Prince William and Kate Middleton are back in the swing of things regarding their royal duties after the Christmas break.
As always, there’s plenty for them to do: meetings to attend; hands to shake; places to visit. But while the Prince and Princess of Wales are well versed in their obligations, the start of 2023 has been somewhat overshadowed by Prince Harry’s new tell-all memoir, Spare.
Both William and Kate – along with certain other members of the Royal Family – found themselves criticized in Harry’s book. The disgruntled prince revealed a lot about the way things are apparently done within the royal sphere, and not a lot of what he wrote paints the Firm in a good light.
Polls have shown that Harry lost in popularity in the UK following the book’s release, which might lead people to believe that William and Kate – standing on the other side of the fence – would perhaps enjoy a surge in popularity.
According to reports, though, that might not be the case.
As per a royal expert, William and Kate’s popularity has reached its “lowest figures on record.”
The feud between Harry and William has been ongoing for years. When Harry and Meghan Markle left the Royal Family, things got even worse. Perhaps unsurprisingly, after all, the interviews, documentaries, and now the release of Spare, William is more than unhappy with his brother than ever before.
In his book, Harry detailed many things about William and Kate Middleton, as well as his father, King Charles, and stepmother, Camilla, the Queen Consort.
Harry details William and Kate’s wedding day in a book
Harry claimed that William knocked him to the floor, and even shed light on a particular text a furious Kate sent to Meghan before her wedding day in 2018.
In one chapter of Spare, Harry recalled the day his brother William tied the knot with Kate Middleton. The wedding – on April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey – was celebrated all over Britain. Harry was, of course, happy for his big brother.
Most people were under the assumption that Harry was William’s best man for his big day. In Spare, though, Harry revealed that he wasn’t, though the Palace made it seem as if he was.
“The public had been told that I was to be the best man, but that was a bare-faced lie. The public expected me to be the best man, and thus the Palace saw no choice but to say that I was. In truth, Willy didn’t want me to give a best-man speech. He didn’t think it safe to hand me a live mic and put me in a position to go off script. I might say something wildly inappropriate. He wasn’t wrong,” Harry explained.
He added: “Also, the lie gave cover to James and Thomas, two civilians, two innocents. Had they been outed as Willy’s best men, the rabid press would’ve chased them, tracked them, hacked them, investigated them, and ruined their families’ lives. Both chaps were shy and quiet. They couldn’t handle such an onslaught, and shouldn’t be expected to. Willy explained all this to me and I didn’t blink. I understood. We even had a laugh about it, speculating about the inappropriate things I might’ve said in my speech.”
Moreover, Harry wrote about how his brother didn’t want to wear the uniform that he ultimately donned for the day.
Instead, the future king wanted to wear his Household Cavalry Uniform. The Queen said no, though, and had him wear the red uniform of the Irish Guards instead.
“I assured [William] that he looked bloody smart in the Harp of Ireland, with the Crown Imperial and the forage cap with the regimental motto: ‘Quis Separabit? Who shall separate us?’ It didn’t seem to make an impression. I, on the other hand, did not look smart, nor did I feel comfortable, in my Blues and Royals uniform, which protocol dictated that I wear. I’d never worn it before and hoped not to wear it again anytime soon,” Harry recalled.
He added that on the morning of the wedding, William’s face was “gaunt, his eyes red,” and that his brother “reeked” inside Westminister Abbey as they waited for the bride, Kate, to arrive.
“I recall Kate walking down the aisle, looking incredible, and I recall Willy walking her back up the aisle, and as they disappeared through the door, into the carriage that would convey them to Buckingham Palace, into the eternal partnership they’d pledged, I recall thinking: Goodbye,” Harry said.
Harry spoke at length about William and Kate in his book and even mentioned his youngest nephew, Prince George. In Spare, he detailed the moment he became an uncle for the first time when George was born.
“I was an uncle. Willy and Kate welcomed their first child, George, and he was beautiful. I couldn’t wait to teach him about rugby and Rorke’s Drift, flying and corridor cricket – and maybe give him a few pointers about how to survive life in the fishbowl,” Harry recalled.
Harry joked about “expensive” babysitting charges for George
When he appeared at an event in 2013, Harry was asked about his newborn nephew and how he felt about becoming an uncle.
“When I saw him [Prince George] he was crying as all babies do, but it’s fantastic to have a new member of the family. I hope my brother knows how expensive my babysitting charges will be,” Harry explained.
