate is super deep underneath her surface and would have something meaningful to say were she just allowed to say it is utter crap.
Re charity: at least you’re consistent. I asked about Diana because there are others who would have lauded Diana, while tearing Kate down. So at least you’re consistent 🙂
If you don’t mind, though, would you tell me how you feel about charity and people who participate in charity?
I’m just trying to get a clear idea because I’m a bit confused. Because from the logic from the comments about Kate and Diana participating in charity, it sounds like you think all charity work is basically pointless because they’re not actually curing anything.
If that’s the case, then I’d love to chat about it. I actually don’t like most charity for a number of reasons.
I think Royal charity work is about trying to make the Royal look good. Flitting around from one cause to another makes no sense – are royal fans really expected to follow up with contributions to all the various projects? I am also highly critical of patronages outside the country. William’s conservation activities send money outside the country to look after animals. There are people with need inside his own country. I would also criticize Harry’s looking after orphans in Africa, but not minding the ones in his own backyard. I was not impressed with his Invictus efforts – there is already a para olympic program – so I think it was redundant and pulled resources that could have been used elsewhere.
I am completely annoyed by animal charities and would point out the absurdity of the fabulously wealthy Ricky Gervais asking his fans to donate to animal charities – when he is the fella with all the money. Rich people asking others to donate irks me. For an animal charity? Doubly Irked. And I enjoy his comedy.
I detest “event” fundraisers – golf, 5k, galas and balls and whatever society hostesses dream up to entertain themselves to make them look like they care about others. Pippa’s bike and swim stunts were for Pippa – her trip cost more then she raised – and her family could have afforded to give that money without all the attention. Was it Pippa’s money? Nope. She sure had fun doing the stuff though.
I think volunteering to help is worthwhile and an important part of society. Where I live there are folks who drive meals to invalids – mostly cancer and aids patients too sick to handle the chores themselves, but not sick enough to be in a hospital environment. Collecting food for the poor and providing housing and food for the homeless are also worthwhile in my opinion (but not just showing up to have your picture taken with them). Teaching people how to use the land to grow food is valuable – teaching them how to write resumes is not.
So I don’t eschew ALL charity – sharing food, clothing, shelter and medicine is important. I am too wise to the world to think if these folks just tried harder they wouldn’t be so bad off. Capitalism is about exploiting resources, including humans – just ask anyone who works an 8 hour day at Walmart and then can’t afford to pay for food and rent. And then look at how much money the Walton family has. Because they don’t pay their employees a living wage, they keep it for themselves.
So my view is more complex – depends on the who, what, why and how of the circumstances. I do want medical research done – but I don’t think Pippa riding bikes and swimming is the answer. I could not care less if wounded veterans have an audience for their sporting events. And just where does all that money for animal and wildlife charities go? How do the UK orphans feel when they hear about Harry taking care of the African ones?
What are your thoughts on the subject?
You bring up a lot of good points, Lady Blue Ribbon. I completely agree that royal charity work is about making the royal look good–especially when they don’t seem super interested or knowledgeable. I’m curious about how much a charity gets out of having the royal as a patron. Like exactly how much more money they get. And I completely agree about royal’s charities that are outside the country. I’m critical of anyone focusing on charity outside their own country. That may make me an a-hole, but I get annoyed when people (mainly celebs) focus on charities outside the country. Like when people focus on orphans in Africa when there are orphans in the US. Everyone is all up on Africa’s junk when there are tons of children who could use help in the US that never get any mention. There are SO many problems in our own back yard, why the need to go outside it to find a cause to support?
I understand there is a difference between the Paralympics and the Invictus Games, because the IG are only for injured servicepeople, but I agree that in terms of doing really long lasting good, having a giant Games where servicepeople can do sports isn’t exactly helpful to anything…. except the servicepeople’s egos by winning awards.
I too find it quite annoying when celebs or other rich people ask non-rich people to donate money. I feel like it’s selfish and taking advantage of people who don’t have as many resources as they do. The same can be said for the royals.
