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Why we demand Kate’s sacrifice She is punished for refusing to play the game

(Kensington Palace)


March 25, 2024   6 mins

Since the Princess of Wales withdrew from public life in January for planned abdominal surgery, her continued absence and relative Palace silence have prompted a frenzy of ever more deranged internet speculation. As the legacy press vacillated between fawning and the usual barely-disguised rubbernecking, the internet (and international coverage) went bananas.

Is William in fact a serial cheater? Has Kate left him? A clumsily edited family photo poured petrol on an already roaring bin-fire: perhaps in fact Kate is in a coma or even dead? Not even her announcement, via video, that she has cancer has convinced the internet that she is alive and well. Instead, the recording has been picked over for signs of AI fakery, and dissected by doctors on CNN. Someone deepfaked Meghan Markle making the same announcement, to prove it can be done. And even those willing to consider the possibility it is real have seized on the announcement for another round of Covid vaccination discourse, optionally seasoned with 5G and chemtrails.

A great deal of online response to the cancer announcement has assumed a public right to know. Fox News applauded her “new transparency”; others, meanwhile, complained at the lack of openness. Why couldn’t they be honest with the public about Kate’s illness? Why did they have to lie?

Behind all these complaints lurks the Royals’ ambivalent stance on a core aspect of contemporary culture: the co-dependent relationship between digital celebrities and their audiences. If the Prince and Princess of Wales seem paradoxically under fire today, at the very moment you’d expect them to elicit maximum public sympathy, it’s because their actions reveal them to be at best grudging participants in this world. The escalating madness of the Kate truthers is, in other words, a punishment for her own clear lack of interest in playing the influencer game.

If we have developed a co-dependent relationship with celebrities, it is a byproduct of our revealed preference for loneliness. Notwithstanding post-liberal nostalgia about bygone times of rootedness and thick interpersonal connections, if that’s how we wanted to live we would still be doing it. We may lament the modern condition of pervasive atomisation, and worry about the one in five under-35s who has one or no close friends. But at some level, we have made a collective decision to abandon the neighbour surveillance and moral policing characteristic of more rooted life, in favour of relative isolation and, with it, relative freedom.

That is: it’s nice to be known, but also nice to be anonymous enough to do your own thing. This poses a problem, though, for those people (often, though not always, women) whose preferred topic of conversation is mutual acquaintances. For this demographic, celebrity culture has long provided a common set of “characters” for gossip, in a society where the default is not knowing much at all about your coworkers and everyday acquaintances.

If this were true even in the mass-media age, it has grown still more so in the social media one. William’s mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, was ahead of her time in grasping both the symbiotic nature of this celebrity ecosystem, and also the way digital culture would transform it from a one-way to a two-way street.

In the Nineties era of Peak Diana, fame was still mediated by the legacy press: the one-to-many broadcast formats such as TV and newspapers. Despite this, Diana had an uncanny ability to sense her audience’s projections, and play to those longings, in a come-here-no-go-away relationship that presciently anticipated influencer culture. Since then, with the shift from broadcast to digital media, this has become explicit: social media optimises for building fame on the basis of interacting with and seeking and validation from strangers, via “parasocial relationships” that afford a synthetic sense of intimacy for audiences, combined with a sometimes powerful mechanism for speaking back to the celebrity. When it’s reported that Taylor Swift ended her relationship with Matty Healy partly because her fans disliked him, the two-way quality of this relationship is clear.

As this form of social engagement has grown more popular, so it has paralleled (and probably driven) a weakening of real-world interconnections. Already in 2013, studies were showing how online life depletes real-world socialising and interconnection. And this accelerated wildly when, in 2020, Covid lockdowns tipped public culture from physical-first to digital-first, forcing almost all of our common life online and sharply constraining our freedom to associate in the real world. Evidence suggests our real-world social lives still haven’t recovered. Unsurprisingly, amid the tatters of social fabric that survived that time, our craving for synthetic gossip has intensified.

“Amid the tatters of social fabric that survived that time, our craving for synthetic gossip has intensified.”

