There’s an odd split when it comes to the royal family and the holidays: the royals love to take long breaks from the affairs of the monarchy… but their vacation homes are pretty grim.
Sandringham, the Queen’s Norfolk Christmas estate, looks like the setting for a gothic horror story, while Balmoral, Her Majesty’s Scottish home, was partly modeled after a Bavarian castle. All that impregnable gray stone and all those burlesque medieval towers is enough to make even the bravest of young Royal Highnesses nightmares for life.
And yet, when it comes to relaxation, the House of Windsor is second to none. Princess Margaret flew off to Mustique and roasted in the Caribbean sun with outrageous regularity (you probably still smelled the coconut oil long after she came back and demanded whiskey in some London drawing room), while the Queen Mother I immediately bought myself a festive castle – Mei Castle – and ran there for lavish absenteeism, away from everything as bourgeois as work.
And, unfortunately, this royal tradition of relaxing, as if it were a competitive sport, William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, willingly continue. They have taken almost four months off in the past 18 months and are currently in the middle of their roughly two-month annual summer vacation.
While the Duke and Duchess are set to come to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this week to wave the Union Jack and prove how well they applaud, in a normal year, once the final Wimbledon trophy is handed out in July, it’s time to get out of the Ambre Solaire and the duo won’t return to their posts until early fall.
This year, of course, June has been a busy month for the Cambridges with all the platinum anniversary waving they had to do, but as is usually the case, in July we only saw Kate at a charity polo match and at the Royal Box at Wimbledon. , hardly. demonstration of regal lubrication of the elbow. (Any “job” that can be done while holding a chilled glass of Pimms is hardly considered a hard shot now, is it?)
In August, as unusually, Kate will completely disappear from the radar, usually reappearing only in mid-September.
Similarly, in 2021, the only official activities Kate took on in July included watching tennis and football, after which she took almost nine weeks off, meaning that from late June to mid-September, her absence from work was practically impossible. on the.
William had a similar schedule, except for two Earthshot Awards meetings he managed to squeeze into and one church service. God, however, he manages to do so much?
The couple have traveled twice in the last year or so to France (for Kate’s brother’s wedding and a skiing holiday) and Jordan, not to mention spending time in Scotland and Norfolk.
There’s nothing to be done: William and Kate are having vacation problems.
And as we all know, the first step is to admit it.
The problem here is that just because they can take days off for several months of the year, which royals traditionally have, doesn’t mean they should.
For years, the couple and their team have been focused on building the Cambridge brand, which represents them as a hardworking and very normal couple. Look at them, they boldly take on the most pressing issues of the day, including mental health and climate change, and then return home to take a bath!
This is a formula that has been devised to try to ensure the survival of the monarchy. The idea seems to be to let Prince Charles be, well, Prince Charles, chatting about hedge conservation and giving the occasional speech about the environment and his Aston Martin that runs on white wine (actually) and the British are reluctant will endure it.
Meanwhile, along with all of that, we have William and Kate creating a much bolder, more active and active version of the royal family that also has a cult of personality.
Central to the birth of Cambridge Inc. takes the couple’s attitude and their willingness to be vulnerable. We heard Kate talk about the loneliness of new motherhood and appear on a parenting podcast, while William regularly talked about the emotional toll his years as an air ambulance pilot had taken on him and his grief over the loss of his mother.
These touchy antics are not one-offs, but the bulk of their public personas, all aimed at turning them into the first senior members of the royal family, who are considered real people and who are in contact with the real world; who did more than just spy on commoners, looking at the world through the window of a golden carriage. (Of course they have one of these, but it’s awfully bulky for a school run.)
But for all the H&M dresses Kate wears, they’re not a normal middle-class family, no matter how many Audi station wagons they’ve added to their fleet and how many times young Prince George has been taught how to use Waitrose’s self-service checkout.
The Duke and Duchess can take a lot of free time whenever they want because they are in complete control of their schedules, with the exception of key events like Trooping the Color and Memorial Day, which means they can spend a week on the beach even if it’s in this time. in the Cornish Isles of Scilly rather than at their 19th-century mahogany desks whenever the mood strikes.
They also don’t have, like the vast majority of people in the world, a very limited amount of vacation time to be used carefully, and they can instead spend some more family time with Harrods buckets and shovels in tow whenever they want.
But it’s time for the Cambridges to give up that royal privilege. They can’t have their nearly one hundred vacation days a year and still try to market themselves as Duke and Duchess of Relatability.
Every time William and Kate accidentally remind the world how fundamentally abnormal their lives are, it jeopardizes all the work they do for the rest of the year to present themselves as the approachable faces of modern royalty.
There’s also the fact that this pesky bad habit also serves to resurrect the Lazy Kate narrative that has haunted her for years. Prior to their 2008 wedding, the Daily Mail reported that the Queen thought Kate needed to find a job.
“The Queen has admitted that she has no idea what Kate is actually doing,” the senior aide said at the time, and that Her Majesty “feels that Kate should be working.” She believes in a modern monarchy and is very firm in her belief that members of the royal family should lead by example.”
A source close to Kate said at the time: “She’s basically just waiting for William to get home so they can go on another vacation.” (Ouch.)
Plus, there’s the fact that the duo only started full-time royal duties in 2017. Diana, Princess of Wales, by contrast, was thrown into the deep end and sent to charm the masses in the regional city centers before she had it all. wedding confetti from her hair.
Anyone worthy of their Walter Badggott knows that the British Monarchy is going to face its greatest test in the coming years since Oliver Cromwell started coming up with ideas. The next king is a man who receives, at best, tepid support, while the royal house has suffered a series of bodily blows in recent years from which it has yet to recover thanks to Prince Andrew’s horrific behavior and seismic eruptions. Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Things don’t quite look like hype for the Crown, which is why so much rests on William and Kate.
And yet, they seem willing to risk all their winnings to take their minds off their duties, with the kind of enthusiasm Margreret has probably reserved for the arrival of every new 20-year-old bartender at her favorite Mustique diner.
Of course, the Duke and Duchess should get a vacation, and of course they don’t have to apply for a vacation from their manager (although the image of the 96-year-old Queen spending part of her day green-lighting vacation requests from Her Royal Highness is amusing). But these crazy kids have to find some sort of middle ground between the extreme privileges of the royal family and the image of them as hard-working, ordinary parents who hold the keys to the Tower of London. (Yes, I know they don’t actually have them, but they can certainly get them, can’t they?)
It’s time for William and Kate to guide less Princess Margaret and more Princess Anne. And when it comes to the royal princess, the loss of the swimwear industry was only the gain of the monarchy…
Daniela Elzer is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years of experience working with a range of leading Australian media outlets.