I’m on the fence about event fundraisers. On the one hand, it could be a fun way to get people involved who wouldn’t normally (again, though, the “charity work” is about people feeling good about themselves or happy and not about actually helping people). But on the other hand it costs a lot to put those things on and whatever money they raise is better off going to whomever they are supposed to be helping, rather than putting on the event. And of course those types of things are ripe for celebs who want to get some publicity out of it. So I guess I’ve just talked myself into the “no” column.
I don’t like most charity, personally. I hate the business of charity because most of the time the money raised is going to fund the CEOs life rather than helping whomever the charity is supposed to help. And the question becomes, what exactly are they doing with what little money they actually give to help the thing they’re supposed to be helping? As you mentioned, where does the money raised by William’s wildlife conservation charity go? Like seriously, what exactly are they spending the money on? They aren’t feeding the endangered animals are they? They clearly aren’t building safe places for them to live since they keep dying. What exactly is their goal other than “end the wildlife trade” that they need money for? Or the charities that are about ending rape in war zones or ending human sex trafficking? I definitely agree that those things should end, but what exactly does money raised by those charities go toward? Actually buying the women out of slavery and giving them money to live or for education until they get proper jobs? I legitimately don’t know. Granted I’ve not researched this extensively, and they may have it on their sites or in their reports, but as of right now I don’t know.
And while I think volunteering in certain situations is great, I’m skeptical about others. Like the homeless, it’s not just about providing food and shelter, but about getting them to fix whatever problems drove them to be homeless. A lot of times they have a mental disorder, or are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Food and shelter is something they need in the short term, but if they fixed their problems and got jobs then they could provide themselves with food and shelter. I understand that not every situation is a “work harder and you can fix your life” one because as you said, capitalism is about exploiting people as well. But it’s hard for me to feel sympathy when someone refuses to help themselves and expects other people to do it for them. If someone genuinely tried and still they were unsuccessful, then I would be more inclined to actually care. But if a homeless person on the street asks me for money, there is no way in hell I would give it to them.
I agree with you that there are so many things that go into whether I agree with a charity or not. I do think there are situations where charity/volunteering is a good thing, but I am very skeptical of charities and for the most part I do not agree with how those businesses are run.
Yeah! What y’all said! I must confess that I am baffled as to exactly why Newsweek put this out there. Who IS this person of such importance? Deep? Well, given what I have seen, read…she almost HAS to be deeper than she appears to be…..driving force? See Lady Blue Ribbon’s post..personally I would not want her or any of her ilk around me anytime let alone if I need ‘cheering up’…..what the hell does she know about anything…reality for instance….
I have no idea why Newsweek tried so hard to make it seem like Kate is such a powerful force. She’s clearly not. And all they went on was what 3,000 members of the public thought. It’s not like they know anything about Kate or her dynamic with William. To make the claims they did was a bit ridiculous.
Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the poll was ordered by people behind the scenes trying to gauge how everyone feels about Kate. Reality is, that while she has her die-hard fans, most people are not buying into the image they are trying to convey, or the fairy tale marriage.
Personally, I’d be thrilled to see Harry as king. I don’t think he would want all that came with it, but he’d do a heck of a better job at it than William.
I hope the palace sees the results and takes it to heart and maybe finally makes changes. But they’ll probably ignore it and let the monarchy end in flames while William throws a tantrum.
OR the men in grey, who are far more loyal to the monarchy as a whole than any one person, might just find a way to oust William (and his kids) from the line of succession and put Harry on the throne. But that’s just wishful thinking on my part.
Quite apart from the ridiculous article, I can imagine that the palace are still being ‘super sensitive’ about image etc., especially after the recent Scotland referendum, which so nearly rendered the monarchy as we know it so very vulnerable….no one expected that to happen, clearly not the Queen! so to that end, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if certain ‘polls’ were ordered. My guess then is that no, nothing will be done to ratchet up Kate’s image; whatever that is meant to be. I am further guessing that the situation she happily entered into when she married is very different from the one which now exists. My view is that neither she, nor William have any intention of doing much other than the absolute minimum they can get away with re royal duties. What is interesting is that other lesser ranking royals are working far harder and putting effort into their tasks. Not just Harry, but Sophie, Edward, Zara et al. The more effort they make, puts Kate and William further into the background. OK so I’m rambling a bit – we know almost totally zilch about Kate the person?? people who thought they may identify with her, are maybe now questioning that; as there is nothing there to identify with….ho hum..I’m thinking about the charity thing as well..