As parasocial fame culture has devoured public life, creators in the medium share increasingly grotesquely personal material, feeding a race to the bottom in “pornography of the self”. Those adept at surviving the pressures of this world can reap considerable financial rewards: think of the Kardashians, for example. But it’s a double-edged sword. If Diana’s life anticipated influencer culture, her death was an equally prophetic warning about the Faustian nature of the dynamic, and the often punitive consequences of embracing symbiosis with an audience.

Pity the influencer, for example, whose private life falls out of kilter with their public persona: take the outrage occasioned by Oprah Winfrey when, after serving as a public face for Weight Watchers since 2015, she revealed she has been using the weight-loss drug Ozempic to manage her figure. And worse punishment still attends those influencers who allow the illusion of intimacy to slip in other ways. When Jordan Cheyenne accidentally published a video of herself in 2021 entreating her toddler to cry for the camera, the blowback she received was less for exposing her family life to the public, than for ruining the illusion of access to her real, unfiltered life.

Like Diana, then, or her other son Harry, many public figures today both invite the public gaze while also making a show of protesting at its intensity, not to mention its dark side. And especially in the United States, many now view highprofile royals merely as a subset of celebrity culture. So is the Royal Family really a legitimate feeding-ground for the content machine? Is baring all for the camera the right thing to do? Perhaps the role of constitutional monarchy is so depleted today that they might as well embrace their fate as regular celebrities.

Against this, we might argue that royalty is the precise inverse of fame, and its aura long precedes the modern fame engine. Certainly, monarchs have long understood the importance of visibility — but also of mystery. Elizabeth I deliberately made a meme of herself, travelling her kingdom on an annual Queen’s Progress surrounded by emblems that created a dazzling sense of her omnipresence. Elizabeth II also understood the importance of royal appearances, declaring: “I have to be seen to be believed.”

In modern times, too, the Royal Family has acceded to — arguably even embraced — a measure of symbiosis with at least the legacy press. Until recently, though, Britain’s relatively fierce libel laws plus the threat of exclusion from the Royal Rota system controlled legacy press reporting. But the globalisation and digitisation of the news cycle has seen Royal coverage from the wilder US media landscape routinely bleed into the UK, creating a dissonance that has fuelled the digital madness. And as the digital Eye of Horus has grown ever more international, Charles III has signalled a need for clear limits to visibility, insisting on screening the most sacred part of his coronation.

The mix we see from the Prince and Princess of Wales is carefully controlled public appearances combined with near-total lack of personal disclosure. It suggests they too grasp this tradition, and share Charles’s prudent resistance to baring all for their immense would-be online fandom. I don’t blame them for this, especially at a time of family illness when all but the most unhinged internet truthers must surely accept that they have more than enough on their plate. But their reticence about Kate’s illness has occasioned not sympathy, so much as a lunatic mix of hostility and conspiracy theories.

Even the lack of information on Kate’s whereabouts has merely fed into a vast alternate reality game, in which the humanity of its notional subjects comes a distant second to the pleasure of participating in a huge whodunnit. Why? I suspect that this is because their refusal to seek social-media validation reveals something uncomfortable about how dependent most of us now are on parasocial connection.

The Waleses, that is, have spurned the public twice over. Firstly, by refusing to give of themselves, as gossip-substitutes for an atomised population who would hate village life if they tried it but who still crave the social lubricant of village gossip. And secondly, in declaring through their actions that they themselves still have a real-world community to turn to in times of trouble, and as such have no need of validation from internet strangers.

That is, in withdrawing from public life to weather illness in the family among friends and family, they have stated clearly that, unlike much of their would-be fanbase, they still have a (figurative) real-world village. They have exposed the bottomless pit of collective loneliness and need that underlies the gossip industry — while flaunting their own lack of dependence on its synthetic digital replacement.

No wonder the rumours have grown ever more vengeful in tone. For a growing proportion of the population, the internet is real life now, and those parasocial connections are the real connections. The message is clear: Kate must volunteer herself willingly for sacrifice on the altar of fandom. And if she doesn’t, she’ll be offered up against her will, as punishment for not being lonely enough.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

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Arthur King
Arthur King
3 months ago

My prayers are for a speedy recovery for the Princess of Wales.

