Prince William and Kate Middleton filled the pages of UK newspapers this week, but there are signs they could face a tough road.
The Cambridges were out in force on Tuesday night as England won a Euro 2020 round of 16 football match against Germany – a long and emotional rivalry too deep to be summed up in a few short sentences.
Before the ball was even kicked in anger, a future king stole the show, appearing on the front pages of newspapers and even in a headline.
However, it was not the next king (Charles), nor the king after that (William) but the potential king in three reigns, Prince George, who conquered the hearts of the nation by singing the national anthem alongside of his parents aged just seven.
“By George, we did it!” exclaimed the first page of the Daily mail Wednesday morning next to a photo of the child clapping from the terraces of Wembley Stadium in London.
Prince George and his parents Prince William and Kate Middleton celebrate England’s victory in the UEFA EURO 2020 round of 16 between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium in London on June 29, 2021 .
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The extensive coverage in the morning papers will be received as a hit by Kensington Palace, linking the Royal Family with the patriotic jubilation that comes with sporting success.
But it comes in a busy week for Prince William who is also trying to position himself as the heir to Queen Elizabeth II’s warm relations with Scotland, a nation that risks voting to leave the UK.
On Thursday, he also has to face his brother face to face after months of information wars in an emotional event to mark what would have been their mother’s 60th birthday.
The world will expect a sign of reconciliation despite all that has transpired between the brothers, leaving the second in line with a busy but busy schedule.
The Queen and Prince William attended the key ceremony at Holyroodhouse Palace in Edinburgh during their latest charm offensive north of the border, even as the Scottish National Party hopes to force a referendum on whether to whether or not to stay in the UK.
And this political backdrop creates dangers for the Royal Family, with the Duke of Cambridge already accused of getting too close to violating long-standing Palace impartiality conventions.
On his last visit at the end of May, he proclaimed the family’s commitment to the country but also met former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was born in Scotland and is campaigning to stay in the union.
The private talks sparked a backlash from former Scottish Prime Minister Alex Salmond, who warned the prince to stay away from politics.
During this tour, however, William was explicit about his support for Scotland as he spoke about treasured childhood memories during summer vacations at Balmoral Castle and his yard with Kate at University. Scottish of St Andrews.
He also described how he learned of his mother’s death at the age of 15 while on the Balmoral estate.
Princess Diana is the third major installment of his week as he sees his brother face to face on Thursday for the unveiling of a statue on what would have been his 60th birthday.
The event at Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden may seem like the kind of straightforward and organized PR engagement, difficult only because of the harrowing memories of the iconic Princess who was snatched from William and Harry’s life as they were only 15 and 12, respectively.
But the stakes are much higher for the two brothers, with William often being overwhelmed by Harry’s repeated claims to Diana’s memory.
They were last in front of the Sunken Garden cameras in 2017 before the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death in 1997.
That summer a series of documentaries was unveiled and at a screening William told gathered reporters that this would be the one time the brothers dive deep into the tragedy of their mother’s death.
As it turned out, that wouldn’t be the case, as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle promoted their Archewell website using a photo of Diana during the first few months of the foundation.
And Prince Harry was clear he couldn’t have left royal duties without his mother’s money when he and Meghan launched their Intercontinental Ballistic Reveal with Oprah Winfrey in March.
He said: “I brought what my mother left me. And without it we couldn’t have done it, so looking back at what my mother would think about it, I think she saw it. coming. I certainly felt his presence. throughout this process. “
Harry referred to Diana again in an interview with Spotify Chair expert podcast when he said of royal life, “Look what it’s done to my mom. How am I ever going to settle down and have a wife and a family, when I know it’s going to happen again?”
And then in his Apple TV docuseries The me you can’t see he spoke at length about shared experiences of sitting next to his brother in the back of a car as Diana tried to tear herself away from the chasing photographers.
There have been signs of Prince William offering a different take on his mother’s memory.
The Duke of Cambridge took issue with the anti-palace narrative of Diana and, by extension, Prince Harry, after a BBC reporter was found to have forged documents to persuade the princess to participate in a revealing interview in 1995.
In a press release sent to News week he said: “I think the deceptive manner in which the interview was obtained significantly influenced what my mother said. The interview was a major contribution to the worsening of my parents’ relationship and has since hurt. countless others.
“It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures have contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember the last few years with her.”
The interview in question was the famous session in which she discussed Prince Charles’ affair, saying, “There were three of us in this marriage so it was a bit crowded.”
However, William’s statement said, “I firmly believe that this Panorama program has no legitimacy and should never be broadcast again.”
Since the Oprah interview, Prince William’s friends have spoken to famous royal historian Robert Lacey, describing how Prince William ‘threw Harry’ from Kensington Palace.
The background to this argument was allegations of intimidation brought against Meghan Markle by their joint staff, with William siding with his communications secretary at the expense of his sister-in-law.
All of this means that Prince William is fighting on multiple fronts, positioning himself as the future King of Scotland amid warnings from pro-independence activists; to face a transatlantic information war on the events at Kensington Palace that took place two or three years ago; and fight for control of her mother’s memory as Prince Harry repeatedly returns publicly to America’s favorite princess.
It comes after a year in which he and Kate Middleton have worked steadily to position themselves as UK National Health Service (NHS) champions during a coronavirus pandemic. Not to mention Kate Middleton’s launch of the Royal Foundation’s Center for Early Childhood two weeks ago.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s project would normally have been a centerpiece of the year for the Royal Family, but now finds itself in competition with the potential break-up of the UK and the actual break-up of the Royal Family.