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Nicholl: ‘There’s no real warmth’ between the Sussexes & Waleses

When Prince William invited the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to go on a brief walkabout outside of Windsor Castle on September 10th, it was a big deal. It was such a big deal that both William and King Charles III wanted credit for it – Charles’s people were briefing the media that he “ordered” William to call Harry and invite him. Meanwhile, William’s people were briefing the media that William alone decided to make the call. For a brief moment, it made William seem diplomatic and conciliatory. It was all for show, of course. It was just a performance for an hour. Nothing substantial changed, but at least we knew that William and Harry could be in the same space briefly without killing each other. Well, Katie Nicholl has some thoughts about that walkabout, what didn’t come next and what it all means.

Queen Elizabeth II’s death was “a missed opportunity” for brothers Prince William and Prince Harry to make peace, says a royal expert.

“I think it’s very sad [that] in the days Harry was here, there was an opportunity given they were just a couple of hundred yards away from each other for a meeting or dinner or gathering of some sort where they could actually just try to thrash things out,” “The New Royals” author Katie Nicholl exclusively tells Page Six.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were in the UK for 11 days after the Queen passed away on Sept. 8 at age 96. During that time, the couple stayed at Frogmore Cottage, not far from Adelaide Cottage where the Prince and Princess of Wales are located.

Nicholl notes that although William “extended the olive branch” by inviting his estranged brother and sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, to join him and wife Kate Middleton on a walkabout outside Windsor Castle, it was not the ice-breaker royal watchers were hoping for.

“When you look closely back on it there’s no real warmth there,” Nicholl opines. “There’s no real coming together, it’s very clear the ‘Fab Four’ are not fab anymore, they were going through the motions. I’ve had it on very good sources that there was no meeting done privately and so yes [there was] a missed opportunity but reflective of how intensely both brothers feel about things.”

Nicholl explains that a détente appears dim as both brothers are digging in their heels.

“William can be very stubborn and hold a grudge,” she says. “Harry is emotional and hotheaded and they’re both very passionate and there’s a lack of understanding on both parts and resentment on both parts and anger on both parts, that hasn’t been able to be placated and worked through.”

[From Page Six]

I actually appreciate the fact that Nicholl says “there’s no real warmth there.” Too many people were like “wow, relations are thawing, maybe something will happen now!” I actually thought William put on a good performance of someone trying to make nice. Harry also made an effort. Meghan seemed terrified that at any moment, William was going to scream at her. And Kate just seemed over it and contemptuous of the whole stunt. Once again, I go back to what Omid Scobie wrote about them just before QEII’s death – Harry wants accountability, William wants an apology. I think it’s more like Harry wants justice and William wants capitulation.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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Scobie: No plans for an ‘extravagant’ coronation or Prince of Wales investiture

Since the end of the official mourning period for the Windsors, there’s been a noticeable shift – basically, we’ve only seen King Charles and the new Prince of Wales and Princess of Wales. How long do you think KC3 will be able to keep this up, just keeping the “focus” on himself, his heir and his heir’s wife? Not very long, especially since this family spent the entire month, the entire year and the past four years scapegoating Harry and Meghan for everything. Still, the conversation is about the “slimmed down monarchy” and how there are fewer people in all of these royal residences. Omid Scobie’s Yahoo UK column this week is about how William, Kate and Charles must be smart about excess and the appearance of luxury, ostentation and waste, especially as it appears like the UK is entering a pretty brutal recession:

Little fanfare in Wales: When William and Kate arrived in Anglesey for their first official visit to the country as the newly-minted Prince and Princess of Wales, there was little fanfare as they chatted to locals on the small, rural island they once called home. The day of engagements, Kensington Palace told us, was a chance for the couple to focus on “deepening the trust and respect of the people of Wales” after taking on their new titles.

The Prince of Wales investiture: Alongside the visit also came word from officials that William has no plans to carry out the same extravagant investiture his father did when he became the Prince of Wales in 1969. The news was enthusiastically welcomed by people in Wales, who remember all too well the over-the-top ceremony at Caernarfon Castle which saw the Queen place a gold coronet on Charles’ head and drape grand robes around his shoulders. During a time of economic struggles in the country, it was so poorly received that there were protests and even a bomb plot.