Sayantani G
Sayantani G
3 months ago

A very good article. I wish the Princess a speedy recovery. When even local vernacular media in my part of the world started churning out endless speculative clickbait about her and the state of the royal marriage etc it was very annoying. Not to mention the horrific extent to which some YouTube content creators went in similar speculation.
Perhaps some of the problem goes back to the breakup of the Royal marriages in the 1990s?
And the recent Netflix series of the Crown?
Such constant intrusions into personal space are truly a huge price to pay for the Royal family of the UK. A celebrity culture driven media; as well as the cult of ” wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve” are some of the malevolent effects of today’s global sub- culture of saying too much at all times invoking the ” openness” Gods…

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 months ago

I haven’t seen much at all of the conspiracy theories, rather just speculation about her health which is hardly a conspiracy theory, in fact it was just theory that turned it to be true. Hopefully she recovers well.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 months ago

The hysteria tells us far more about the people freaking out than it does about any of the Royals.
If anything, their “refusal to play the game” has made the Waleses more likeable to to me. I admire Catherine for sticking to what she thinks is right for her in this difficult situation and only sharing what she thinks she, as a public figure, really owes the public. I think it shows courage and backbone. And those are qualities to which people should aspire, rather than oversharing every last superficial detail of one’s life for clicks and likes.
The public have come to expect the Royals to bend to their will and fancy to maintain their popularity the last few years; now Catherine – having earned people’s respect and done her job faithfully and well for years – has turned the tables and is demanding something of the public, setting an example.
Jolly good for her – through her quiet constancy, she’s become quite a powerful figure.
I wish her and her family all the very best.

AC Harper
AC Harper
3 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

“The media have come to expect Celebrities to bend to their will and fancy to maintain their popularity the last few years.”
There, I’ve generalised your statement. It becomes even more telling when some of those celebrities are politicians. Government by headlines… and headlines are often disproportionate and made up.
I blame Tony Blair for boosting the death of Princess Diana circus, although he only seized a ready opportunity.

Brian Matthews
Brian Matthews
3 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

> If anything, their “refusal to play the game” has made the Waleses more likeable to to me.

Totally agree.

Andrew S. Green
Andrew S. Green
3 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

“I think it shows courage and backbone. And those are qualities to which people should aspire, rather than oversharing every last superficial detail of one’s life for clicks and likes.”
A lesson many would do well to absorb.

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
3 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Absolutely.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
3 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Refusal to play the game? Qualities to which people should aspire? Really?
Has everyone already forgotten why the outrage and theorizing happened. It’s because Kate or the Palace or both engaged in a deliberate conspiracy to deceive the public. You know, the people who fund their lifestyles and who they are supposed to in some sense inspire and represent.
And she did it by … influencing on Instagram. The very heart of “playing the game”.
This thread is full of people expressing sympathy for Kate’s plight. It’s absolutely right to sympathize, but sympathy does not justify conspiracy.
Especially because she could have just posted nothing. That would have been fine! She would have eventually announced what was going on and had absolute sympathy from everyone. But that wasn’t the decision she/they made: instead the Palace attempted to manipulate their own subjects into believing something false. Without a doubt the truth is now out only because they realized, far too late, that the people they were trying to influence are far smarter than they are.
There is absolutely nothing in this sorry saga that can be described as “refusing to play the game” or “qualities to which people should aspire”, sorry. People should aspire to be honest, even when being honest is hard, and especially when saying anything at all is entirely optional. It’s tragic but the Royal Family has catastrophically damaged its reputation – the fact that the motives were understandable doesn’t change that.

Alison R Tyler
Alison R Tyler
3 months ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Who are you to demand what you want from people in public life?

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
3 months ago
Reply to  Alison R Tyler

I never demanded anything specific from her and didn’t care about the Royals at all until this point. I do demand that if they speak to the public that the royals are honest. This isn’t difficult or unreasonable.

It is absurd that people on this thread (almost all women it seems!) are rallying to Kate’s defence. Do you not care about good behaviour from the government at all? She tried to trick the public and failed. Having cancer doesn’t justify that. She could have just been honest and everyone would have been fine with it. Or she and William could abdicate and live down to whatever standards they want.

