Kate Middleton has been mocked as a social climber by the same British press that has “sinked to new lows” over Meghan Markle and race, according to Tina Brown.
The new biography of the former editor of the magazine Palace papersreleased on April 26, shows how every high-profile modern-day royal bride has faced media wrath.
Meghan acknowledged in her interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021 how other royal women had suffered rudeness, but suggested her own treatment was different because it was racist.
However, Brown points out how some of the hostile coverage of Kate and the Middleton family spoke about their social background and class.
She wrote: “No one knew better than Harry what the British press was capable of. He had seen it all, from the primordial trauma of his mother’s final hours to the brutal invasions of the privacy of his former girlfriends, and the monster of every woman in the royal family except the queen.
“Kate had been tormented by class and her mother’s social climbing and Party Pieces business – ‘Mail Order Bride,’ sneered one columnist. The banter didn’t end after the wedding either. She was regularly described as a placid non-entity.
“It was perhaps inevitable that the same malevolent scribes who had despised the class and appearance of other royal women would lash out at Meghan on the run, virtually throwing her back as they lowered themselves to new hollow.”
The book quotes hall of wolves conference by author Hilary Mantel for the London book review which described Kate as being “as painfully thin as anyone could wish, with no quirks, no quirks, no risk of character emergence”.
However, Kate and her sister Pippa Matthews have also been portrayed as too middle class to pass into aristocratic circles.
Other examples not listed in Palace papers include an anonymous source citation in The daily mail in 2007, which read, “Kate and Pippa have already been dubbed The Wisteria Sisters – they’re highly decorative, terrifically scented, and have a fierce climbing ability.”
A title from June 2008 in The Sunday Mailthe same newspaper Meghan would later sue read: ‘Queen: Kate should get a good job before Prince William announces their engagement.’
The article suggested it could damage Prince William’s public image if Kate does not establish herself in a career, and quoted an unnamed palace aide discussing ‘what is being called the Kate problem’.
Brown describes how Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Andrew’s former wife Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, were also the subject of negative media coverage.
She wrote: “With Sarah Ferguson, the ‘Pig Duchess’, the tabloid sharks were ruthless about her weight. Camilla Parker Bowles was vilified as ugly and old with such frequency she began signing her letters to Charles ‘your devoted old bag.'”
The book cites an interview Camilla gave on her 70th birthday in which she said, “I wouldn’t want to put my worst enemy through that.”
Meghan told Oprah: “Kate was called Waity Katie, waiting to marry William. Although I imagine it was really difficult, and I do, I can’t imagine what it was like, it wasn’t. is not the same thing.
“And if a family member can easily say that we’ve all had to deal with some rude things. Rudeness and racism are not the same.”
However, Prince Harry framed some of the larger discussion about Meghan that was not race-related in terms that went beyond being rude.
The Duke of Sussex said during a roundtable for Wired in November 2021: “Maybe people know it and maybe they don’t know it, but the term Megxit was or is a misogynistic term, and it was created by a troll, amplified by royal correspondents , and it grew and grew and became mainstream media . But it started with a troll.”
The couple’s Oprah interview was strong in its condemnation of Meghan’s treatment at the hands of the media, but overlooked how criticism of other royal women has sometimes gone beyond rudeness to talk about other issues of social justice, including social class and sexism.
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