Middle class monarchy: Images of Royal Family’s ostentatious display of wealth and power is a moment no one is looking to repeat. And with the UK’s ongoing cost of living crisis—which this week saw the Bank of England warn of a “significant” interest rate rise and the British pound hitting a record low against the US dollar—cutting back on unnecessary frills and faff should be part of a concerted effort to ensure that the monarchy does not seem grossly out of touch.

Slimmed down monarchy: We are only days into a new regency and already that slimmed down “modern” monarchy King Charles III dreamed of creating is becoming a reality. A more nimble line-up with a hard focus on connecting rather than alienating people across the UK. Charles and the rest of the family have the opportunity to truly modernise The Firm if they listen to what the public tells them.

KC3’s coronation: Plans for a “mindful” and “pared down” coronation have long been in the works for the new king, I’m told, which is said to be scheduled for late spring next year. Far from the majestic scenes of Queen Elizabeth II arriving at Westminster Abbey in a golden carriage for a three-hour spectacle (costing £1.57 million—the equivalent of £43 million today), those on various iterations of planning committees for King Charles’ coronation have always discussed the importance of keeping his ceremony simple. And not just for the sake of cost. As a less popular monarch than his mother, the public interest in such an occasion will be far from the nationwide excitement felt when the Imperial State Crown was placed on the head of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Charles has requested some stuff be removed from his coronation: With the country currently on the brink of recession, the optics of anything more than a symbolic swearing-in ceremony would only do harm to any legacy King Charles III hopes to create. “There are many elements that [Charles] himself has requested be removed to ensure that it’s kept simple,” a senior royal source told me earlier this year. “He is aware that it needs to be mindful and in touch.”

[From Yahoo UK]

Scobie also mentions that Kate referenced the “cost of living crisis” while they were in Wales this week. Which, as I said previously, isn’t actually coming across the way they hoped? We know about Kate’s endless new coats, her four homes and the fact that she’s moving into Windsor Castle. Instead of trying to *appear* like they understand the economic realities of modern Britain, perhaps they could actually live less excessive lives? Charles has all of this royal estate now, perhaps it’s time to turn a lot of those palaces and castles into museums? I also wonder if paring down the glamour and excess will leave KC’s coronation looking pretty dull. I mean, he already *owns* the gold carriage. It’s not like he has to buy one. He just has to take it out of storage. Therein lies the rub, though – it’s not as if anyone in this family would actually donate all of the gold carriages and blood diamonds they stole from centuries of pillaging, racism and colonialism. So their solution is “don’t remind people about how much we stole and how much we have.”

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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A small child waited four hours in the cold to hand flowers to Princess Kate

Here are more photos of the Prince and Princess of Wales in Anglesey on Tuesday, their first trip to Wales with their new titles. They kept everything pretty low-key, just visiting a boat and doing a little walkabout. Upon their arrival – which happened after noon – both Kate and William knelt down to speak to a little Welsh boy who was waiting to give Kate flowers. The catch is, he had been waiting hours. Apparently, someone arranged for him to start standing there at 8:30 am. The child was shivering in the cold for something like four hours, waiting for Will & Kate? Yikes.

As I’ve been reading the excerpts from Katie Nicholl’s The New Royals and Valentine Low’s Courtiers, I’ve been thinking a lot about the incompetence of Kensington Palace staffers. We’ve seen that in a million ways over the years, from Kate’s Five Big Questions to her whole stupid “Early Years” initiative, to William’s boredom with Earthshot, and on and on. The staff can’t even make adequate and appropriate arrangements for a small child to hand Kate flowers. They organized the Caribbean Flop Tour and they really thought it was going to land. In Low’s book, there doesn’t seem to be much mention of the actual flaws within KP’s staff and why that might be. Probably because KP’s staffers are Low’s sources.

Anyway, just a reminder that it’s kind of weird that the new Prince and Princess of Wales are likely keeping their rogue’s gallery of morons, sycophants and embiggeners on staff, and they probably aren’t taking on new people who would actually challenge them to do better and work harder.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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Prince William, the new Prince of Wales, only knows a couple of words in Welsh

It’s pretty funny to watch Prince William and Kate sort of flail around, completely underprepared for this big career advancement for which they’ve been waiting for decades. It reminds me of Kate’s single-minded campaign to land William and get the ring, then once she finally got the ring, she didn’t do a damn thing. She had zero plans for what happened once her decade of waitying paid off. In the past decade, William and Kate have been so focused on accruing power and lording their status over everyone, they forgot to actually do the work to prepare to be Prince of Wales and Princess of Wales. So here we are.

