A ROYAL PAIN: Last month, an angry Duke and Duchess of Sussex vowed they would no longer engage with the British tabloids and other newspapers, which they’ve accused of harassment, while Meghan Markle is in the midst of suing The Mail on Sunday for publishing a private letter she wrote to her father. Over the past year, Harry has complained frequently and bitterly about the British media’s treatment of his family.
Now, it’s the turn of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Lawyers for the young royals have sent a letter to Tatler, the Condé Nast-owned society glossy, contesting the depiction of Kate Middleton in a (mostly) flattering feature called “Catherine the Great.” The story centers on how valuable to the royal family Kate has become, and describes her as the “ultimate power player.”
The letter from the lawyers follows a statement last week from Kensington Palace, which said: “This story contains a swathe of inaccuracies and false misrepresentations which were not put to Kensington Palace prior to publication.”
Penned by Anna Pasternak, author of the 1994 book “Princess in Love,” about Princess Diana’s long-standing affair with Captain James Hewitt, the Tatler story quotes anonymous sources and does not include an interview with Kate herself.
It is mildly snarky about the Middleton family (nothing the public hasn’t read before) and takes a few jabs at the duchess about her weight, her alleged inscrutability, and how she’s supposedly angry about all of the extra duties she has to undertake now that Harry and Meghan have scrapped their crowns and moved to Los Angeles.
Quoting a friend of the duchess, the article says: “‘Kate is furious about the larger workload. Of course, she’s smiling and dressing appropriately but she doesn’t want this. She feels exhausted and trapped. She’s working as hard as a top chief executive officer, who has to be wheeled out all the time, without the benefits of boundaries and plenty of holidays.’”
Yet Pasternak is also quick to compare Kate’s strength, stamina and forbearance to that of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who was beloved by the Brits until she died in 2002, aged 101.
In the story, Pasternak argues that beneath Kate’s “yummy-mummy exterior” there may well be a spine of steel, and quotes a source as saying that the duchess “‘has a ruthless survival streak, just like the House of Windsor. It’s why she is so well suited. She keeps her head down because the prize of being queen is so great. She models herself on the Queen and now speaks like the Queen.’”
The Mail on Sunday broke the story of the legal correspondence, and Tatler confirmed on Monday it had received the lawyers’ letter. Emily Hallie, a spokeswoman for Tatler, said the magazine believes the letter “has no merit,” and confirmed that no lawsuit had been filed.