The G7 Summit is happening in the UK today and leaders of all seven member countries posed for a photo by the sea and I have a question about standing.
Since I’m Canadian, my eyes go first to the Prime Minister of my country, Justin Trudeau, and you’ll note he’s standing with his feet apart, like probably the farthest apart, but all the other leaders also have their feet separate, to varying degrees, but there’s no one who has their feet together. Which, I know, the dude thing and their manspreading but have they ever stopped to think that it doesn’t actually look good? I know these people have more important things to think about than what sh-t looks like but, at the same time, with this cohort in particular, it’s not like there’s no such thing as a power pose. Isn’t that why men stand with their feet apart anyway? And I guess women who are invited into these rooms might feel compelled to do the same, if Ursula von der Leyen and Angela Merkel are any indication. And if we’re gathering the G7 here, let’s not pretend that power isn’t a part of this conversation. So can we try one foot slightly ahead of the other? Or would that make them feel “too posed”? Of course they can’t appear to be vain or concerned with appearance even though, again, the feet apart power pose in and of itself is for appearance.
Anyway, since the UK is hosting the Summit, British dignitaries are being called to show up for the nation. And that’s where we find Catherine of House Cambridge today, at a school visit with First Lady Dr Jill Biden. They look like they got on well and Dr Biden’s easy, friendly demeanor, which you can see in several of these shots, as she gesticulates with her arms while talking, is matched by Kate’s relaxed body language. It was similar when Michelle Obama made trips to the UK and you’ll recall some of the commentary then about whether or not she was too familiar with the Queen when she hugged her. The Queen didn’t seem to mind, it was all kinds of other pearl-clutchers who made a fuss about it.
At some point, since international news media are all covering the Summit so it’s not just the royal rota looking into this visit between Dr Biden and Kate, she was asked about the birth of her niece by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell:
The Duchess of Cambridge to @mitchellreports on wishes for her new niece, Lilibet: "I wish her all the very best. I canâ€™t wait to meet her," she said. "We havenâ€™t met her yet. I hope that will be soon." Asked if she had FaceTimed with her, Kate Middleton said no.— Monica Alba (@albamonica) June 11, 2021
Like I’ve been saying all week, it’s not hard to come up with a safe answer when a baby is the question. And that’s a safe answer. Yes, it is so wonderful that the baby has arrived. Yes, of course, I want to meet the baby. Interesting though the question about FaceTime because, of course, the royal communications team can’t dictate to Andrea Mitchell and American news reporters what they can and can’t ask so Kate confirmed that she had yet to FaceTime with the Sussexes, which people can read in a thousand different ways. I mean if they haven’t FaceTimed it doesn’t mean they haven’t spoken on the phone, people still do that, although it won’t help the ongoing speculation about the ongoing tension between the royal brothers.
That said, if this was the ONLY narrative coming from behind the palace gates about Lilibet’s birth, it wouldn’t have escalated to where it’s gotten this week. If everyone in the family and those representing and speaking for the British royal family were giving similar statements about how overjoyed everyone was about the baby and ending it there, well, we wouldn’t have columns like the one that was published today in the Daily Mail about how, in giving his daughter the Queen’s nickname, Prince Harry “stole the Queen’s crown jewel”. I mean…
There’s a whole display section at the Tower of London that would suggest otherwise, but, sure, this is where these people are persisting on taking it. The naming of a child is now a THEFT. Harry has stolen his grandmother’s most precious belonging, which of course implies that this is the ultimate betrayal. It’s hyperbolic, to be sure, but if you consider it in combination with the other suggestion that came out this week, that the Queen may not have heard Harry and Meghan properly when they told her about the name, or that they didn’t make it clear to her, or misled her deliberately, they’re setting up a narrative that these two basically conned an old woman. It’s disgusting of the tabloids but, again, it’s been enabled by royal aides who won’t shut this sh-t down. Not only will they not shut it down, they continue to brief about how the Queen didn’t know. And I’ve been writing all week about how heinous it is to do this to a child but there’s another potentially nefarious angle here too which is that there’s an equally horrible subtext to all of this, when you talk about stealing from a 95-year-old woman, or confusing her, or misleading her… are they trying to imply that Harry and Meghan committed elder abuse? Isn’t that what they’re saying without saying? Keep in mind, none of this energy is applied to Prince Andrew, allegedly the Queen’s favourite son, who’s always up at the castle gaining favour with his mother over the decades, trying to position himself and his daughters in advantageous ways, while gallivanting around the world with a convicted rapist and pedophile. Like if there’s a “thief” anywhere in the family, wouldn’t it be the dude who lost his job has the UK trade envoy over questions about the shady international business dealings he was making on behalf of the country?