Annie Fellows
Annie Fellows
3 months ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

As tax payers we all ‘fund’ anyone whose wages are paid by the government. NHS workers, civil servants, the military to name a few. That does not give us a right to invade their private lives

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
3 months ago
Reply to  Annie Fellows

We didn’t invade their private lives. They chose, voluntarily, to post false images of their own public lives on Instagram. They could have continued to do nothing.

Alison R Tyler
Alison R Tyler
3 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I wish more people would follow her example. The vacuous nature of social media discourse is unsatisfying and not nurturing, nor edifying and life enhancing. Real people warts and all are more engaging to build communities and thus lives with.
All good wishes for happy life.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
3 months ago

Excellent article and a very persuasive thesis re the two paradigms of ‘village life’. I will stop complaining about the barrage of ‘support’ for ‘Kate’s bravery’.

Neiltoo .
Neiltoo .
3 months ago

Common decency is extinct and the narcissists are in control.

RM Parker
RM Parker
3 months ago

Astutely observed by Mary, as usual. The “very online” can’t abide that anyone might not want to participate in their little games: it is incompatible with their world view that anyone wouldn’t wish to be dissected for public entertainment.
So we are treated to the resulting tantrum: to borrow from Oscar Wilde, “the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass”. They simply can’t handle that some people are above this sort of tosh.
Meanwhile, along with all other adults, I wish the princess and her family all the best and hope for a full and speedy recovery.

Arkadian Arkadian
Arkadian Arkadian
3 months ago

As usual, a very good article.
One pedantic question, is “Waleses” (formerly known as “Cambridges”) actually a word? Like with the “Sussexes” you treat the title like it was a surname.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
3 months ago

Well, Gollum says “Bagginses”. I’m not sure about his status as a grammatical authority, but if it’s good enough for Gollum, it’s good enough for me.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
3 months ago

At least there’s no apostrophe. 🙂

Arkadian Arkadian
Arkadian Arkadian
3 months ago

There is that I suppose 😀

Harry Child
Harry Child
3 months ago

Can Unherd stop underlining some part of its sentences? It is uneccessary and detracts from arguments being made by the journalist.

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
3 months ago
Reply to  Harry Child

The hyperlinks? They support and enlarge the arguments.

Xopollo Linerty
Xopollo Linerty
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Smith

.

jim peden
jim peden
3 months ago
Reply to  Harry Child

I think you may have a point but most people nowadays have become used to this and don’t even notice it any more. The default style for hyperlinks is usually an underline. It’s technically easy to change that style, though. Unfortunately it would require an option to be offered to article readers to choose a new style – so some programming.

Xopollo Linerty
Xopollo Linerty
3 months ago
Reply to  Harry Child

I will go further 🙂 — tap on the underlined phrase… see what happens….

John Galt Was Correct
John Galt Was Correct
3 months ago

The entire obsession is unhinged, even by the Trumpton standards of contemporary Little Britain.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
3 months ago

I always thought Pugh (the second one) and Dibble especially, were completely unhinged.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
3 months ago

Our previous Monarch managed the media masterfully, although she became a hate figure on a few occasions, she always turned it around with her consistency and self respect. The Royals should continue to follow her example rather than looking to Diana. My suspicion is that Diana’s untimely death saved her reputation, had she lived longer, she may have found herself looking as foolish as her youngest currently looks.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago

Excellent article.
Though not entirely convinced by this:
“an atomised population who would hate village life if they tried it”
You don’t know until you’ve tried it. Sadly, very few will have the chance to find out if they do.
Social media – the globalisation of village gossip ?

William Cameron
William Cameron
3 months ago

We dont allow bad people to have firearms. So why do we let them use social media to hurt people ?

Carol Moore
Carol Moore
3 months ago

The internet – despite its tremendous value in so many ways- also fosters the worst of ‘gossip village culture’ where spite and jealousy flourishes. It isn’t just online that nastiness breeds. The traditional village culture has its share of malice.

William Amos
William Amos
3 months ago

A good companion piece to this article and meditations on Royal visibility in general is the speech of Henry IV to Prince Hal in Shakespeare’s Henry IV part one, Act 3 Scene 2.
The paradox of ubiquity and rarity, accesibility and isolation, affection and fear (in the old sense of the word)
“Thus did I keep my person fresh and new;
My presence, like a robe pontifical,
Ne’er seen but wonder’d at: and so my state,
Seldom but sumptuous, showed like a feast
And won by rareness such solemnity.”

