Kate vs. Meghan: They were treated so differently by the British media
Meghan Markle has had enough. The ‘bullying’ behavior of the British was one of the main factors that made her flee to Canada together with her husband Prince Harry. However, her story is not that different from that of Kate Middleton, her predecessor, who married Prince William. The main difference? How the two were portrayed in the media.
An ordinary girl who fell in love with a prince; and with a background and style of clothing that does not fit the strict royal house at all. It could be either the description of Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle. It is also no secret that both ladies received a poisonous dose of comment from British gossip magazines.
Who remembers ‘Waity Katie’? Middleton’s mocking nickname, which she got from the local press because William “took so long” to ask her to marry him. Once the two did get married, the way the media talked about her changed. The beautiful, modern Kate immediately became a public favorite.
Meghan had probably expected a similar scenario when she showed up with a ring around her finger, but the opposite was exact. With just a few examples, one can prove that Meghan – at least for certain newspapers – had to meet a different standard than Kate.
1. Hold baby belly
Holding your baby belly all the time, is that weird or not? When we put two headlines from the same newspaper next to each other, we get a completely different answer in 2018 and 2019. The first version, however, is about Kate Middleton’s third pregnancy. There they talk about Kate ‘lovingly holding her belly just before she leaves on maternity leave’.
However, when Meghan does the same thing a year later during her pregnancy of Archie, one cannot laugh at it. “Why can’t Meghan keep her hands off her baby bump? Is it pride, vanity or acting? Or new age bonding technique?” A completely different angle, for precisely the same incident.
2. The avocado fiasco
When you eat an avocado, should you feel guilty? Well, that depends. Is your name Kate or Meghan? When Meghan Markle said in an interview that she loved avocados and that they’re very healthy, Express turned the cart in a whole different direction: “Meghan Markle’s beloved avocados are linked to human rights abuses, drought and shame for Millennials,” that’s where it sounds.
Importing avocados would be bad for the environment. That’s true, but a year earlier the newspaper didn’t care. Then a similar story appeared about Kate struggling with morning sickness. Expressly William later described himself as a prince on a white horse, because he gave his wife a basket of avocados. They were supposed to help with morning sickness…
3. Own funds
Just this week, “scandal” was shouted out loud when Meghan and Harry decided to take out more than 100 patents on certain products. This would allow them to guarantee their financial independence from the royal family. “A right royal cash in!” it sounded.
That same newspaper, however, saw much less resentment in Kate and William maintaining their funds, in addition to the money they still get from the state. “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge secretly set up their companies to protect their brand,” it sounded much milder. “Just like the Beckhams!” They’re still admiring themselves.
4. Stiff upper lip
Typical British, whether you like it or not: that ‘stiff upper lip’, or the stiff upper lip that stands for lack of showing emotion. If we look at an article from The Sun in 2017, it appears that Prince William was praised for breaking that cliché. “Prince Williams blasts monarchy’s ‘stip upper lip’ tradition,” it sounded. “And backs Harry’s admission of his mental anguish after the death of mother Diana.”
When Meghan moved on two years later – progress, one would think? – is guilty of the same thing, but the gate is dammed. “Prince Harry and Meghan ditched British stiff upper lip – is this a good thing? Sun parents and kids are torn.” The article also refers to the “American influence” of Meghan, something that many British had a hard time with.
5. Church with a scent
Royal wedding? Then you must undoubtedly be in one of London’s ancient churches. For William and Kate, that was Westminster Abbey, the place to be for many important royal affairs. Only drawback: a church that is such old smells of dust and moisture. Kate solved that by having numerous scented candles placed there. Brilliant, according to the British press. They even looked for the exact brand that was used so that they could recommend it to their readers.
A few years later, when Meghan asked for air fresheners to make the equally damp St. George’s Chapel smell more pleasant, it was described as “dictatorial”. But don’t worry: “The palace said no”, the Daily Mail still checks.
6. Deadly flowers
How cute, that Meghan and Kate used the same kind of flowers in their bouquets… didn’t they? While Kate was still praised for the beautiful symbolism of her fragrance, during Meghan’s wedding, a reason was diligently sought to tear down the same flowers.
It went along with the Lily of the Valley or the bell of May. That plant was said to be poisonous to small children – but only when eaten. Still, the British press called it “a dangerous, irresponsible decision” to include the Maybell’s in the headdress of Meghan’s bridesmaids. The piece even headed: “How Meghan’s flowers may have put Princess Charlotte’s life in danger”. At the bottom of the article, it is mentioned that almost all of Meghan’s predecessors used the same flowers during their wedding.
7. (Fashion) queen
Dress hip and trendy, now let that be something that both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle were absolute experts at from the start. Although Kate had to trade her previously daring dress style for one more suitable for the royal family, she’s still being praised today for remaining her modern self. “She looks fantastic,” wrote the Daily Mail last year.
The same fashion critic, Sarah Vine, thought a month later that she had spoken too soon. Because Meghan’s hip, modern clothing style – with which she remained true to her American self – was out of the question. “My memo to Meghan?” it sounded. “We Brits still prefer true royalty to fashion royalty.”