Is there anything new to say about Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge who we’re supposed to call Catherine? Or her husband Prince William? Or their apparently undying and picture-perfect love, which shall serve as the ultimate example of undying love as the West knows it?
No. There’s not. I’m sorry to break it to you. We’ve wrung this washcloth so dry that it’s now caught fire. We’ve dissected everything Kate has ever worn, every photograph she’s ever been in, and every time she’s been seen pushing her own cart at the grocery store. We’ve even polled thousands to find out if the public sees her as “a step forward for women” (only 42.6 percent did) or wants to be her (only 1 percent — is it the pantyhose because the crown part seems so fun??).
Royals obsessives have, much like Sunshine Anderson, heard it all before. We went over most of this collectively as a planet when Kate and William got married in 2010, which, to be fair, will forever be one of the most thrilling television broadcasts of all time.
All of this didn’t stop the Reelz network from going forward with a mini documentary series about Kate and William’s relationship, wedding, and children. Even if you have read the books and watched the other television specials about their life as one, you will still find enjoyment in this series. And if you are not a royals obsessive, well, why not? And buy Tina Brown’s book about Princess Diana now and get to it.
As a devoted royal follower, watching this series — which consists of old video clips of the couple and several Kate and William “experts,” mostly tabloid editors who seem to relish recalling the times they breathed the same rarified air as the couple — essentially just reminded me that watching Kate Middleton emerge from her royal mobile on her wedding day in her Alexander McQueen dress for the first time will never not be exciting. Here are some choice highlights from the series:
1. For his gap year, Prince William decided to go to Chile, where his lifestyle was decidedly unlike that of someone who resides in palaces.
He cleaned toilet floors:
Cooked porridge for breakfast:
And even carried this large, pointy log around:
He also slept in an old nursery classroom with 16 other people and! He had to chop his own firewood for heating and cooking his porridge and more.
2. Tabloid editors were tempted to run tons of paparazzi photos of Kate Middleton when she and William were dating — but restrained themselves. As soon as it became clear they were an item, photographers started tailing her. However, British tabloid editors didn’t want to be responsible for putting her in a dangerous situation like Princess Diana, who died in a car accident following a chase by paparazzi in Paris. So they agreed to only publish photos of her when she was with William.
3. Kate’s mom was a flight attendant and met her dad, a pilot, on a plane.
4. Kate’s parents own a party supply company, the cutely named Party Pieces, which is currently showcasing a “flamingo fun” theme and (perhaps therefore unsurprisingly) has made them quite successful. “[They] invested in education” is one of Reelz’s royals expert’s way of explaining that they used their Party Pieces cash to send their kids to private school.
5. Kate attended Marlborough College, where she was bullied. It’s hard to accept that fair Kate was ever anything other than sterilized perfection, but it gets worse. When the girls walked into the dining hall, a royals expert explains, the boys would hold up signs rating their attractiveness. Kate frequently got a 0 or 2.
6. That said, she quickly grew into “the girl every parent wants as a daughter,” as one of these experts puts it. She got involved in a potpourri of good-girl activities — she sang in choir and became the captain of the lacrosse team. One of the Reelz experts adds, “As she filled out a little bit and she got some color in her cheeks and she became more assured, the attraction grew, and she was a very popular person.” (As I said, there is nothing new to say about these people, so this is the kind of faux and vaguely sexist insights we’re left with.)
7. There is nothing dark in Kate Middleton’s past, which — of course there’s not. Otherwise she wouldn’t have been allowed to marry Prince William. Anyway, as the OK editor who was interviewed for this series explains, with an undercurrent of resentment in her voice, “There has been so little that’s come out of her past that’s scandalous, or some incident where she was rude to somebody, or bullying — I mean, there’s nothing!” How dare she!
8. This is what Prince Williams arrival at St. Andrews, where he met Kate, was like:
From: Harper’s BAZAAR US