William is a 40-year-old man who speaks no second languages. He couldn’t be bothered to learn a few words of French when he visited France. He couldn’t be bothered to speak a few words in Arabic when he visited the UAE. He couldn’t be bothered to speak a few words in Urdu when he visited Pakistan. What makes anyone think that he would bother learning any Welsh after waiting his entire life to become Prince of Wales? Roya Nikkah was part of the Rota tracking William and Kate in Wales on Tuesday, and she noted on her Twitter that William told Welsh people that “I’ve been brushing up on my Welsh, all the little snippets, I’ve got to remember them” and then he said “I’m going to have to branch out a bit” as he only knows “a couple of phrases.” Like, did this trip sneak up on you, Peg? You couldn’t have studied for a few hours on Monday night to pick up some conversational phrases? The bar is set so f–king low. Meanwhile, they magically found some Welsh reverend to sing their praises:

The heir to the throne spoke about getting to grips with the language with Reverend Steven Bunting from St Thomas Church in Swansea where he and Kate visited on Tuesday afternoon, telling him he had already picked up the word ‘paned’, meaning a cup of tea.

Rev Bunting said: ‘We already know they love Wales, but having them here has been amazing and is an early sign, I think, of their commitment to Wales. They’ve blown us away by speaking to every person young and old, it shows how wholly committed they are to their role as Prince and Princess of Wales. The Prince of Wales was even talking about learning Welsh, and said he’d learned the word “paned” meaning cup of tea and “bara brith”. I think he’s taking being Prince of Wales very, very seriously.’

[From Metro]

Narrator’s voice: He was not, in fact, taking being Prince of Wales very seriously. I should also note that this whole “William should learn Welsh” thing didn’t just appear on Tuesday. People have been saying for years that William should learn Welsh or at least study it long enough to be able to make some amount of conversation. Before Charles’s PoW investiture, Charles actually went to Wales for a semester and studied Welsh for real, and he still knows enough Welsh to speak it conversationally and pepper his speeches with Welsh words and phrases. Shortly after Charles gave Peg and Buttons the Wales titles, the First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford went on record saying that William needs to learn the language. And then William just choppered into Anglesey and decided to half-ass it.

During the Prince and Princess of Wales’s visit today, William admitted “I’ve been brushing up on my Welsh, all the little snippets, I’ve got to remember them” admitting “I’m going to have to branch out a bit” as he only knows “a couple of phrases”.

— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) September 27, 2022

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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Prince William & Kate finally made their first visit to Wales with the Welsh titles

Well, the new Prince of Wales and Princess of Wales have made their first official visit to Wales now that they’ve secured the PoW bag. I wondered why their first trip wasn’t to Wales as soon as QEII passed away, mourning period or not. The mourning period didn’t keep other royals from traveling to Belfast, Manchester, etc. William and Kate’s first stop was a local RNLI Lifeboat Station in Anglesey, where they lived early in their marriage. They’ll also visit the Holyhead Marine and Cafe Bar and do a walkabout. Nothing strenuous, no wall-to-wall schedule.

As for fashion… Kate is wearing red for Wales. That is LK Bennett’s “Spencer” coat, which retails for £599. She bought it because of the name, right? Wearing a Spencer coat on the new Princess of Wales’s visit to Wales. Her staffers don’t know how to be subtle! Plus, this coat has THIRTEEN shiny gold buttons for the Princess of Buttons. Don’t forget that weird gold chain on the pockets too, my God.

As for actually becoming the PoW formally, plans are already being made to keep the investiture pretty simple:

The visit comes as Kensington Palace said there were no plans for Prince William to have an investiture “anything like his father had” as Prince of Wales.

A petition calling for the Prince of Wales title to be scrapped has gained more than 35,000 signatures. Following King Charles’ announcement that William would take on the title, there was delight for some but uncertainty from others, with one politician labelling it divisive.

The king’s investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969, held at Caernarfon Castle, was watched by a TV audience of millions around the world.

Kensington Palace said it currently had “no plans for anything like” the King’s investiture in 1969. It added: “Right now is about deepening trust with the people of Wales and representing the dynamic Wales that there is today. There are no plans for the investiture yet.”

