On September 1st, The Daily Mail Online ran an article proclaiming Malta giddy with anticipation over Kate Middleton’s scheduled two-day tour on the 20th and 21st of September.
The reporter, Harry Mount, declared, “Already the island has gone Kate-crazy. People could talk of little else as I traveled around Malta and its neighbour, Gaza.”
I found that Daily Mail claim interesting because the majority of the comments I’ve heard from Malta residents about Kate’s upcoming tour fell somewhere on the spectrum between indifferent and annoyed. Which honestly makes sense, Malta is celebrating 50 years of independence, why would they be particularly excited about honoring a representative of a monarchy from which they fought to sever ties? Sure, Queen Elizabeth II is a respected international figure and had some happy WWII marriage memories there, but perhaps instead of her sending a woman with a track record of flashing her lady parts on foreign soil, Her Majesty could send Malta an Edible Arrangements Fruit Bouquet with a card that reads something like, “Congrats on cutting ties with us! I keep trying to “accidentally” lose certain members of my family on hunts, you really must share your secret on how you successfully got rid of us, the skinny fidgety commoner has worked my last nerve.” I’m sure the Maltese would appreciate the basket more, especially if Queen Elizabeth springs for the kind that has the fruit dipped in chocolate. Some of the containers they come in are really cute, too.
So where is all this supposed excited buzz about Kate’s visit that the Daily Mail is reporting on? Is the article some overly zealous Buckingham Palace PR Piece dutifully printed by the UK’s not-so-free-press or are Daily Mail reporters now starting to hear voices?
It turns out, Malta is equally mystified over the Daily Mail’s allegations of the island going Kate-crazy. The Times of Malta took to the streets in search of the reported excitement over the Duchess’ visit and unable to find it, concluded, “the reporter might have been a tad overzealous in his assessment…”
While the Daily Mail at best fibbed again about Kate’s alleged popularity, I do know some people who would be excited to see her, her charities: Action on Addiction, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, The Art Room, The National Portrait Gallery, Place2Be, SportsAid and The Natural History Museum. In terms of the charities the press claims are so near and dear to her heart, this year the Duchess of Doolittle has only bothered showing up to an M-Pact event, that laughably “secret charity visit” to EACH “leaked” in June that happened to be captured by AP photographers, and the two photo op events back in February at the National Portrait Gallery and the Art Room.
Here’s a zany idea, but if Kate did actually try to make a positive impact in the world, more people would be genuinely excited about seeing her so the Daily Mail wouldn’t potentially be forced to spin fictional fanfare.
Because of Kate Middleton’s seemingly pathological laziness, the PR puffery currently being employed as a counter-measure only sets her up for a bigger fall. If Kate’s presence doesn’t attract crowds from what appears to be a fictitious Maltese fan base, Kate will be declared incompetent of even being able to manage a short little two-day tour on her own. Such a failure would be an even bigger story for the papers. If by some combination of animatronics, Special FX and genie wishes Kate actually manages to pull off serving as a suitable representative for her country, with all the pre-hype, it will be generally assumed her success was due to her international celebrity that had Malta “Kate-crazy” for weeks, thus requiring no real effort on her part. Ultimately, the only real winner is the press, with the possible exception of the reporter, Harry Mount, if he really thinks he did hear excited Kate-crazy chatter in Malta. If that’s the case, I wish him all the best on his road to recovery.