I hope I hit the reply for Ferryman……I am curious about this in your post: My guess then is that no, nothing will be done to ratchet up Kate’s image; whatever that is meant to be. I am further guessing that the situation she happily entered into when she married is very different from the one which now exists
What is your thinking here?
I think they were hoping people would identify with her commoner background and like her simply because of that, but it backfired because there just isn’t anything there for people to grasp on to and relate to. She has no personality.
The less Will and Kate do, the more people will think they have no purpose, and the closer the UK gets to not having a monarchy. If the palace doesn’t see that, then they are morons.
And on the heels of the poll results, we have news from the Palace that she is up and about, feeling better, and planning to get back to work. As if we haven’t heard that line before…
@My2Pence: I read that. I didn’t post on it because, well, I’ll believe it when I see it. Palace “sources” talking about all the work she’s going to do is nothing new. They better actually release her schedule if they want us to believe she’s going to do something during the rest of the year.
If you want to know Waity’s schedule for the next few weeks, go to the Court Circular on the royal website. They detail the past engagements and future public schedule, searchable for each member of the Royal Family who theoretically carry out public duties. It was started by King George III because he was annoyed at the newspapers carrying false stories of where his family members were supposedly going.
They unfortunately don’t usually post Kate’s schedule on the future engagements part of the Court Circular website. It’s really annoying.
Just did a search for October and nothing is listed for either W or K. Princess Anne is kicking major butt next month as are Prince Edward and Sophie. The Duke and Duchess of Glouchester make more appearances than K does.
I love the Princess Royal. She really “gets” what being royal is about and has taken the influence of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to be of service to the nation. She and the Prince of Wales compete for the most royal engagements every year. Though the Duke of Edinburgh for a man of 93, also carries a fair load. Unlike Willy, Waity and Harry (The Unholy Trinity dubbed by KMR), who can barely be bothered to get up from whatever it is they do, to shake someone’s hand. Even the Earl and Countess of Wessex carry out a heavy schedule and virtually no one pays any attention.
Lady Blue Ribbon for the win.
Nice one Lady Blue Ribbon – all I would have said myself – and expressed better than I could!
Well, I vote Lady Blue Ribbon for the win as well!! (Do we need a poll on this?)….I am glad that Scotland didn’t vote to separate at this time….at first I was on the yes team but with everything going on now …ISIS etc I think we all need to stick together…Ferryman said what I think….let’s NOT make ourselves vulnerable…and I mean us….Britain is a great ally of the US and I love that country:) Boy, the fact that it was so close is very telling and personally I wonder if the Queen isn’t just plain tired….on the charity issue? I don’t think that a high profile person makes all that much difference….I give directly and am going to be doing some volunteer work but not for a charity. My husband is retired and is planning to help out at St. Vincent D’Paul (helps the homeless, those in need of assistance with food/travel and the like. If I needed help like that I sure as hell wouldn’t want some air headed, smiling, heavily made up, dressed to the nines woman around….it’s hard enough to ask for help to begin with and a creature with a handbag that costs $1300 is a slap in the face…’oh, look at me…deigning to mingle and help you out…’ and then go back to my fancy car with a driver and guards and to a huge palace (not sure which one today) and servants….stick with your teas and whatever rich people do!!
I don’t actually like charity or the business of charity for the most part. For the most part, people who do/donate to charity, especially if they are high profile, only do it to make themselves look good, and even non-high profile people usually only do it to make themselves feel good. And in terms of the actual charities themselves, a lot of times only a small portion of the money donated goes to help the people/cause the charity claims it helps and the rest goes to the CEOs and other workers, fancy parties, and whatever else. Like the Tower poppy thing, they said only 10% from each poppy sold goes to actually helping people. The hell? Where does the rest of the money go? If I am going to donate money to something, I damn well want it to go to helping the people/cause I want it to help, and not padding some CEOs bank account.
