Saturday, 2 Mar 2024

Kate’s ‘orchestrated’ attempt to refute Meghan’s hugging claim

Kate Middleton visits school to celebrate Antarctica expedition

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On several occasions, Kate, Princess of Wales, came off as relatively standoffish in the revelations made by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, the latter claiming that her sister-in-law was “formal” during their first meeting and found hugging “jarring”. Many rushed to Kate’s defence after it was suggested she was not a “hugger”, and she has since been on a hugging spree, showing rare displays of affection on two separate occasions. Kate’s warm embraces have led some commentators to question the motive, describing it as an “orchestrated” effort to disprove the Duchess of Sussex’s assertion.

On the most recent episode of their podcast Royally Obsessed, hosts Rachel Bowie and Roberta Fiorito discussed the widespread speculation regarding Kate’s attitude towards hugging.

Ms Bowie said: “We obviously saw the Waleses doubling down with some hugging — big deep hugging shots posted front and centre to their social media.”

Here, the commentator referred to a post made by the Prince and Princess of Wales on both their Instagram and Twitter accounts on February 8.

Kate had visited a college in Derby and greeted Captain Preet Chandi MBE after she returned from her solo expedition across Antarctica.

In one of the photos, the Princess can be seen giving Captain Chandi a big hug. The caption read: “Record breaker. History maker. @PreetChandi10 is a shining example of fortitude. Today it’s been fantastic to hear all about her polar expedition and see how she is inspiring the next generation of young girls to believe they can achieve anything they put their mind to!”

Ms Fiorito noted the post, saying: “It does feel a little orchestrated,” to which Ms Bowie agreed, adding: “Oh, it does.”

“There’s definitely some weird feelings about it because you are making an effort to hug people that, I feel like, normally you wouldn’t,” Ms Fiorito said.

The Princess was patron of Captain Chandi’s expedition, which covered 922 miles in 70 days and 16 hours, breaking the world record for the furthest unsupported solo polar ski expedition in history.

Captain Chandi’s visit to Landau Forte College, which is located in her hometown, marked the beginning of a UK-wide tour of schools. During the recent outing, Captain Chandi, nicknamed ‘Polar Preet’, spoke to students about her expedition and was joined by Kate in presenting an award to one of the winners of the officer’s national school logo competition.

Later, the Princess joined pupils as they took part in some activities which bring to life the expedition, including some examples of how Preet trained. When attempting to pull two tyres attached to a harness, which weighed 44lb (20kg) each, Kate admitted: “I need to do some training.”

The following day, Kate visited the harbour town of Falmouth with her husband Prince William to learn about the area’s maritime heritage at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.

As she arrived, the Princess was approached by Jim Embury, a volunteer at the museum who was her history teacher at St Andrews prep school in Berkshire.

Kate recognised her former teacher immediately and threw her arms around him, exclaiming: “Oh my goodness! My gosh, that’s taken me right back!”

The royal went on to say how she can visualise exactly what Mr Embury’s classroom used to look like, telling him: “The things you taught me, I now teach to my children.”

When she found out her old teacher had relocated to Cornwall, Kate enthusiastically said: “No way!”

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The pair continued to reminisce as crowds of royal fans watched on and William spoke with spectators. Following the meeting, Mr Embury told Cornwall Live: “She was a fantastic student and it was a great class.”

The displays of affection come after Meghan’s claims during the Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan. The Duchess of Sussex said she did not know the “formality” of the Royal Family carried through behind closed doors and did not realise was “jarring for some Brits”.

Meghan said she was “barefoot” and wearing ripped jeans when she first met the then-Duchess of Cambridge. She continued: ”Even when Will and Kate came over and I was meeting her for the first time I remember I was in ripped jeans, I was barefoot. Like I was a hugger, I have always been a hugger I didn’t realise that is really jarring for a lot of Brits.

“I started to understand that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside, that there is a forward-facing way of being and then you close the door and think, ‘Ok, we can relax now’. But that formality carries over on both sides and that was surprising to me.”

However, through the years, Kate has been spotted hugging many members of the public.

In 2020, the Princess embraced a young boy named Josh in Cambridge and told him she had received the wedding and baby cards he had made for her.

Two years earlier, the royal was photographed hugging a participant from the Coach Core Essex apprenticeship scheme during a visit to Basildon Sporting Village.

The Prince and Princess of Wales received a warm welcome from royal fans who had gathered to get a glimpse of the royal couple, and one young girl couldn’t resist throwing her arms around Kate and giving her a hug as they spoke.

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