Kate and William ‘always’ catching as expert points out key weakness

Kate and William 'scratching heads' on how to respond says expert

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Prince William and his wife Kate, Princess of Wales have become two of the most famous faces within the British Royal Family. Their responsibilities have continued to ramp up in recent years, a shift particularly accelerated by the departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the disgraced Prince Andrew and the slowing down of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Following Her Majesty’s death in September, William and Kate were honoured with their new roles as the Prince and Princess of Wales. It came months after the couple’s first overseas tour since the Coronavirus pandemic, which saw them face significant backlash from the public and parts of the media. In a podcast episode reviewing the Royal Family’s year, royal expert Russell Myers claimed William and Kate’s “biggest issue” became evident during the trip, arguing that it is something the pair will work on in the months and years to come. 

Speaking on the Pod Save The King podcast, the Daily Mirror’s royal editor discussed the then-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s tour of the Caribbean, a trip that saw them visit Belize, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. 

William and Kate received a warm welcome but faced protests from those demanding an apology and reparations for slavery, and were criticised for elements of the tour that seemed to hark back to colonial days. 

While Mr Myers, who was part of the press pack which joined the royals on the tour, insisted there were parts of it that “were really well planned and they went really well”, he admitted that the protests and calls for reparations are an issue that the royals will continue having to face. 

“There are 14 realms that potentially do not want to continue their association with the Royal Family indeed,” he said, “but whether it’s completely getting rid of the monarchy, as Barbados has done, Jamaica potentially following suit fairly soon, Antigua and Barbuda has already said that they’re out, the nature of that relationship is going to change.” 

He continued: “However, when I have spoken to the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles)  — as he was then — he said, we’re not here to be rulers, we are here to be partners — we are here to try and change or be supportive of a changing relationship if that’s what those individual countries want. So, fair play to him, he’d already got ahead of it, I think.” 

By contrast, Mr Myers said, went William and Kate have in the past failed to get ahead of certain issues and instead had to try to “catch up”. 

He explained: “We did see Prince William go further than any other member of the Royal Family has done before, he talked about his profound sorrow for the appalling transatlantic slave trade, so I definitely think that it will be an order of the day.”

He here referenced the Prince of Wales’ speech during a dinner in Jamaica, just hours after the island’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness, told the future king his country planned to pursue independence.

“They are going to have to get on the front foot and make sure that that is top of the agenda,” he added. “I think that was probably one of the main criticisms I would have offered William and Kate, they always seem to be trying to catch up and didn’t get ahead of it. And it’s a massive issue. So one would assume there’ll be a lot more planning and research into spaces that they go.”

Mr Myers went on to mention the recent news that the Dutch king has commissioned an investigation into his royal family’s role in the country’s colonial past. 

Last month, it was announced that King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands commissioned the independent research, which will be carried out by three Dutch historians and a human rights expert, and is set to take three years. 

The Dutch government’s information service (RVD) said the report will span the period from the late 16th century until the “post-colonial” present, but did not elaborate on the details.

The announcement came a year after the recommendation by an advisory panel that the government acknowledge the 17th-19th century slave trade amounted to crimes against humanity. 

The Dutch played a major role in the transatlantic slave trade from the 17th century until the Netherlands abolished slavery late in the 19th century. In a statement, the King said: “Profound knowledge of the past is essential to understand historical facts and developments and to see their impact on human beings and communities as clearly and honestly as possible.” 

In the last two years, three former British colonies in the Caribbean have made robust efforts to further separate themselves from Great Britain — moves that have been under consideration for decades. In 2021, Barbados officially removed Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, becoming a republic, Jamaica has indicated it may do the same, and Antigua and Barbuda is set to hold a republic referendum within three years, according to its prime minister. 

During a visit to Barbados in 2021, King Charles III spoke of “the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our history”. 

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