Friends of Kate Middleton have hit back at anonymous suggestions that she should be doing more foreign trips as part of her remit as Princess of Wales, saying the fact that she is widely considered one of the most popular members of the family shows that the public supports her focus on raising her young family.
A friend of Kate’s told The Daily Beast that the accusations were “absurd.”
In the most recent data, William is the most popular member of the family with a 67 percent approval rating, followed by his aunt Anne and then Kate with 63 percent and 62 percent respectively.
Accusations of shirking official duties have long dogged both William and Kate and surfaced again over the summer when William failed to attend the final of the women’s soccer World Cup in Australia.
Now the suggestion has been aired again, but specifically in relation to Kate, in an item in the Daily Mail’s usually well-briefed Ephraim Hardcastle column (Hardcastle is a fictional byline and the column is usually written by an editor based on newsroom gossip and in-house tips).
The item suggested that Kate was “a reluctant overseas traveller” and pointed out that she has only made two official overseas trips this year, once to attend the wedding of the Crown Prince of Jordan and again to watch England play Argentina in the rugby in Marseille. It said that there had been “high hopes” at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) that Kate “would not only make more overseas visits but would also bring the children… but it seems that school and routine are now more important than helping the FCO” with its diplomatic efforts.
A source close to Kate told The Daily Beast, “If the accusation is that Kate isn’t pulling her weight, that is absurd and everyone who knows them knows it. It is not exactly a state secret that she has three children aged 10, 8, and 5 on whom the future of the monarchy depends.
“She works incredibly hard. They have had this type of criticism from the press before and I’m sure they will have it again. It’s water off a duck’s back. Real people understand that you have to prioritize your children at that age, and you can’t both just go flying off to New York at the drop of a hat. The fact that they both consistently receive very high approval ratings shows that the public get it, even if the Daily Mail wants to find fault.”
The couple have long sought to ensure that their children’s needs are balanced with their official obligations.
Intriguingly, there is no suggestion that Kate is not doing enough domestically, and she has notably increased her visibility within the country since the death of the queen. On Tuesday, for example, Kate was due to attend two textile mills in Northern England.
A fellow parent at the school that William and Kate’s three children attend told The Daily Beast, “They are incredible parents. Me and my husband always say they are much better than us. They usually do drop off and pick up themselves and at least one of them is always at everything, whether it’s just a football match or a prize giving.”
The next big international jaunt for William is to attend the Earthshot Prize in Singapore in November. The speculation among royal observers is that Kate will indeed attend.
A source at the palace said the schedule for the Earthshot Prize would be announced soon.