[From BBC]

It’s still kind of remarkable to me that one of King Charles’s first acts was to hand the PoW titles to Will and Kate. I still think that was a mistake – it’s not something which needed to be decided right away, and it would have been much more diplomatic to perhaps wait and do some kind of listening tour through Wales? A lot of Welsh people simply want to see the title retired completely. Anyway, the investiture will probably happen after the coronation, and we still don’t have a date for that either.

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

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Nicholl: QEII didn’t like that Meghan Markle wore white to her second wedding

The royal tea in Katie Nicholl’s The New Royals is so lukewarm. It’s not that surprising – Nicholl made a name for herself in her early days as a de facto talking head on behalf of the Middletons. Nicholl would simply write whatever Kate, Carole and Pippa wanted her to write. Nicholl still keeps up with her Middleton connections, and I believe she also has sources within Kensington Palace’s staff operations too. All of which makes The New Royals very carefully written and, as I said, lukewarm. There’s also a lot of “the Queen thought this” and “the Queen didn’t understand that,” all from fussy old biddies who clutch their kerchiefs when a divorced woman comes into the room. Some highlights from the Daily Mail excerpt of The New Royals:

Kate hated Meghan on sight: There had been persistent rumours about tension between the Sussexes and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as Kate and William were then styled, from the earliest days of Harry’s relationship with Meghan. Harry had hoped that his sister- in-law, Kate, would show Meghan the way, that the two women would become friends. It seems, however, there was a coolness between them from the off – a ‘personality clash’ was how it was put to me by someone close to the Princess of Wales. Harry’s complaint was still more personal: that he didn’t truly have the endorsement he really craved from his brother and Kate, the ‘sister [he’d] always wanted’, as a source put it. William did have concerns, in fact – not least that his brother’s relationship with Meghan had progressed too quickly.

William “had reservations” about Meghan: ‘It’s probably a bit strong to say he didn’t like Meghan from the start, but William had reservations,’ confides one of the Prince’s oldest friends. ‘He was obviously happy for Harry but he was also cautious, as he always is about people getting close very quickly to his family.’

Queen Elizabeth hated Meghan’s white wedding gown: The wedding day was a great success, although the Queen had reservations about the pure white of Meghan’s Givenchy dress, designed by Clare Waight Keller. According to a source: ‘The Queen was surprised that Meghan wore pure white on her wedding day. Perhaps it’s a generational thing, but she believes if you’ve been married before, you wear off-white on your wedding day, which is what the Duchess of Cornwall did.’

The royal fast track: So anxious was the Queen to include her new daughter-in-law, in fact, that she put Meghan on a Royal ‘fast track’, granting her the patronages of the National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, which she had held herself for 45 years and 33 years respectively. It amounted to a very public endorsement. In March 2019, she elevated the Duchess still further, appointing her vice president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust to work alongside Harry, who was already serving as its president.

Jealous Peggington: These were plum roles for the Sussexes, so significant they made William ‘slightly jealous’, according to one source. ‘[The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust job] was a role William had rather fancied for himself,’ said the insider.

Frogmore Cottage: When Harry and Meghan announced their wish to move out of Kensington Palace, the Queen offered them Frogmore Cottage in Windsor Great Park as their new home. This was not the suite of apartments at Windsor Castle they had hoped for. It was a generous gesture nonetheless, recalled Lady Elizabeth Anson, who died in 2020. ‘The cottage was a big deal,’ she said. ‘The Queen’s entrance into the gardens is right next to their cottage. It is essentially her back yard, her solitude, and her privacy. She was giving that up in gifting Harry and Meghan Frogmore Cottage. We all thought it was very big of her. She said, ‘I hope they’ll respect it.’ ‘

[From The Daily Mail]

What’s funny about the “William had reservations” conversation is that William and Kate have always wanted to have it both ways – they want to say that they gave Meghan an honest-to-God “chance” and that Meghan ruined it and they also want credit for knowing immediately that Meghan wouldn’t “work out” as part of the family, therefore they were completely justified in treating her like sh-t from the word go. Pick one, it can’t be both. The “reservations” conversation is also about William’s racism and how he was likely the one telling Harry not to get serious about Meghan because of what their children would look like.

