Prince William has been spotted publicly kissing his dog, Lupo, the same number of times he has been seen kissing his wife, Kate Middleton. And the pecks he gave his puppy were candid and heartfelt, unlike the rehearsed dry smooches he gave his bride atop Buckingham Palace’s balcony in a display of contrived affection. The Royal couple have never been known for abundant PDA’s, and in the past, it was presumed they kept their distance to behave appropriately and avoid offending the Queen. But recent events suggest there may be more behind their chilly, detached brand of public coexistence.
A Couple in Love: Seeing Would Be Believing
At a charity polo match on Sunday, Prince William looked quite adorable as he nuzzled Lupo and held him like a baby. It was refreshing to see his warmer side again, since it has largely been in hiding in recent years. It was also heartwarming to see Zara Philips and Mike Tindall hugging and expressing their mutual adoration on the sidelines. It looked like a fun and casual event for all the Royals in attendance, including Prince Harry, and Peter and Autumn Philips with their young children. The photos show the youthful energy and playful love among the young Royals and their budding families – but Kate appeared awkward and excluded, like a stranger walking by with a dog that the children wanted to play with (Thanks to DOY for the links!).
She also looked like a single woman who was there alone. Without the knowledge that William is her husband and was present, who would guess that the loner walking the dog was romantically attached to anyone there? It’s clear that Zara and Mike are in love, because they behave like they are. William and Kate’s behavior, however, is cause to doubt that there is any romantic love between them. Even if they prefer not to act lovingly in public, wouldn’t a prying paparazzi capture them in a touching unguarded moment every now and then? They’ve been together for a decade, and are still practically newlyweds. Yet they’ve only been captured showing the slightest physical affection and amorous body language a small hand full of times. And they’ve never looked as relaxed, content, and blissful to be together as Zara and Mike did on Sunday. -Not when they were sober, at least. In this instance, and nearly all others, no signs of affection between the two were documented: They did not hold hands, hug, put their arms around one another, socialize much, or show even the subtlest signs that there is chemistry between them and they are in love. When William wasn’t playing polo, he chose to spend his time holding, cuddling, and kissing his cute little puppy - not his wife. Apparently, he didn’t have enough love to go around. That seems very telling about the quality of the Royal couple’s true relationship.
A Royal Mess at the Jubilee
During the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the ever-present elephant in the room – William and Kate’s absence of affection – was more noticeable than ever. Through the river pageant, concert, Thanksgiving service, balcony scene, and closing service, William appeared mostly indifferent to his wife’s presence, and the pair were visibly disconnected. That’s practically normal for these two, but a couple that’s usually more detectably loving would appear to be in the trenches of a major marital dispute. William and Kate didn’t look angry or miserable when they spoke, and appeared very friendly and positive when they did. However, they seemed to interact so rarely – so briefly, and not with much enthusiastic joy or adoration. Largely, it appeared to be due to William: Through much of the celebration, it looked like he preferred others’ company to his wife’s and callously shunned her at times.
A notable example occurred when William and Kate sat beside the ecstatic Prince Harry at the Diamond Jubilee Concert. It was curious that in many of the released photos, William couldn’t have appeared more oblivious to Kate’s existence as he enjoyed the event with his brother. In some of them, she looked like a rejected third wheel as she sang along and waved her miniature flag.
