I started reading Tina Brown’s The Palace Papers last night. I started with the Kate Middleton sections because I didn’t want to spend the whole evening reading about Camilla and Charles (I get the horsey gist). It’s still early, but I can absolutely, 100% tell already that Brown has sources deep within Camp Middleton. Even the way Carole Middleton is referenced early on, the way Brown talks around Carole stage-managing her daughter’s relationship, it’s pretty clear that Brown is choosing to ignore certain things in an effort to highlight Kate’s long-slog marathon to catch a prince. I will give Brown some begrudging credit, in that she makes it perfectly clear that “landing William” was a joint project between mother and daughter, it was what they both wanted, and Kate clearly needed her mummy’s help the entire time.
All of that careful planning, all of those years of careful stage-managing and cosplaying Diana… and it all got blown away as soon as Meghan came around. Meghan made Kate look old-fashioned, fussy and boring. That could be seen immediately with their style comparisons, and how smoothly Kate began copykeening Meghan. This too was a joint effort made by Carole and Kate.
In the book The Palace Papers, which was released on April 26, author Tina Brown talks about the “long and hard” work Kate Middleton apparently did to become a “style icon” and how bothered she was when the media began to criticize her wardrobe as soon as her now sister-in-law Meghan Markle‘s fashion got its own spotlight. Brown says the epic outfits the 40-year-old Duchess of Cambridge, who married Prince William in 2011, became known for were “tastefully inexpensive” and signaled “solidarity with working women,” but when outlets, including The Sun, suddenly said she went “from fab to drab,” it was hard for her to not feel “demoralized.”
“Tell me any woman who wouldn’t feel demoralized opening a newspaper—even if it’s The Sun—to read a headline such as ‘Kate Middleton Has Gone from Fab to Drab in the Royal Style Stakes.’ The phone lines from Anmer to Coach Carole at Bucklebury must have been burning up,” Brown wrote in a section of her book.
“Kate had worked long and hard for her status as style icon, despite the inhibitions imposed by Palace killjoys,” Brown continued to write. “She had ascended alongside the millennial rejection of elitist haute couture and spent the best part of a decade wearing a tastefully inexpensive wardrobe, subsuming her personal views and signaling solidarity with working women. It took her five years after her marriage to pose for an unusually sedate cover of British Vogue wearing the kind of conservative brown suede Burberry coat and large vintage hat seen in the crowds of the Cheltenham Horse Show. She put on pantyhose both literally and figuratively, smiling gamely and uncomplainingly for the press.”
Brown then compared Kate’s carefully crafted fashion with that of Meghan’s, who as an actress, came from a background of all kinds of various wardrobe styles, including sexy and laid back looks. She mentioned her 2017 Vanity Fair cover shoot specifically, when the soon-to-be Duchess of Sussex at the time, was being spotlighted for her private relationship with Prince Harry, just two months before they announced their engagement.
“Inside pages of Meghan’s Vanity Fair cover story showed her not only without pantyhose, but barefoot in a strapless tulle Carolina Herrera bustier gown,” Brown wrote. “It was the same story for the daytime engagement shot.”
[From Hollywood Life]
I actually remember soon after Meghan moved to the UK, there were photos of Carole racing over to Kensington Palace for a big planning session with Kate. I believe that was about a lot more than style, actually. As for Tina Brown’s summary of Kate’s pre-Meghan style… not so much. I mean, Kate did wear a lot of High Street stuff, but she also wore tons of ridiculous McQueen coatdresses and Victorian-style Catherine Walker stuff, most of which was “bespoke” at exorbitant cost. Even Kate’s High Street stuff was pretty bad – those were the Button Years, the Doily Years, the Marilyn Moment Years, the Dressing Like Her Mother Years. And so after all that careful planning, Kate just decided to f–king cosplay Meghan constantly.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar and Backgrid.
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