Prince William and Catherine visited Bradford today. It’s been two days since the Queen publicly supported Sussexit and two days since the Sandringham summit, where William gathered with his father and brother and discussed the terms of Prince Harry stepping back from royal duties. As we know, and this is an understatement, there’s been a lot of tension between the two over the last 18 months. The joint statement they released on Monday criticising the media’s characterisation of William’s treatment of Harry (“bullying”) was the first open sign of solidarity between the two in months. And now Will is doing what he was trained to do: move forward, chin up, don’t let them see what’s below the surface.
Here’s how the Kensington Palace Twitter account described the Cambridges’ trip today:
Today The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are in Bradford — one of the UK’s most diverse cities — to visit projects which support and promote community cohesion #RoyalVisitBradford pic.twitter.com/fIwSZ7W3QS— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 15, 2020
On the itinerary: meeting with the people at Better Start Bradford, an organisation assisting local pregnant women, and the Muslim Women in Prison Project. But here’s The Sun’s headline about what Will and Kate are doing in Bradford:
Petty as f-ck, LOLOLOLOLOL.
Obviously, for the UK tabloids, Will and Kate are the golden royals now in the British press, the ones who can do no wrong, upholding the status quo, a reliable reassurance to those who resist change that things should remain the same. Which, of course, is their job. That’s always been the mandate for William from birth. He’s the firstborn, the one who will ascend, the one who will sit on the throne. His responsibility is to uphold the legacy. Change from the Cambridges, if it happens at all, will come cautiously and by committee. And that’s the eventual intention for Big G too, that is if the monarchy survives.
But what about Charlotte and Louis who don’t have that pressure? Given how the world has changed over the last 20 years, I can’t even imagine what the next 20 will be like and what two young royals in 2040 will want to do with their lives. In some ways, I wonder if they’ll look back and say… hey, we have options now, because our uncle Harry and aunt Meghan. That, after all, is the legacy of a precedent.