And as Lady Blue Ribbon said, celebs stopping by a charity for a few hours isn’t really helping much, as compared to a scientist researching a cure for a cancer or something.
The interesting thing is, if we say that doing charity is pointless, then we might as well say the royals don’t have to do their royal duties because they are pointless, and then we might as well stop complaining that Kate doesn’t do any royal duties. In which case… I don’t know. It calls into question the whole point of the royals. It’s an interesting conversation.
I recall, a number of years ago, a certain ‘outing’ of many so called charities about just exactly where funds were used; in this instance, it was the ones who produce the Christmas greetings cards which are popular, or were popular with many people. I recall how outraged many were in finding out that a mere fraction of money spent by the purchaser actually ended up in the charities coffers to be spent on that charity. I was, then, very upset to hear this, but over the years have wised up…now I support a mere handful of charities and these are checked out before hand to see where their money goes. Fast forward to ceramic poppy affair and this is the precise reason I haven’t bought one, as 10% to the actual charity is simply not enough – when I last looked on the website, there was little further indication of where ones cash actually went and how it is used….all of which poses the question (which I’ve had to think about, and hard) are most if not all charities an indication of a shortcoming in society, unfair distribution of wealth by governments even…and more to the point, why is it ok for royals to support charities – or is it ok – if they didn’t do the charity thing any longer, just what is their function…why does having a royal’s name on a letterhead make it ‘supported’ and better than another charity which hasn’t?…ok, I’m fast becoming forum bore here………………..but it is interesting indeed – what would the royals do if not charity stuff – I’ve lost the plot!
United Way is a charity that a lot of corporations in the States back. To the point that yearly a fund raising drive is held and they give you the option for how much they can deduct from your paychecks. The last major corporation I worked for pushed hard to get 100% compliance from every employee for a donation. Year after year I refused and got encouraged, questioned, pushed into giving something, but I refused. Seriously, any charity I donate to I know where the money is going or I give them my time. I have no problem doing actual work for something I think is worthy.
The only benefits (other than any they may contribute monetarily) that the RF can bring to a charity is to bring it more into focus for people who may not have heard about it by making appearances on their behalf. Of course, those appearances should appear to be sincere and they should at least know a modicum about the work the charity does. I don’t get that feeling whenever Kate appears for a charitable cause, especially when she reads any small address she gives word for word from her notes.
I actually get embarrassed for them when they walk up and pull out the notebook sheets to read their speeches. Seriously, you’re not speaking that long and part of your training should be public speech. Stumbling your way through a speech doesn’t exactly make me feel that you are really connected or concerned about the charity you’ve chosen to become patron of. While I’m sure the charities are thrilled to have the media spotlight, I’m wondering how they really feel about the patronage (or lack thereof) they actually receive.
I don’t know about the other royals, but Kate only visits each of her charities maybe once or twice a year, so they aren’t getting a ton of focus. And Will doesn’t really visit his charities either (when was the last time he did anything for Centrepoint?). Again, don’t know about the other royals, but the charities supported by Will and Kate are probably feeling stiffed. But maybe the charities are able to leverage the royal name even if they don’t visit. Like, the charity is able to say “patroned by whoever” to potential donors, or something. I don’t know.
It makes me cringe watching the royals give speeches. I saw a speech Sophie gave and she was great, no looking down at all. But Kate is terrible, and Will and Harry aren’t much better. I might even say Kate is better because at least she tries to look up during her speeches, even though she’s constantly checking her notes which makes her head bob constantly. Harry looked down pretty much the entire time while giving his Invictus Games speeches. I’d take head bobbing over no eye contact at all. Head bobbing in annoying but at least I’m paying attention to how annoying it is; no eye contact at all is even more off-putting because I feel no connection and don’t even care to watch or listen at that point. And Will always looks down and has those enormous papers that only have a few words on each so he’s constantly flipping 8×11 sheets of paper. They’re all horrible. They have ONE job, and they can’t even do that right.
