Magazine article The Spectator

The Truth Is That Kate Middleton Was Just Too Posh for William

Magazine article The Spectator

The Truth Is That Kate Middleton Was Just Too Posh for William

Article excerpt

This has been a difficult week. I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that I was responsible for the traumatic break-up between Prince William and Kate Middleton. It is a terrible thing to have on one's conscience, the dashing of young love and the hope and expectation of a nation. It's not, of course, that I've been spotted dancing the night away and canoodling in Chinawhite with Kate, or Wills for that matter. I've never, ever, pawed a royal or a wannabe royal in a nightclub, not even Princess Michael of Kent. My involvement, though, was scarcely less destructive: I'm a journalist, and the royals think we're to blame -- we hacks with our relentless, panting pursuit of the couple.

Indeed, a lot has been written about the now-terminated romance. I wasn't among the huge tranche of seedy journalists who popped out from behind a bush whenever Kate and Wills were seen going about their business and then wrote thousands upon thousands of articles saying 'Sad Kate Buys a Silver Belt' or 'Kate Walks Down a Street By Herself' or (just this week) 'Shattered Kate Buys a Tennis Racket'. (Prepare yourself for the follow-ups: 'Desolate Kate Buys Some Tennis Balls' and 'Tearful Kate Plays a Game of Tennis' and 'Useless Kate Loses in Straight Sets'. ) Nor was I among that more pious group of colleagues who wrote a total of 921 articles entitled: 'Why Kate and Wills Really Must Have Their Privacy' (accompanied by a picture of the two of them, looking extremely harassed). I was part of that smaller rump of hacks who wrote a total of 722 articles entitled: 'Why I Couldn't Give a Monkey's About Wills and Kate'. 723 now, I suppose. It adds up, all that pressure.

I suppose we should take their word for it that it's our fault. According to the Sun they had a tearful parting of the ways in an Alpine ski resort, the two of them photographed off-piste looking thoroughly piste off. There have been sotto voce briefings of a somewhat melodramatic nature, too, from the royal press machine: we couldn't allow another 'Diana' to happen, and so on. No indeed. That being said, Kate Middleton's relationship with the press and particularly the paparazzi was always a little, shall we say, ambivalent.

Like most women, she enjoyed having her photo taken when she looked quite fit, but was less keen on the, uh, intrusion when she'd forgotten her lippy and had been on the sauce a bit the night before.

It has also been pointed out, though, that the class difference between Wills and Kate might have doomed their relationship from the start. William, as befits a blueblood, is expected to squire around girls with names like Anunciata Ptaang Ptaang Ole Biscuit Barrel, or Isabella Anstruther-GoughCalthorpe. One of those ludicrous names I made up, the other is a real person and 'confidante' of Prince William -- it's for you to work out which is which. Kate Middleton, meanwhile, is the sort of name you or I might have, if we were born to people called Middleton and were a girl. If you get my drift.

Her parents are not cut from royal cloth, not even cut from the 100,000 tea cloths Woolworths were reported to have printed commemorating the -- sadly -- now neverto-be marriage. They have not owned Northumberland for 700 years and don't speak as if being strangled by an errant serf. …

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