It’s easy to believe the narrative that the British media have had the knives out for Meghan Markle since day one, while Kate Middleton has always been their darling.
We’ve seen it blamed on racism and white privilege, among other reasons. The belief is that poor Meghan hasn’t been given a fair shake while Kate Middleton has had a smooth ride.
I understand that viewpoint. The truth is, most of the Meghan Markle fans who believe that didn’t even know who Prince Harry was before 2016.
Those who believe this line of thought do not know any better.
As usual, though, the Sussex Squad are ill-informed and simply aren’t dealing in reality.
Kate Middleton first felt the British media’s unsettling gaze as far back as 2003, when rumors of her relationship with Prince William began to circulate, despite attempts by the couple to keep it secret.
For the Meghan Markle fans among us, that’s back when Meghan had one appearance on General Hospital on her resume and hadn’t long graduated with her qualifications in theatre and international studies.
That’s right. The unfair scrutiny that Meghan Markle has faced since 2016? Kate Middleton was already 13 years deep into that game before Meghan arrived on the scene.
A paparazzi photo of the couple on a family holiday changed Kate’s entire world. It wasn’t long before rumors suggested Kate’s mother, Carol, had manufactured the relationship. The claim being she had sent her daughter to St Andrews University with the intention of her meeting Prince William.
Rebecca England, royal editor at the Daily Mail, later claimed:
At the time, there were a lot of rumors going around that Carole might have tried to orchestrate the relationship by ensuring her daughter went to St Andrews.
There’s this misconception held by Meghan Markle fans that the royal family has always sprung to the defense of Kate Middleton whenever the media has been critical of her.
It’s not true.
As interest in Kate ramped up shortly before she and Prince William got engaged, the media scrutiny also intensified.
Prince William was upset and spoke out, releasing a statement pleading for privacy for Kate.
Sound familiar? Prince Harry did the same thing years later on behalf of Meghan Markle.
As was the case with Meghan in the years to come, the royal family did not “stop” the media scrutiny of Kate Middleton. I know this conflicts with the beliefs of Meghan Markle fans, but often the truth runs opposite to what they believe.
This is another of those times. There’s such a thing in Britain as freedom of the press.
Back then, as he was also to do later on with Prince Harry’s future wife, Prince Charles offered personal support and some wise words.
He advised Kate Middleton that her popularity would ebb and flow over the coming years. It was how things worked with the British press.
Royal expert Ingrid Seward commented to Newsweek:
The problem for Kate is, as her father in law said, she’s been put on a pedestal, and it’s impossible to stay on a pedestal. There’s only one way, and that’s down. She’s a goddess at the moment, and everyone is saying how great she is and how hard she works, but she can’t really keep up with that.
As Prince Charles says, ebbs and flows. Meghan Markle would have realized this if she had any intentions of staying around long enough to find out.
Kate will be a goddess today, and she’ll be criticized for looking tired and irritable tomorrow.
That’s how the British press works.
You’d think it was only Meghan Markle facing the wrath of the media today.
That’s not the case. Both women are considered celebrities, and both will have their moments of positive and negative media attention.
Meghan’s fanbase refers to Kate as “waity-Katie”–a term coined by the British media before Prince William and Kate were married.
I see “waity-Katie” as a relic of an insult from the days when the media could throw sexist criticism at a woman without reprimand.
The fact that Kate Middleton grit her teeth and weathered that storm for the man she loves tells us much about the character she possesses.
Maybe that’s why she didn’t cry foul and run away when the going got tough?