Pity the Middleton Family

Many might think that having a Royal Duchess as a daughter must be like a dream come true. The reality is far from that. That being related to a member of the Royal Family resembles more to a nightmare is mainly due to the press and the media. 

James Middleton

Hockey mums play for it; tiger mums go on the prowl for it: Marrying their daughter off to a Royal Duke is the ultimate accolade of achievement. But it happened to Carol Middleton’s daughter Kate instead. She is neither a hockey mum nor a tiger mum. If she were one, she would have failed, because these obstreperous mums lack the main characteristic that is needed: Reticence.

Love happens even in high places, and who can say that is a bad thing? But the time of organised intermarriage between the ruling houses is over since the Great War; the future in-laws of a Royal Prince are now as predictable as the lottery. Not that these in-laws had always been above reproach. In that sense, Prince William was actually extremely lucky not only with Kate Middleton’s parents Carol and Michael, but also with her sister Pippa and her brother James.

But that is where the fairy tale ends, or so it seems. The press is constantly carping about the Middletons cashing in on their Royal connection. They haven’t reason to do so and what meagre evidence they present is apocryphal. What they are doing is called journalism by envy and by jealousy. It is time they got a grip on reality and attacked those that really are cashing in.

Carol and Michael Middleton have been received at Buckingham Palace on more than one private occasion; they have been invited to Ascot by the Queen and arrived officially with the Royal cavalcade. The Queen can’t say what she thinks, that is not part of her job. But it is little things like these that indicate her approval of the Middleton family and their behaviour. And it drives embittered little journalists up the walls and makes them out of reason cross.

To Buckingham Palace insiders, Carol Middleton has become The Steel Marshmallow Mark II; Mark I was the Queen Mother. Photographer had once described her as a marshmallow made in a welding machine; he probably was right. Carol has even adopted one of the Queen Mother’s dictums: Never complain, never explain. If she doesn’t say it, she is very good at following it to the letter. It has served her well, obviously.

So they are cashing in on their Royal connection? Where, please? They ran a business in the past and they keep on running it. So far, I have seen no offer from any journalist to pay them for doing nothing and in turn taking on their 30 employees; have you? Their business Party Pieces is not only a good business; in its niche, it is market leader in the United Kingdom. It was that before Kate Middleton became Catherine Duchess of Cambridge. They sell tat, so what? If you sell tat, one of the obvious subjects of this tat is the Royal Family. The press will just have to learn to live with that. That the family has to pay for their own security on the other hand seems to be perfectly alright with these selfsame journalists. Maybe they should be made to pay for the policemen that are on the beat in their neighbourhood.

Pippa Middleton was accused of the same thing when she appeared at Wimbledon and at Roland Garros before that. When she was presented with a gift by the president of Peugeot while in Paris, she was accused of cashing in on her Royal connection. What should she have done? Slap the old man in his face? Envy, jealousy, call it what you want, but such journalists are not worth the name. That Pippa was stopped by the government from travelling to the continent on at least one occasion because of another terrorist panic attack in Whitehall, nobody mentioned. But it’s not much fun, being the sister of a Duchess.

Justin Bieber‘s marketing and Party Pieces have recently concluded a deal for merchandising his tat. It was immediately alleged that this deal was only done because of their Royal connections. No honeys, it was done because they are the market leader. No one, as far as I can tell, has yet accused Justin Bieber of cashing in on the Middletons connections. Funny world, isn’t it?

At least the Queen and Prince Charles appreciate their reticence and circumspection. The family is supported by Royal staff from both sources whenever issues arise. The holistic approach in presenting this normal family alongside the Royal Family seems so far to pay off. But all in all, you really don’t wish the situation they are in on your worst enemy. 

Further reading
William and Kate: Title History
How Succession Works in the United Kingdom
Princes: Not All That Glitters