“To whomever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.” – Luke 12:48
After years of reaping royal benefits, this week the media reminded the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge of their enormous growing bar tab of expectation.
On February 17th, Kate Middleton did her guest stint with the Huffington Post UK. The photos Tweeted by @KensingtonRoyal of the “newsroom” confirmed to me that they were using stuffed animals instead of real dogs and ponies for the Kate is Keen Show.
While the event was geared towards bringing awareness to children’s mental health issues, the inherent flaw in selecting one outlet is representative of the greater issue that the Cambridges mistakenly believe they don’t need the media. Kate’s second event of the year lacked the traditional media fanfare even though she wore a brand new outfit and everything. Above all else, the press is a business so they naturally wouldn’t want to waste a lot of column space plugging their competition.
Many wondered if there would be a complete media black-out.
A Daily Mail article on Kate being papped shopping in pricy designer clothing referenced the Huffington Post event as Kate guest-editing “a website”. While celebrity guest editing isn’t new which Jezebel’s “Kate Middleton Joins the Long, Goofy, Controversial Line of Celebrity Guest Editors” explores, the very fact that Kate is being classified as a celebrity reveals just how royally Kate is missing the mark. Taxpayers don’t fund celebrities’ lives and more is expected of royals than being famous for being famous. As representatives of the UK, royals are supposed to remain politically neutral and avoid the appearance of impropriety by refusing freebies by companies seeking royal product placement…a future Queen Consort aligning herself with one media outlet is tantamount to brand endorsement.
Prince William’s first scheduled engagement of the year on the 16th at the Foreign Office’s Diplomatic Academy seemed to even more blatantly break with the royal neutrality policy when a speech he delivered was widely interpreted as thinly veiled support of remaining within the European Union. As the Daily Mail noted, “he all but named the EU as he referenced international organisations such as the United Nations, Nato and ‘elsewhere’ as institutions that help Britain affirm its ‘commitment to working in partnership with others’. ” The Palace denied any political agenda and pointed out that never once in the speech did Prince William specifically mention the European Union. Sure, and when I refer to the Petulant Prince, I really am talking about any spoiled arrogant balding 33-year-old British heir to the throne with a pathologically lazy wife, two kids and a Cocker Spaniel named Lupo.
On February 17th, The Sun fired a shot at William the Reluctant heard round the world’s media with “Throne Idle: Prince on 1st job of the year… and it’s a disaster”. While many of the points it makes have been discussed here and on other sites like Kate Middleton Review, Kate Middleton: Duchess or Diva, Celebitchy, and Sarah Whalen’s posts on Bayou Buzz, it’s refreshing to see the UK mainstream media dispense with the royal candy coating for a change and exercise some journalistic candor.
The Sun’s journalistic bitch-slap was such a departure from the white glove treatment Prince William normally receives, The Guardian dedicated an article to the article in “The Sun gives both barrels to Prince William”.
On February 18th, Richard Palmer Tweeted that for the RAF Disbandment Parade attended by Prince William and Kate, media access was limited under the guise of space restrictions.
Perhaps the Cambridges were trying to keep out members of the media who might question the “value for the money” of Prince William and Kate who do so few official engagements to begin with taking a helicopter ride from London to Anglesey, Wales to attend the disbandment parade of the now-privatized branch of the Royal Air Force William left in 2013 without meeting his training commitment.
The Daily Mail continued the media pummeling with two new articles questioning the Petulant Prince’s dedication to his royal role with “William the Unwilling: A no-show at the Baftas, only two engagements all year and now even Royal eyebrows are being raised at a Prince who’s gone missing in action” as well as “Patell’s People: Work-shy William has to make a royal choice”.
The quote “to whom much is given, much is expected” comes from The Parable of the Faithful Servant, an eschatological warning in the Gospel of Luke to be prepared for the day of reckoning. How long the monarchy will last remains to be seen, but with the press’ trumpeted judgment of William the Reluctant and the Duchess of Doolittle reaping the royal perks without commensurate return, the British Royal Family might want to figure out the whole Cambridge situation before the last three trumpets ring out. The polo ponies of petulant princes are no match against the apocalyptic horses of a republic.