William Defends the BRF

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out an engagement at an East London school today. Candidly, I haven’t been closely tracking their schedules since everything shut down and the Zoom photos don’t do much for me, but I *think* this is their first live joint appearance since their mini-domestic tour a couple months ago. Whatever the case, they were out and about today and it was good to see something normal-ish in the royal world.

I heard a wildly unsubstantiated rumor that I will go ahead and repeat that this was originally meant to be a Kate only appearance, but once it became clear when the Sussex interview would air, it was re-calibrated to include William so she wasn’t handling awkward questions on her own. If true then fair enough because exactly that happened.

When asked if he had spoken to Harry since Sunday, William responded, “No, I haven’t spoken to him yet, but I will do.” And in response to, “Can you just let me know, is the Royal Family a racist family, Sir?” William answered definitively, “We are very much not a racist family.”

I know we’re borderline immune to this after the last few days, but it’s truly surreal that senior royals, much less a future king, are having to answer for accusations like this, and that they’re coming from inside the family. And not just from anyone inside the family, but from HARRY. It’s insane and and it’s very sad.

It appears that reporters followed up with Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, and Kensington Palace after the exchange. KP responded that William had said all he wished to say, while BP and CH signalled their approval on background.

In some ways, William’s answer today was a more candid response to the interview than the Queen’s official statement yesterday. It’s a direct refutation and it makes clear that the BRF denies Harry and Meghan’s allegations that their motivation for any of the discord between them was racially motivated. I believe that to be true, and as I’ve read reactions to the interview in American analyses I’ve been discouraged by the number of people who seem to be taking Meghan at her word that Archie’s lack of title came down to race.

Again, we don’t know who made that comment about Archie’s skin color or the context, but if it went down the way it was portrayed then that’s horrible. But it’s also a separate issue from Archie’s title. I covered this in my post on Sunday evening, but one thing I didn’t touch on is the fact that the Cambridge children, of course, are styled as princes and a princess despite also being the Queen’s great-grandchildren. As a future king, George was always going to be a prince from birth so he falls outside this scope. Charlotte and George, however, wouldn’t have save for the fact the rule was changed in time for their own births, allowing them to be titled princess and prince, respectively.

That happened not because they’re white, but because as the children of a future monarch they have royal futures and it was considered sensible to not have their names/titles changed at some future date. Harry’s child(ren) do not in a more streamlined monarchy, per Charles’s vision. This would have remained true regardless of who Harry married.

While this may not seem intuitive, bear in mind that as of when this convention was put in place, it would have been an rare for there to be four generations under the monarch due to life expectancy. The last time this happened was during Queen Victoria’s reign from 1894-1901, but it was an oddity then and unprecedented.

Last but not least, since this is a shorter post I want to note that going forward, I’m probably not going to cover each and every engagement. I’ll cover big moments, but will probably move in the direction of more analysis and opinion than quasi-reporting. I will, however still cover the fashion over on Instagram. And, based on how things are playing out with the Royal Family these days, I think that will still give us plenty to cover 😉 I’m still debating whether I want to backfill moments from the past year that I missed, so if there’s anything you’d definitely like me to write on, let me know in the comments or on Insta.

6 thoughts on “William Defends the BRF

  1. Adrienne Bliss Brow

    It’s not “horrible” to mention skin color in relation to DNA or genetics. It is “horrible” to decry it as a negative. Where is Archie anyway? Does he have a growing face or but only for Bishop Desmond Tutu. This teasing (or hiding some truth) really should stop.

    1. I very clearly said “if it went down the way it was portrayed.” There were any number of caveats in that graf. I don’t love the second half of your comment so I’m hoping something has been lost in translation. Archie is obviously in CA with his parents per video clip that aired with the interview.

  2. LEW

    I’ve thought very hard about all this and I’m honestly trying to be fair to Meghan and Harry and see their points regarding the security issue. I am stuck on this aspect though, because throwing this absolute grenade at your family but refusing to clarify the who/what/when and wherefore is dreadful. Racism is a real thing, it is abhorrent, it is the cause of many of the ills in our world and thus accusing anyone of it is serious. If I were a member of the RF and knew that I was innocent in this, I would be hurt (and furious) beyond measure.

    There does seem to be a reluctance to challenge them about it though. “Their truth”, however vaguely expressed, is being accepted as objective reality but the truth of family members who have been damaged by this and cannot clear themselves appears unimportant.

  3. Miss Kitty

    I would be very interested in any analysis you do. There are plenty of others following the fashions but not enough informed and balanced people reporting on issues.

  4. Whitebow

    RSB, I am so glad you are back. As for future topics—you mentioned a while back that you might do an essay on the RF and the tabloids. Speaking as an American, I don’t understand the importance of the tabloids in British life. Here our equivalent might be the National Enquirer, which everyone agrees is a laughable junk rag and has no political influence. Why are the tabloids so popular in the UK? Why are they so nasty? (It sells?) And why does the RF care what the tabloids say anyway? Do they worry as much about what’s published in The Times? Are they truly afraid of the tabloids, as Harry claimed? Why are tabloid rumors so upsetting to H&M—why don’t they just not read it? I read that Harry even reads (or read) the comments sections, which couldn’t possibly be an uplifting thing to do. I don’t understand the apparent popularity, importance, and influence of such lowbrow publications. I would be interested in your thoughts about this.

  5. I don’t think it matters “who” said the comments because this person would deny. Just like William denied being a racist family. I think the point the Sussex duo were making was that they felt they were fighting racism all the time. Outside the palace, inside the palace, even from family!

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