Kate Middleton exposed in new King Charles video

It’s a strange time indeed when King Charles, composting enthusiast and Wagner devotee, can make a gal all misty-eyed. Yet, over the weekend, Buckingham Palace put out a video showing His Majesty reading some of the 7000 ‘get well’ cards and letters he has received since revealing he is undergoing treatment for cancer. And reader, it’s incredibly touching stuff.

Watching the King open slightly tacky novelty cards and handwritten letters from thousands of his subjects who have taken the time out of their daily schedules of worrying about their heating bills and watching darts on the tele to wish him well is unbelievably sweet.

This video is a perfect example of the way that Charles’ reams of aides and courtiers are keeping him in public view and as visible as possible while he is unwell and battling the big ‘C’.

Royalty, like democracy, dies in darkness.

Which is what makes the current situation surrounding Kate the Princess of Wales that much stranger.

Kensington Palace has instituted what looks like a total blackout surrounding the princess as she recovers from abdominal surgery and we are in totally new and unheard of, unprecedented and unholy territory.

And so the Twilight Zone music plays …

At the time of writing, it is 64 days since Kate has been seen in public with her having become a sort of Sloaney Sasquatch. She’s out there, somewhere but no matter the numbers of peepers that have been peeled and TV cameras poise, no one has managed to glimpse her since 2023.

None of this is normal. None of this is anything we have ever seen before. Throughout the course of the Princess of Wales’ three pregnancies, her three rounds of suffering through the misery of hyperemesis gravidarum and even one hospitalisation for the same, Kate has maintained a degree of public visibility.

Not this time.

For example, Prince George was born in July 2013 and yet only a month later, in August, Kate attended a Welsh marathon event and then two months after that, in October, she returned to work.

In 2015, Princess Charlotte was born in May. A month later, in June, there was the princess at Trooping the Colour, before in July she appeared at the America’s Cup, and then got back to her full roster of official engagements in September.

Now for Prince Louis and his arrival in April 2018. Only weeks later, Kate was at Prince Harry and Meghan the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding, before appearing at Ascot in June. In July, the princess attended both Wimbledon with Meghan and was at a service at Westminster Abbey to mark the century of the RAF.

The tacit rule of royayling at this level: Turning up and being seen are the job, even when one feels like hell.

The unparalleled example of this was the late Queen who despite reportedly suffering from a rare form of bone marrow cancer was working until the day she died in 2022.

Previously, not only Kate but husband Prince William the Prince of Wales have faithfully adhered to Her late Majesty’s standard. In April 2020 William tested positive for Covid and yet during that month he carried out 14 telephone and video call engagements.

A source later told the Sun that “William was hit pretty hard by the virus … At one stage he was struggling to breathe”. Despite this, “he was determined to fulfil his engagements.”

So, why aren’t we seeing the same sort of thing here with Kate?

I would have expected some sort of photo or video showing Kate hard at it from bed would have been put out by the palace by now.

Yes, the woman has had relatively serious surgery given it took two weeks for her to be released from hospital. And yes, she would therefore have needed some quality time to recuperate and to enjoy cups of beef tea in bed while a blushing footman reads aloud to her from A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Yes, the mother-of-three has every right to not want to wash her hair or to have to perform for the sake of Instagram, but Kate is not a normal 42-year-old. She is the next Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and that inherently requires her to be seen and to be seen to be working.

In January, the impeccably sourced Sunday Times royal editor Roya Nikkhah reported that “aides insist her work will not stall.

“Those close to her say that while she will be out of sight for much of the next few months, her interest in her work will be undimmed and she is unlikely to be able to clear the decks completely,” Nikkhah reported.

So, why not show us exactly that?

This would make for quite the snazzy social media video, no? Why aren’t we seeing the iPhone prodigies of Team Wales making some sort of perky offering showing Kate at home doing some high quality princessing? We could see her on a Zoom call with her Early Years board, maybe her studying some nice thick new bits of academic research on child development with a serious brow and highlighter in hand and her say doing a chummy video call with one of key patronages.

It would let the UK know that even though Kate might currently be tucked away, she was still toiling on in the nation’s interest and remained as committed as ever to capital ‘D’ Duty.

Instead the palace has gone entirely dark on the matter of Kate, the likes of which we have never seen before.

If Charles, battling cancer, can be wheeled out by the palace comms team for an occasional stalwart social media outing and can let the cameras film him meeting with not-long-for-Number-Ten Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and if William, “struggling to breathe,” can keep up appearances, why aren’t we seeing anything of Kate?

The Princess of Wales has now been at home for 29 days.

If she returns to work on April 17, as has been speculated, that will mean she will have been out of the public eye for an extraordinary 114 days.

Between now and Kate’s mooted return to work after Easter there are a number of high-profile public events that are normally set in stone in her diary, including St David’s Day on March 1, the Commonwealth Day Service in Westminster Abbey on March 11 and presenting shamrocks to the Irish Guards to mark St Patrick’s Day on March 17.

All of these would be prime opportunities for her to send a message of support, so will we see her at all?

Royal personages and their various grasping, stray cousins who’ve fancied the throne have known since the Dark Ages that, to maintain their exalted position, they need to be seen, to put themselves on display, to live, as Harry has said, “in a zoo”. There is a reason that in the centuries before the invention of Snapchat and Hello! that the royal court would process around the country in a great sweaty, BO caravan of powdered wigs, stiff courtiers and small dogs.

And there is a reason that two days before the late Queen died she was presiding over the exit of outgoing PM Boris ‘untold number of children’ Johnson and presiding over the installation of Liz ‘pork markets’ Truss.

I wonder, would Kate be taking this long off if the nonagenarian stalwart was still in charge?

For now though, Godot-style, we wait. And we may well have to wait a hell of a lot more.

Daniela Elser is a writer, editor and a royal commentator with more than 15 years’ experience working with a number of Australia’s leading media titles.

Read related topics:Kate MiddletonKing Charles III

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