Richard Abbot
Richard Abbot
3 months ago

The most disturbing aspect of this, for me, was the speed at which the media ‘raised the alarm’ at the poorly edited photos. This speaks to a widespread and deep rooted animus to Kate among Markle-aligned sections of society. They hate Kate because she is clearly so popular, but it isn’t really about her. We are watching an attack on the British Royal Family in real time. Sadly Kate is today’s collateral damage, but undoubtedly there will be more.

Philip K
Philip K
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard Abbot

To me, it’s all about money. The alarm was raised over the photos as payback because Kate, a good photographer, does not use the media agencies (with their commission cut) to distribute photos. And the YouTube creators need clickbait to justify their advertising revenue.

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
3 months ago

This is a remarkably — a stunningly — insightful explanation for the Kate madness.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
3 months ago

Another very insightful essay from Harrington; uncomfortably so. Just what the doctor ordered!
But this one exhibits a flaw that’s all too common these days. It’s exclusively focused on the segment of the populace who are always online, who took a deep dive years ago and never resurfaced. Most of us aren’t like that.
So even though I spend far too much time watching YouTube (history documentaries, gardening shows, foreign cooking shows, etc.), I haven’t actually seen any of the conspiratorial silliness. I read a bit about the photo controversy, but there didn’t seem to be anything there.
And I think that most people I know are just like me in this way. We’re a large cohort who’s opinions aren’t even imagined, much less addressed.
But, regardless; kudos to Mary for the “village life” metaphor. Very astute.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
3 months ago

See Agatha Christy for the evil found in village life.

Xopollo Linerty
Xopollo Linerty
3 months ago

Puplic is not entitled to the details of anyone’s health, least that of the Royals. Surgery? — fine. Not even “abdominal” needed to announced. And maybe not even “surgery”. Respect for privacy. Common decency. Why does one have to apologize and beg for privacy when not well?

Timothy Baker
Timothy Baker
3 months ago

A young mother of three children has surgery and then needs treatment for cancer. Whoever she is she deserves compassion and privacy. Any young mother, where ever she lives. Just leave her alone and give her time to heal.

William Amos
William Amos
3 months ago

They have exposed the bottomless pit of collective loneliness and need that underlies the gossip industry…..

No wonder the rumours have grown ever more vengeful in tone. For a growing proportion of the population, the internet is real life now, and those parasocial connections are the real connections.

Indeed, this is a very true word spoken.
It also goes some way to explaining the strained and manic quality that adheres to popular participation in foreign affairs and political protests. It’s all some people have.
People who don’t know the names of their own next-door neighbours or their local councillors but can name US Supreme Court Judges and Palestinian activists. That is their substitute for true fellowship and neighbourliness – good and bad.

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 months ago

What a brilliant article.

Susie Bell
Susie Bell
3 months ago

I thank God most days that I live in a community of actual people and I have never heard of most of the names mentioned as celebrated.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
3 months ago

“It’s none of your business” must be said more frequently and firmly.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
3 months ago

I suppose if disease actually claims Kate’s life she can then join James Dean as worthy of sympathy. Or, better, Joan of Arc: “Must a Christ perish in torment in every age, to save those that have no imagination?” (George Bernard Shaw)

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
3 months ago

“…at some level, we have made a collective decision to abandon the neighbour surveillance and moral policing characteristic of more rooted life, in favour of relative isolation and, with it, relative freedom…”

This, for me, is the central insight of the article. Not everyone behaves identically and there are clearly generational divides and so on, but we as humanity are heading towards varieties of atomisation because *we want to*. Nobody is forcing our hand, no one is saying stare continually into your phone, into digitally created socialisations, but that is what we do. And the implication is equally clear, distasteful as it may be to many: we are doing this because we have found what we deem to be better – we *want* technology mediated isolation which allows us to control *exactly* the extent of our interaction with other humans. If you don’t believe me, imagine asking an ordinary Indian housewife in a lower middle class household, circa 1930, if she wants the micro police-state of the extended family she has somehow found herself trapped within. Well, she might be conflicted on a host of issues – children of course (as in the pressure of millions of years of evolutionary-biological programming playing a continual drumbeat through your brain and body), and livelihood, and money, and the possibility of destitution, and familial obligations, and the sometimes genuine carmadarie of collective living, and the millstone of culturally induced norms, and so on. But I bet you, if offered the chance to escape all that cost free, and make a path out in the world on her terms, she would tear your arm off. Well, the western societies now offer that, via escape into any number of not-real, virtual, societies. Why be surprised that most people will take that?

