44 Features About Kate Middleton That Show How The UK Press Eased Off After She Wedded Sovereign William

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An audit of thousands of articles from the a long time since Sovereign William and Kate's relationship became public shows that steady maltreatment and badgering from the press offered approach to applaud — when Meghan Markle turned into an illustrious. 

Prince William had been secretly dating Kate Middleton for almost a year when the paparazzi caught the young couple on the ski slopes of Klosters, Switzerland, in April 2004. From that moment, Kate’s private life ended and she was in the crosshairs of the British press, the first publicly acknowledged girlfriend of the future king.

It’s been 17 years since those photos were taken; 10 years since Kate Middleton walked down the aisle of Westminster Abbey to marry her prince and officially become the Duchess of Cambridge, a member of the royal family.

But those photos marked the beginning of six years of hell for Kate and her family. Some paparazzi photos of Kate while she was dating William eerily recall images taken of Diana before her engagement to Prince Charles was announced.

I reviewed tens of thousands of stories from the UK outlets that make up the official royal press system, known as the “royal rota”: the Daily Express, the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, and the Sun — all tabloids — and the Evening Standard, the Telegraph, and the Times from April 1, 2004, when the Sun broke the news of Kate and William’s relationship, to April 29, 2021, their 10th wedding anniversary. Specifically, I looked to see if there was a change in how the press covered Kate after she was officially engaged to William. There was.

Two major shifts happened after those initial nightmare years. First, Kate got married, and the coverage around her toned down, the criticism now focusing on her hair and wardrobe instead of her middle-class roots, or her and William’s perceived laziness and love of expensive vacations.

Second, Meghan Markle married Prince Harry. And in the eyes of the press, Kate could suddenly do no wrong.

The news outlets and the Palace didn’t return requests for comment.

How the British press — especially in this case the “red top” tabloids — cover the royals and engage with the Palace media operation matters. 

Every week, millions read their coverage of the House of Windsor, the historically colonialist head of 54 nations around the world and an institution that is grappling to stay relevant in a changing society. By what these outlets choose to cover and how, they are able to put forth and perpetuate narratives about specific members of the royal family — especially the women who marry into it — agitating race, class, and gender divides that can hyperpolarize readers.


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