The Royal Family’s appearance on the balcony at Buckingham Palace was powerful and incredibly meaningful, but William and Kate detracted from the message. The Queen boldly and deliberately chose to appear exclusively with members of the future monarchy (plus Prince Harry of course): The future Kings, Charles and William with their two future Queen Consorts (or so Camilla and Kate must hope). It gave the entire world a visual image of what the people of England and the commonwealth nations have to look forward to in future generations – the family affair that will represent them and provide their heads of state. But embarrassingly, William and Kate’s behavior showed anything but solidarity and a strong separation from the Royal Family’s history of marital dysfunctions. The public saw their future King barely interacting with his wife, and at times, standing an awkward arm’s length away from her. Meanwhile, she often stood close to Prince Harry and giggled tirelessly at his banter (whether he was speaking to her or not). Frankly, the entire situation – especially the abundance and duration of Kate’s attention to Harry – was puzzling and uncomfortable to witness. It was sweet of Harry to entertain Kate through her husband’s inattentiveness. However, by zeroing in on Harry so much, and acting like she was having the time of her life with him, she irresponsibly magnified the potentially dispassionate state of her marriage, demonstrated that she still does not know how to behave properly, and illuminated the possibility that it is in her nature to be adulterous – or at least, deeply conniving.
Seeking Attention Where It’s Lacking
Despite the flirtatious photos of Kate and Harry, it’s not at all likely that she would jeopardize her pampered life of fame and fashion by actually cheating on William. However, that doesn’t mean she’s above pretending to have an amazing time with another guy as though she couldn’t care less about William ignoring her – right where he is sure to observe it, and for the sake of getting his attention, making him jealous, and showing him what he’s missing. That may sound like a boldly speculative idea, but when Kate repeatedly courted the tabloids by going clubbing with William’s friends after he dumped her in 2007, it appeared she was doing just that. As painfully boring as she is, she seems to have a history of perfectly-timed pursuits of the most advantageous types of attention – the types that could have had a large hand in raising the mediocre Middleton girl to a most exceptional social position. Kate is no stunning beauty, nor is she accomplished for her age, highly intelligent, charitable, eloquent, especially talented, or from an upper class background comparable to William’s. She couldn’t be less special if she tried, and some would say she had to rely on playing these types of manipulative attention games to keep the Prince interested in her through the years. Apparently, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do. Could it be that she still has use for such ploys?
Kate’s flamboyant, body-skimming red dress captured the attention of the media around the world and thousands of onlookers as she floated down the Thames in the Jubilee river pageant. It was one of her best – and most attention-grabbing – looks of the year, and as usual, she appeared to have spent an enormous amount of time primping for the event. It may depend on how attention-hungry she is, but the idea that she would wear something so loud to get the attention of the media and public seems odd – because she already has so much of it. What would be more logical is that she was hoping to catch the eye of someone whose attention she didn’t have.
There is a possibility that Kate’s inappropriately flashy (yet hilariously upholstery-matching) McQueen dress was a cry for William’s attention. Not only would it make perfect sense, given his growing disregard for her in public, but it wouldn’t be the first time she’s appeared to use head-turning fashion choices to intrigue him. Unfortunately for her, if it was her intention, it didn’t appear to work. It’s impossible to know what he thought, but he seemed far less in awe of her in her fiery ensemble than the onlookers, fashion critics, reporters and journalists, and her many fans. If she took his breath away, he certainly didn’t show it at the pageant. It’s expected that when a woman has spent endless hours making herself up and is wearing a showy, body-hugging, custom-made dress, the man in love with her will be visibly captivated and smitten. But William wasn’t. As usual, he often directed and walked ahead of her, did’t look her in the eye much (if at all), and appeared anything but enamored and affectionate.
Overall, the couple’s displays at the Jubilee celebrations and Sunday’s polo match deeply contradict the press-produced image that Kate is living a fantasy love story with her Prince. For one thing, when William is so distant with her in public, it suggests he’s not in love in the least and has had enough of her at home already. Kate’s behavior is less than loving too though. While she usually appears to be the rejected one, she is not often seen attempting to be affectionate with William either. It’s also difficult to imagine that behavior like wearing a distracting outfit on the Queen’s day or providing negative fuel to tabloids by appearing to flirt with Harry would please William. The situation is a problem the image-dependent couple needs to face and fix if they are to avoid giving the impression that their marriage is one of convenience and based on friendship instead of romantic love. Because right now, that’s exactly what it looks like.
There is more to come in Part II.
© Enclave 24, June 19, 2012