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King Charles branded William and Kate ‘tasteless’ after major blunder

Royal expert explains King Charles' comment to Liz Truss

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Kate, Princess of Wales joined the Royal Family in 2011, having married Prince William in a spectacular royal wedding at Westminster Abbey. The pair wasted no time in picking up their royal duties and jetted off on a 10-day trip to the US and Canada. It marked their first overseas visit as husband and wife and an official royal couple. However, while the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge charmed the crowds all the way from Canada to California, the reaction was less positive back at home.

Then-Prince Charles was reportedly not impressed with the couple’s behaviour, with the now King being particularly bothered by some of the photographs of his son and daughter-in-law. 

According to royal author Sally Bedell Smith, Charles thought the trip featured too many “tasteless” photos ops.

In her book, ‘Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life’, the biographer claims the former Prince of Wales was not happy with the “camera-friendly couple” and was “more than a little irked” as he felt Kate and William were treating their official trip as a personal holiday.

It is understood that the couple had been allowed to take on a more relaxed itinerary, with the guidance of the Canadian secretary to Queen Elizabeth II, and did not have a particularly formalised schedule while in North America.

During their time in Canada, the couple posed in cowboy hats having been given the honour of pressing the button to launch the Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo and festival held every July in Calgary, Alberta. 

The newly-made Duchess of Cambridge later made headlines for a wardrobe mishap which saw her dress be blown up by a gust of wind. 

Not long after the tour, royal author Phil Dampier told The Daily Mirror there was a rivalry between Charles and William following the younger royal’s marriage to Kate. He claimed: “When Charles and Camilla visited ­Canada two years ago they were greeted by relatively small crowds. They are in their Sixties and are not what you would call glamorous.

“Charles felt overshadowed by Diana and now it seems he feels overshadowed by their son. Some people may think he is jealous. I have always felt that as soon as William got married, Charles would feel sidelined.”

Fast forward 11 years and the Royal Family is now led by the newly-appointed King Charles III. One of his first acts as monarch was naming his elder son the Prince of Wales, and therefore making Kate the Princess of Wales. It came after months of Kate and William taking on more responsibilities and solidifying their position within the Firm. 

The couple had recently relocated to Windsor in order to be in a better position to support the late Queen Elizabeth II. Following Her Majesty’s passing, there were reports that the Prince of Wales would move into the now-empty Windsor Castle. However, it has since been said the couple do not want to move in straight away. 

A friend of the Waleses’ told PEOPLE magazine that Kate and William live a life of a “modern Royal Family doing normal things”. They explained: “They love that the kids can go out on their bikes and cycle around the estate, and they are all really excited to meet everyone. It’s a real little community.”

Despite this, the couple have maintained their significant roles within the Royal Family, with their prominence only set to increase under King Charles’ reign, according to a royal expert, whose comments oppose those of Mr Dampier.

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Professor Pauline Maclaran argued that Charles is likely to use Kate and William’s “huge popularity” to overcome any challenges the royals may face in the near future. She told Express.co.uk: “I think it will be harder for Charles to overcome any obstacles because he is less popular and that’s why he will shape it so that there’s more of them [members of the Royal Family] involved. 

“And because of Kate and William’s huge popularity, they should be able to weather those moments of storm.”

Over the years, Kate and William have consistently topped the Royal Family’s popularity rankings, often only falling behind the late Queen. In contrast, Charles and Queen Consort Camilla have repeatedly found themselves among the lower ranks.  

As Prof Maclaran said: “It is well known that there is not the same public love for Charles as there is for the Queen.”

Following his accession to the throne, Charles’ popularity among the public has begun to increase, as has Camilla’s. In August, 42 percent of voters had a positive opinion of Charles, while 40 percent had a positive opinion of Camilla; now, both of them have popularity scores of 44 percent. 

While the King and Queen have maintained their positions in the public eye by continuing with royal engagements, the focus remains on a group of royals, rather than the individual monarch. 

Prof Maclaran argues that the nature of Charles’ reign — likely to be relatively short and transitional — means he will put “much more of an emphasis on the family brand as opposed to the individual brand.”

She continued: “Of course, the Royal Family has long been a family brand, so this isn’t something new, but I think he will try to emphasise the family aspect more — particularly with the close group of senior royals which we very much see emerging.”

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