A reporter asked him what his primary duties as an uncle would be, with Harry replying: “To make sure he has a good upbringing, to keep him out of harm’s way and make sure he has fun. The rest of it I leave up to the parents.”
Two years later, William and Kate welcomed Princess Charlotte. That entailed Harry becoming an uncle for the second time – though, at that time, he was further from home than he perhaps would have wanted.
“I went to Australia for a round of military exercises, and while there, I got word: Willy and Kate had welcomed their second child. Charlotte. I was an uncle again and very happy about it,” he wrote in Spare.
When George was born, William and Kate needed more space. That meant moving into Kensington Palace. Harry, meanwhile, moved into Nottingham Cottage, just across the road from his brother’s new home.
Harry claimed he wasn’t invited to William and Kate’s home
It didn’t take long before he felt something was wrong. In his book, the Duke explained how he was pleased about moving into Nottingham Cottage, within walking distance of Kensington Palace. Or, as he described it, “half a football pitch away” from his house, where he also could hear William and Kate’s nanny go past with the stroller at all hours.
He said it was “nice to get out of the old place, but even better to live in front of Willy and Kate,” and he “could see myself dropping in to see them all the time.”
Harry dreamed about popping into William and Kate’s, hanging out with George, and “throwing himself on the floor” to wrestle with his nephew.
The reality, according to Harry, was completely different.
“I took it for granted that I would be invited to their house at any moment. But the days went by, and it didn’t happen,” he explains. “I understand, I thought. They’re busy! Building a family! Or maybe… three’s a crowd. Maybe if I get married things will change.”
Within the book’s pages, the prince offers his entire life story from growing up as a royal, including details of what happened after Princess Diana’s death, his experiences after joining the army, and the feud with his brother, William.
In the end, though, the one who could end up paying the most for Harry’s claims against the monarchy might be the young Prince George. According to the Daily Express’s royal expert Angela Epstein, Harry might have” overlooked the damage he could do” to George.
William & Kate refuse to comment on ‘Spare’
Thus far, the British royals have decided not to comment on anything in Spare. King Charles, along with Prince William and Kate Middleton, has started 2023 with the resumption of his royal duties. Interestingly, all have ignored questions about Harry and his book.
When William and Kate left the Open Door Charity in Merseyside, a reporter asked the prince if he had read Harry’s book yet. Later, while arriving at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, one reporter shouted, “Do you ever plan to comment on Harry’s book, sir?”
Neither got a response.
A third asked: “Have you had the chance to read your brother’s book at all?” but was met with silence.
One can safely conclude that the royals are not overly enthused – perhaps even furious – about Harry’s book and all the accusations and claims it makes.
For Harry’s part, of course, there’s every reason to smile: Spare became a massive success after only its first day of sale.
Though Spare was highly anticipated, it appears that it may have hindered his reputation among the British public.
William & Kate’s popularity reached “lowest figures on record”
In a YouGov survey published in The Times, only 24 percent of the UK population have retained a favorable view of him. That number is down from 80 percent a decade ago, with 68 percent of those surveyed being critical of him.
According to the survey, Harry and Meghan’s popularity ratings among those over 65 were even worse than the ratings of Prince Andrew.
Interestingly, William and Kate have fared little better in the wake of Spare‘s release – at least insofar as their popularity among the public is concerned.
In a column for the New Zealand Herald, royal commentator Daniela Elser wrote that the Prince and Princess of Wales have received the “lowest figures on record” in a new YouGov poll.
They got 70 percent and 68 percent, respectively. They’re hardly terrible numbers, but do reflect a decrease.
“Those hard workers over at YouGov have been at it though, polling Brits to find out how they are currently feeling about the House of Windsor. The numbers paint a grim picture for anyone with a personal cipher, notably William and Kate,” Elser wrote.
She added: “Their net favourability sits at 49 percent for the Prince and 50 percent for the Princess. The lowest figures on record for the duo since polling started in 2011.”
Moreover, the royal expert noted that William’s popularity is “70 percent positive and 21 percent negative,” while Kate’s is 68 percent positive and 18 percent negative.”
So, suffice it to say that Harry’s book has not aided William and Kate’s image. According to Elser, they have “struggled to achieve significant cut-through with their legacy projects,” referring to the Earthshot Prize and the Early Years Foundations.
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