In support of the RHS Back to Nature Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show, Princess Kate released several photos and a video of her family yesterday, which also happened to be the one year anniversary of House Sussex. And now many of you are asking the question, a question critical to gossip analysis: coincidence or conspiracy? To answer the question, we need the background, the inside baseball on the release of these images.
Kensington Palace issued a heads up to media in the daytime on Sunday that the photos and other assets were incoming. Everything was on strict embargo until 1030pm British time/530pm ET. They do this to give the press time to prepare their stories. In the UK this meant that the papers would be able to work on their Monday morning cover stories – and indeed Prince William and Catherine and their children cover most if not all the newspapers in England today. This way, the reporters and the staff wouldn’t be scrambling overnight to change their front pages. If you consider the time of day – or night, rather – that these Cambridge visuals came out, pretty close to bedtime on a Sunday, in theory, the Cambridges gave the Sussexes the entire day in the UK to have the spotlight for their anniversary.
With the time difference though, well, it may not have played that way in North America. In North America, people had only a few hours to absorb Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s anniversary before new shots of the Cambridge children, including fresh images of adorable Prince Louis waddling around on sturdy legs, hit social media.
He is delicious! He looks like his siblings, his big brother Big G in particular, SO much. I like how unimpressed Louis, like most babies when adults are trying to amuse them, is with this dad in the second shot in the carousel below. Why are you talking to me when you know I can’t answer you? Just give me something to stick in my mouth.
So. Back to the question: coincidence or conspiracy? Are the Cambridges cockblocking the Sussexes or was this simply unavoidable?
I’m choosing here to be generous to Will and Kate because of scheduling. The Chelsea Flower Show happens at the same time every year. The 2018 Chelsea Flower Show ran from May 22 – May 26. The 2019 Chelsea Flower Show is May 21 – May 25 and this year, as she’s just shown us, Kate has designed a garden. The Queen is a big supporter of the Chelsea Flower Show, she attends most years and it’s no secret how much she enjoys it. Her Majesty is scheduled to open the Chelsea Flower Show TONIGHT.
So, really, the way the calendar was set, to properly promote the garden, Will and Kate could only visit the garden with their kids yesterday, release the shots with the embargo lifting at night in the UK, after Harry and Meghan’s anniversary had a full day of spotlight in England, so as to free up more media space for today, when Kate was back at the garden with school kids and other volunteers and supporters, and ahead of Her Majesty’s visit tonight. Otherwise, it would have been too much content to roll out in one day.
Here she is, in a great pair of camel coloured culottes, with white sneakers, at her Back to Nature Garden climbing trees and engaging with the children. I LOVE this look on her.
Here’s a video of Kate speaking at the garden ahead of her visit there with William and the kids yesterday. Note here that the video has been edited to include b-roll of Big G, Charlotte, and Louis playing in the space.
I just wrote about video editing in the post about Meghan and Harry’s anniversary that was posted right before this one. So now the Cambridges too are using video on Instagram, with personal visuals of their family, their kids in particular – or, I should say, “kiddies”, which is how Kate refers to them. It’s casual vocabulary and we’ve heard her use it during walkabouts when she’s speaking to royal well-wishers, but when it’s in written form, and you know this a family with VERY formal written communication, it’s yet another sign that House Cambridge might be easing up, attempting to be more “relatable”, approachable, and stepping up their social media game. This is really good work that we’re seeing here from Kate to promote her garden and the brand of the Cambridge Five, as she and William orbit their children, obviously the main draw that, at the same time, ties back to the goals of the garden initiative with solid links to her other priorities in early childhood development.
So forget the gossip about whether or not the timing of all of this was shady – the calendar gave them no other options – and maybe focus the gossip on the subtle updates to the Cambridges’ social media strategy …and why? Where are they getting the inspiration?
For months, in the UK media, likely with leaks and encouragement from old timey palace courtiers, we’ve heard about how Meghan Markle has disrupted the royal institution, how they’ve worried about her going rogue. And yet here they are, clearly learning some sh-t from the way she’s handled her media, and borrowing some of her moves. Not that those courtiers would ever credit her. Hopefully, behind the scenes, Will and Kate are though? There’s nothing like photos of a happy family frolicking in nature to push aside those rumours of… well… you know.