Monday, 26 Oct 2020

Kate Middeton and Prince William’s ‘brave move’ in royal life exposed

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen to tackle issues like mental health, bereavement, suicide and addiction as some of the most prominent in their charity work. For example, William and Kate, along with Prince Harry, worked on the Heads Together campaign which aimed to get people talking about their mental health and work to break down the stigma around it. Emily Nash, royal correspondent for Hello! Magazine, explained that this was a brave move, because these are traditionally quite taboo subjects, especially among the sensibilities of the Royal Family.

The ‘stiff upper lip’ has, in the past, been seen as the British way to deal with personal struggles.

However, it is also a clever move because it demonstrates that they are modern royals who understand contemporary issues.

It gives William and Harry an opportunity to draw on their own experiences and really connect with people on a personal level.

Ms Nash, explained on the 2017 ITV documentary ‘Kate: The Making of a Modern Queen’ why she thinks this choice was brave.

She said: “I think it’s really quite a brave move, these subjects that traditionally have been fairly taboo.

“They’re talking about really difficult things such as suicide and addiction, bullying, and I think its really been very important to them to bring it out to the fore and get people talking about it.

“And you can see the genuine concern; we had an incident recently where Prince William comforted a young man who had lost his mother and obviously you can see his empathy is genuine, he’s been through the same thing.

“But that’s an incredibly powerful thing to be able to do, to go and bring their own experience and share it with others and let them know that it is ok to be able to talk about these things.”

Indeed, it is a powerful image to have the future King talk about his own struggles, as it really shows that these problems can affect anyone and that they are nothing to be ashamed of.

On the other hand, there is the fact that William and Kate, and later Harry and Meghan, also make an effort to ringfence their personal life away from their public life.

They want to regain some privacy, but to an extent this is at odds with the idea of sharing very personal details about their own mental health.

Journalist and author Catherine Mayer told the documentary: “It seems to me an enormous challenge for all the young royals, but in particular for William and Kate to find a way to do the empathy thing, to do what they see as being their core roles in terms of performing a charitable role, and maintaining something that they are clearly setting out to do which is redefining how much of themselves they make public.

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“They are trying to, and I am by the way very sympathetic to them on this, they are trying to carve out a space for themselves to have a private family life.”

Ms Mayer added that it is interesting that the Duke and Duchess are going against the new culture of oversharing on the internet.

In 2020, younger generations are increasingly documenting their lives on social media and the growing number of ‘influencers’ are monetising their private lives.

In contrast, Kate and William are going against this; they rarely post photographs from their home lives, especially of the children, and try to keep a separation between their official roles as members of the Royal Family and their private family life.

This is likely due to their unique position of public interest in their private lives simply because of who they are.

What’s more, William had to endure the public breakdown of his parents’ marriage play out in the media, and likely vowed to never have such a thing for his own family.

Ms Mayer said: “They are, I think, interestingly positioning themselves for the age that they are in the era in which they are in the public eye, which is of course a social media-saturated, Instagram selfie era, where they are in some way going very much against that tide, trying to reclaim something for themselves.

“Now I think that is potentially quite a clever thing to do in the long run.

“In the short term, it is inciting the ire of the press, so they’re getting a more negative press as a result, because the press feel shut out and you see some quite silly and nasty reporting as a result.

“But there is also the danger that they end up looking like they’re not doing very much, which is the big criticism.”

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