When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Buckingham Palace Garden Party last week, they ended up being caught up in the same photo frame as the younger York princesses, Beatrice and Eugenie. You can see the photo above – it’s a rare occasion when Kate is in the same frame as the Yorks, and some in the British press made a big deal about how different the women look. The Daily Mail’s Sarah Vine wrote a piece about how she feels sorry for the Yorks, but that piece read as passive-aggressively bitchy to all of the ladies involved. Well, the Daily Mail did a follow-up on the Vine column, and this one is all about the history of bad (royal) blood between the Cambridges and the Yorks. If you’ve been following royal gossip for a while, this is not new information: there has been a long-simmering feud between the Middletons and the Yorks for the better part of a decade. But still, it’s interesting to read the newer quotes. It’s a lengthy piece, and you can read the full DM piece here. Some highlights:
Kate has the position now. An insider says: ‘Royalty is all about pecking order, often in a cruelly blunt sense, and it is Kate who has all the toys and the position. Despite being the only young “blood Princesses” (in other words, born royal), Beatrice and Eugenie have been reduced to walk-on parts in Royal Family life. It particularly hurt when Kate did solo engagements with the Queen during the Diamond Jubilee. They felt snubbed.’
The Yorks versus the Middletons. Apparently, there was an incident in 2008 at a London fashion show for Issa, a favourite brand of the Royals and the Middletons. Organisers asked an already seated Beatrice and Eugenie to shuffle up in the front row to make room for Pippa Middleton. It is said they refused. Depending on who you talk to, this was a case of the Princesses being regal and unfriendly or Pippa being unnecessarily pushy because she didn’t want to lose face by suffering the social death that is being made to sit in the second row. ‘Pathetic, maybe, but however you look at it, people remember these things. They deplete mutual goodwill, if there is any to begin with,’ said one society girl who was there.
Kate snubbed Beatrice in 2008. There was more trouble in 2008, when Kate organised a charity roller disco. It is said that, somehow, Beatrice wasn’t initially invited to the bash. Then, when an invitation was apparently extended to her — but not by Kate, according to sources — the Princess wasn’t made aware of the Eighties dress code and arrived in an ordinary dress, while everyone else was in neon outfits. Beatrice, it seems, blamed Kate. Some say there were tears.
The 2011 wedding of Will & Kate. The Yorks were mad that their mother wasn’t invited, and that Beatrice’s boyfriend Dave wasn’t invited either. A source says: ‘William has the Spencer paranoia gene. Dave is a gregarious, chatty American and William is so private it hurts. He would accuse his dog of being indiscreet if it barked at someone else too often.’
The tribal differences. A source says: ‘Beatrice and Eugenie have a very glitzy, international, party-girl streak — particularly Beatrice. They like the deck of a superyacht, a chalet pool, a New York dance floor or a hot new restaurant in LA. William and Kate are more at home among the red trouser brigade of north Norfolk or in East Anglian fields in their wellies, as Kate’s recent country-themed Vogue cover showed. They have no interest in befriending celebrities. You can’t imagine them ever having dinner with Hollywood actors such as Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, as Beatrice and Dave do, or hanging out with the artist Tracey Emin, as Eugenie does. They want to be with their children or have dinner at home with friends they have grown up with.’
The Yorks are tight with royal ex-girlfriends. ‘Beatrice and Eugenie remain great friends with Harry’s ex, Chelsy Davy, who was never Kate’s soulmate. They are just such different people. Worse, Beatrice and Eugenie are extremely close to Cressida Bonas, another of Harry’s blonde exes, and her half-sister, Isabella Branson.’
The Yorks work. A source insists: ‘It isn’t fair. Beatrice works for Sandbridge Capital, a finance house, in New York, but has always been keen on charity work. Eugenie, meanwhile, works for Hauser & Wirth, a London art gallery. People criticise them for having lots of holidays, but who’d turn down all those opportunities? And what did Kate ever do when she was single? Take a few pictures for her parents’ party-planning website and spend a brief stint in the jewellery department at Jigsaw.’
The bad feelings have gotten worse over time. ‘Beatrice, in particular, has tried to build bridges but without much joy. William can be insufferably grand and it’s understandable if this has rubbed off on Kate. The Duchess of Cornwall has gone out of her way to be nice to them, as if making up for things.’ Another source says: ‘Charles, too, is fond of them. They are sweet, well-behaved girls. But it is challenging to start off feeling very royal and end up less so. And you can’t overestimate how hard it is being the child of Prince Andrew and Fergie. Yet look how well they cope.’
The princesses do have more work experience than Kate, although that’s setting the bar REALLY low. And Beatrice does vacation a lot. Like, a crazy amount. But I’m still not drinking the Kool-aid about Will and Kate just wanting to hang out in Norfolk with their rich country friends. Bulls—t. They love celebrities. Kate loves to hang out with famous people. Hell, they invited Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to Kensington Palace! So, yeah, I don’t know what those quotes were about other than another attempt to slam the Yorks somehow. I do feel sorry for Eugenie and Beatrice because – let’s face it – it was always going to be this way. They were always going to be pushed aside in the media when Will and Harry found brides. The DM describes the Yorks’ relationship with the Cambridges’ as “chilly” several times but I think that’s putting it mildly.
Photos courtesy of Pacific Coast News, KP Twitter.