As for the stuff about the wedding gown… God knows. QEII’s generation was like that, so it wouldn’t surprise me if she had thoughts. It should be said that Camilla did NOT wear off-white to her second wedding though, she wore a crisp white dress and coat to the civil service, then she changed into a pale grey-blue and gold ensemble for the wedding service at Windsor Castle. When Nicholl gets details like that wrong, it makes you think, huh.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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Nicholl: Prince William & Kate’s royal ambition is ‘to be new Elizabethans’

Katie Nicholl’s The New Royals features a lot of embiggening for the new Prince and Princess of Wales. You’d almost think that Nicholl was simply publishing the talking points she had been issued from Middleton Manor and Kensington Palace. In some new excerpts published by the Daily Mail, Nicholl – hold on, I’m laughing as I type this – writes about how Prince William and Kate are the “new Elizabethans” and they’re also leaning into their star-power and glamour, as evidenced by Kate’s 40th birthday portraits. LMAO. Some highlights:

The long game: The Princess of Wales, meanwhile, has notably grown into her role. Rebecca Priestley, her private secretary for six years, told the Daily Mail that Kate ‘knows every decision is for the rest of her life, everything is for the long game’, and Kate’s playing it accordingly.

Kate’s 40th birthday portraits. The images were confident, bold even. It’s no overstatement to say they heralded a new age of Kate. Taken by Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi, they showed Kate in two Alexander McQueen frocks and in jewellery from both the Queen’s and Diana’s collections. It was a significant contrast to her debut on Vogue’s cover in 2016, when she was dressed in a brown country coat and a green fedora. William had been wary about her doing things that could be seen as too showy. At that time, he didn’t want her to do anything that might be compared to the famously sexy yet sophisticated portraits of his mother by Mario Testino.

William has mellowed about Kate’s consumption glamour: A former aide says: ‘William has always been very firm that his role is about duty, not celebrity, but he recognises in today’s world that he and Kate can use their global profile as there is a huge amount of interest in them. There is always something meaningful behind a red-carpet moment.’

This is what they’re teaching their kids? That is the point for the Prince and Princess of Wales, and it is what they hope to impress on their children. The family already has a unique global platform, and following the departure of the Sussexes, they no longer have to share it.

The New Elizabethans: ‘[William] certainly models himself on the Queen’s sense of duty,’ says one of his long-standing former aides. ‘There are also elements of his father’s duty that he takes into close consideration, but the values he most looks up to are his grandmother’s. ‘He knows that the institution has to be genuine, it has to be authentic, relatable, and really make a difference to people’s lives.’ That’s their Royal ambition: to be new Elizabethans. The monarchy is theirs to fashion as they see fit.

The Wales kids in the spotlight: ‘We’ve seen the children performing in front of the cameras in a way that cannot have been part of the original plan,’ observes Royal historian Robert Lacey. ‘We know that William and Kate want to bring up their children in relative seclusion and privacy, but the children have had to become a prominent part of the show.’

When Meghan was the star of that ‘Fab Four’ talk for the Royal Foundation: Nicholl claims Meghan’s first public appearance as a board member of the Foundation was a ‘wake-up call’ for Kate and William. She quoted a source who said: ‘That was a wake-up moment for William and Kate when they realised that Meghan was very impressive, very confident and very capable.’

[From The Daily Mail]

“He didn’t want her to do anything that might be compared to the famously sexy yet sophisticated portraits of his mother by Mario Testino…” I mean, it would have been hilarious for Kate to try to copykeen Diana’s gorgeous Testino portraits but Kate, as we know, doesn’t have the range. Her range is “happy when QEII dies” to “OMG buttons” to “Victorian nanny.” Speaking of, that’s always been Kate’s default – not glamour, not glitz, but Victorian and dated. Her default is to copy someone else, even if that someone lived 120 years ago.

As for the kids… again, people act like William and Kate *have* to bring their kids out, like they’re being forced to exploit their children. It’s William and Kate’s choice to hide behind their kids. This is also curious: “It is what they hope to impress on their children. The family already has a unique global platform, and following the departure of the Sussexes, they no longer have to share it.” Ah, yes. William and Kate ran a destructive hate campaign on Harry and Meghan so that they could teach their children the valuable lesson of not sharing a spotlight.

Photos courtesy of Kensington Palace, Avalon Red, Cover Images.