I was actually thinking about buying a poppy because I thought they were cute, but when I saw that 10% thing I was completely turned off. Any charity I donate to is thoroughly checked out, and most of the time my donating involves actually buying pet food and donating that, so that I know my money is going to actually feed the animals, you know.
You’re not a bore, I think the “what is the purpose of the royals if they aren’t supporting charity” question is interesting. Their only “work” is visiting charities, and if that is taken away, then pretty much the main reason given in support of keeping them is gone.
Another thing re royals and charity I’ve thought about lately, is what is the purpose of the royal’s visits anyway? It’s not like they are actively participating in anything when they go chat to people and plant a tree of unveil a plaque. So other than publicity, there isn’t much value in having the royals visit. But that raises a question because most of the royal’s visits aren’t publicized very well. Sure, Kate’s are, and William and Harry for the most part (even though they aren’t guaranteed a front page–Will didn’t even get one for his visit to Malta), but most of the other’s visits aren’t publicized in the media and are only slightly publicized by the places they visit if those places have a social media page.
@royalsareajoke ‘I hope I hit the reply for Ferryman……I am curious about this in your post: My guess then is that no, nothing will be done to ratchet up Kate’s image; whatever that is meant to be. I am further guessing that the situation she happily entered into when she married is very different from the one which now exists’
What is your thinking here? this is it really….and I’m supposing a lot!
Prior to actually getting married, I don’t think that Kate could never have envisaged the impact of decisions William has made about his future and how she would be affected. I am (again) guessing that she envisaged a gentle introduction into the royal ‘life’, taking on, gradually, causes which were thought to benefit from her patronage, as well as those jointly with William. I seem to recall that in the early days much was made of how carefully these patronages would be chosen for best effect. I haven’t a clue what patronages are Kate’s does she have one? does she want one even? maybe her PR and palace courtiers need to find a niche for her and William…but they must be at a loss how to balance these two into half royal half Norfolk coupledom…as they have virtually stepped down from taking on further royal duties – she wouldn’t have thought that would the case I bet! then again, we see crazy stuff happen on tours and appearances which are plain stupid; the blowing dresses – repeatedly, the skipping over tins, unscheduled beach running…the pap photos….actually I can’t figure it at all……they’re actually having a joke – my apologies for rambling as I surely have and thank you for reading if you have got this far…………..
I go back and forth on this idea: whether Kate is being held back by William and really does want to get out there and do stuff but doesn’t because Will wants “privacy” and a “normal life”, or whether Kate is super lazy and doesn’t want to do royal duties so she chooses not to do them. I don’t know.
I think that William is probably the more dominant of the two; so I guess her ideas or willingness to do stuff is always subject to him agreeing, or not finding fault, or something he doesn’t like – so she ends up not taking that idea forward, or not having the clout to do so…so keeps quiet. I’m afraid that he comes over as surly and pouty – I really wouldn’t like to have to deal with him having a hissy fit – maybe she thinks so as well…..anyhow he wants to be ordinary and private…then there is her family, probably still very influential in what she thinks and does….she strikes me as being very manipulated at times…..
I think that’s the way she likes it and wants it. Someone on here referenced her talking about how well taken care of she is. That’s what she wants, she doesn’t want to take the lead. I don’t see that as submissive, but her getting exactly what she wants – a life of leisure off the taxpayers.
they’re actually having a joke – my apologies for rambling as I surely have and thank you for reading if you have got this far…………..I did…and thank you!! (so my user name is not off base and others feel and think the same way I do)
The article seems to be arguing that somehow by being a wife and mother, Kate is “empowered” and a “liberated” woman. The “power behind the throne”. There is no power in the Crown and hasn’t been for centuries. The last monarch to refuse Royal Assent to a bill (vetoing it) was the Militia Bill by Queen Anne. In 1708. The last monarch to appoint a Prime Minister truly independently was King William IV in 1834. Every “crisis” of leadership or political resignation by a Prime Minister has been very carefully managed by a triumvirate of senior civil servants: the Cabinet Secretary, the Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary and the Sovereign’s Private Secretary in consultation with senior statesman. For example in 1955 when Anthony Eden resigned as Prime Minister, the Queen consulted the Lord President of the Council, who consulted with the Lord Chancellor, former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the Cabinet and the 1922 Committee chairman. They recommended she appoint Harold McMillian, which she did. When he resigned in 1963, she appointed Alec Douglas-Home on McMillian’s recommendation. The Queen’s Consent is required to debate bills in Parliament that may impact the Royal Prerogative. It’s only withheld on the advice of the Prime Minister or another minister.