Sayantani G
Sayantani G
3 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Prashant, that may well be the case in the West but here in many parts of the non- West, our societal strength still lies in that ( much milder version) of the “micro- police state” of the extended family. For all it’s command and control structures it still gives old people a choice to be looked after by their own family. And a support system in times of acute difficulties of emotional or other kinds of distress.
And technology need not necessarily be a tool for ” isolation ” but a mode of bringing families closer. For instance many of us forced for employment reasons to be far away from our home towns find solace in the ability of social media and smartphones etc to keep us well connected across distances with our kith and kin.
Why should virtual society be a natural lead into atomisation and isolationism instead of being there to connect with both family and friends?

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
3 months ago
Reply to  Sayantani G

“…For all it’s command and control structures it still gives old people a choice to be looked after by their own family…”

Well, yes… and no.
I recommend, watching Pather Panchali (1955, Satyajit Ray). In fact I suggest watching the whole trilogy – it shines an unblinking light on the toughness of rural life in poverty, coming into contact with modernity, the inexorable march of urbanisation in the Indian context. And not least, the young Sharmila Tagore, before her fame, in the last movie. But in the the first movie is the fate of Indir Thakrun, the old aunt, which sent shivers down my spine when I saw the movie.

Sayantani G
Sayantani G
3 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

That was 1953! PP! And the other one is Devi set in the 1930s!
I am talking of the late 20th century. In that vein have a watch of Rituparno Ghosh’s “Utsab” and even Satyajit Ray’s ” Shakha Proshaka” and ” Agantuk”.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
3 months ago

Just sometimes I wish that there could be something like a solar flare that takes out all the social media and forces all the influencers and their followers “to get a life “. How would they cope if they were back with the technology of the 1950s?

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
3 months ago

Screw the media, the vacuous talking heads and hairdos, and really everyone else. I don’t care for Charles at all, but this Lady deserves privacy and compassion. Piss off to everything else.

Simon
Simon
3 months ago

Mary, what a brilliant piece of interpretation you have produced. It saddens me to think that you are correct in this analysis.

Debra Maddrell
Debra Maddrell
3 months ago

Good grief. Try to imagine what it must be like to have the entire world goggling over your family’s suffering. Leave them alone.

Damon Hager
Damon Hager
3 months ago
Reply to  Debra Maddrell

Sad, sleb-obsessed loonies don’t do “leaving people alone”, unfortunately.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago

There is really only one comment that should concern us.
How did she get a doctor’s appointment?

leonard o'reilly
leonard o'reilly
3 months ago

Not my usual thing, but I watched the video of Kate Middleton. The words wan, poised, and genuine came to mind. Admiration is what I feel.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago

Why we demand Kate’s sacrificeShe is punished for refusing to play the game
Well, at least it keeps journos like you in a job, Mary. Time to stop making excuses for the media circus that creates all of this. I don’t demand anything of Kate. The 32% of the country that supports a republic wouldn’t either. The 21% who are undecided about the monarchy are unlikely to. Even a proportion of the 45% of the country who support the monarchy probably don’t demand it of her.
This is YOUR media game. It keeps you, other journos, newspapers and broadcasters in the public eye and is a source of income.

Nicholas Taylor
Nicholas Taylor
3 months ago

Et tu Mary? I can largely echo Katherine Eyre’s first sentence, but the Royals have laid themselves open to this relentless tabloid teacup-storm, lapped up (the tea that is) by people who presumably have nothing better to occupy them, apparently a peculiarly British phenomenon. The King rightly represents The People as a reminder to Parliament that while it may be sovereign it is not beyond moral scrutiny, but the rest would do well to quietly disappear, as they have in most other European ex-monarchies.