A memorial service for the late King Constantine II of Greece took place today at St George’s Chapel. King Constantine was Prince William’s godfather and William was scheduled to attend the service and give a reading. His father, King Charles, as we know is currently receiving treatment for cancer and out of royal rotation. His wife, Princess Catherine, is also out of rotation because she’s recovering from abdominal surgery. Kate hasn’t been seen since Christmas and is not expected to return to public duty until after Easter, at which point it’ll have been almost four months since she’s been outside. 


As we know, then, the British royal family has been going through it since the end of 2023. With both the king and Kate out of commission, it’s fallen on Consort Camilla and William to handle royal responsibilities as the two most senior members of the institution. 


William, however, has seemed… unsteady… over these last few weeks. So much so that even the British tabloids, which have been inclined to kiss his ass and present the rosiest, most positive coverage of the Waleses (over the Sussexes) can’t help but comment on William’s, um, attitude about stepping up. The Times published a piece a couple of weeks ago about how Will is handling this extraordinary set of circumstances with conflicting source reports about how willing he is to take the lead in his father and his wife’s absence. 

And now, today, the Palace has confirmed that he’s pulled out of King Constantine’s service at the last minute. Apparently he called King Constantine’s family to break the news to them, explaining that he couldn’t make it due to “personal reasons”. Which is only adding to the simmering speculation about what really is going on behind the scenes. Because royals don’t bail – and they certainly don’t bail on such meaningful occasions. That’s why this is a big headline today: it’s so unusual for William, given his breeding and his background, and his rank, to not show up on such an occasion … leaving this as the royal visual. 



That’s the disgraced Prince Andrew, accused of sexual abuse, and officially removed from official duty, “leading” the British royal family at a service in remembrance of King Constantine II of Greece. Not a good look!

But this is the conundrum that the Firm has found itself in with King Charles and Kate on the IL. They are shortstaffed, and I won’t be petty here and point out, ahem, WHY they are shortstaffed, although we do have to focus on how this presents a communications problem, there for a work problem, for the royal corporation. 

They’re whole sh-t is symbolism – that’s the job, to turn up here and there and do their handshakes and remind people in the UK why they are a significant part of British culture. And now that job has been left to a controversial consort, an alleged pedophile, and an ostensibly unprepared prince. 


That’s one of the big reasons why I’m talking about this today – because Prince William has been groomed for this moment; he is the heir, the future monarch, and we’ve been told, over and over again, particularly since Prince Harry’s departure, that he is ready for the responsibility, that they didn’t need Harry and Meghan because Will and Kate could handle it. And yet, some would say that the last few weeks have exposed some doubt as to whether or not he is ready. Or revealed, perhaps, that he might actually be reluctant. 


I don’t blame him, who could blame him? Without delving too deeply into the mysteries of his wife’s absence, it would obviously be concerning to him, whatever health issues she’s experiencing. And on top of that they have three young children to care. If this were a regular person, there would be less expectation for him to be out here on these streets doing walkabouts and making speeches. 


Only, as we’ve been told for centuries, he is not a regular person, this is not a regular family. He comes from a lineage where, often, family considerations are secondary to the crown. If that was in the past, though, and this current generation of the British royals are modelling a more modern approach to their roles as a reflection of evolved general social values, this could be an opportunity for them to lead in this area: a husband as the primary parent, assuming the bulk of home care responsibilities and NOT prioritising work over family. That would actually be a beautiful example – progressive, even radical in some communities. To rewrite the archaic protocol about what, exactly, is expected of these special people in extraordinary times. And to adopt a more holistic approach to the job. 

But this isn’t exactly the message that the British royals are sending out either about William and Kate. While King Charles has been more transparent than previous royals about his health particulars, releasing a video a few days ago of him reading get well cards, opacity is the vibe where the Waleses are concerned. I’m not saying that anybody is entitled to know anything about Kate’s health – I’m pointing out the contrast, in the midst of speculation that has already been swirling. And the mixed signals coming out of House Wales about how William is proceeding during this time.  


There has not been an explicit direction that’s been shared about whether or not he is taking leave in order to care for his wife and children. There has not been specific direction about him subbing in full time for his father. This is not effective public relations. And, sure, even though public relations should not be top of mind right now, the fact of the matter is that they are a public family – presentation is tantamount to their very existence. A huge department of this corporation seems to be ill-equipped to navigate this crisis. Which is baffling because that’s a basic requirement of management: strategic plans should be in place should these issues arise. This is a function of good leadership. Did the leadership of the Firm and the attendant departments who are there to assist the top dogs of the corporation have any of this in place, at the ready, for deployment in these kinds of situations? And if not, why not? 

We're talking about this on The Squawk! (app link here)