My point is that there is very little actual “power” in the throne today. Everything the Queen does is approved beforehand by the Prime Minister or another Cabinet minister. Every bill she signs is countersigned by the appropriate minister. Every trip she undertakes is approved in advance by the Prime Minister and the Foreign Office. The Queen legally can’t leave the United Kingdom without her ministers’ consent. Conversely, the Prime Minister also can’t leave the United Kingdom without the Queen’s consent. The power of the monarchy since the 19th century is “the right to be consulted, the right to encourage and the right to warn”. If a Sovereign tries to overstep those boundaries, they are systemically weakened and undercut by the British Establishment and forced to abdicate, like King Edward VIII. The only power the royals have is soft power to influence and encourage people.
The Queen can’t legally leave the UK without permission? That’s interesting, I didn’t know that.
I really don’t know what Newsweek was trying to get at with that article. It was all sorts of wrong. You’re quite right, the monarchy does’t hold any real political power these days.
Technically no. But b/c she’s traveling on behalf of her government, it’s never refused. The whole idea of royals carrying out public engagements began with Edward VII when he was Prince of Wales. Queen Victoria was devastated after Prince Albert’s death and became known as the “Widow of Windsor”; she divided her time among Windsor, Balmoral and Osborne House in Brighton and rarely set foot in London for years after. Since the Queen was absent, Edward VII decided the royals needed a public face and pioneered the idea of members of the Royal Family patronizing institutions and meeting the public. Before then the only important members were the Sovereign and their heir. The rest of the Family could essentially go hang unless they were called upon to become King or Queen. So in some ways, the Cambridges are simply trying to go back to royalty of the 18th century, to be allowed to have a life of noble leisure until (if) Willy becomes King. Technically there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Duke of York or the Princess Royal simply deciding to give up public duties and go to the races or up to Scotland and never open another building or give another speech. They all do it voluntarily to support the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, as well as the Government. But of course the public outrage that would ensue would be the end of the monarchy. It may well be it now with Willy and Waity.
I would say that the public’s fairytale of The commoner marrying the prince is coming to an end. The public probably still like the Queen but as for Kate? She hasn’t lived up to the hype and seems to do less and less every year. She is NOT a beauty but manufactured. I doubt that putting her face on magazines will no longer be a reason to make those magazines sell. She definitely will never be another Diana!
I’d love to see the numbers for the issues that feature her versus the other celebs. I can’t imagine she sells all that well any more. If she had come out of the gate hard and done a good job, I think things would be much different. But she/the palace really wasted that opportunity.
I’m not from the UK or any country that they rule over but if I were them I would not want to be ruled by a king that once got so drunk in a bar he grabbed someone’s boob and a queen who has naked photos all over the internet. They’re just boring celebrities.
Celebs actually have jobs. Well, I guess if you’re putting Will and Kate in the “famous for being famous” category, then yep they’re merely celebs. And nope, they have no dignity.
I agree….thankfully I am a US citizen but it’s really a scary thought that the Commonwealth could be put at the mercy of two self absorbed idiots….Britain is our ally and I hope to God that the royals are simply ornamental and have no actual power….
Oh I love ‘ornamental’……………(smile)
The website http://www.foibles.com has an article called” Kate Middleton’s Dilemma.” When is lazy waity’s baby due?
l find waity kaity not amusing AT ALL! IF anyone who knows her history premarriage with william, william, will know shes a stone cold stalker, who would have the stamina to stalk, be used as a mattress, be humiliated for royal perks? Well after she the ring she suddenly wants to play the vulnerable little innocent barbie girl, thats just hilarious, kate is a cold shrewd woman like her mother, they got the ring from william, they are done with him, now george is the one who will keep waity permanently in the RF , what a family!!
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