Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle had very different years. Photo / Getty Images
The future queen, mother, charity disco organizer and buyer of part-time accessories: The Duchess of Cambridge has worn many hats during her 39 years (and not both, $ 2,100 Philip Treacy numbers). This week she added a new string to her bow, officially entering the publishing game.
Next month we will see the release of a photo book entitled Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020, with 100 powerful and moving images from the innovative photo project of the same name that Kate captured last year.
Although the title will only be released on May 7, the first anniversary of Hold Still, the book sold out in four hours, which means it is already a resounding success or Carole Middleton was thrilled.
All this is wonderful and impressive and creates very good news as the royal family faces the second Easter. However, as the UK draws to a close, the release of the new book raises a bigger question: How will history remember the royal family during the pandemic?
Because, peer a little closer, with the advantage of a small background, and appears an image of a duke and duchess who went up… and another duo who did not.
Let’s go back to March 2020: On March 11, the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic. public royal events were canceled at Buckingham Palace 17th. on the 25th, it was revealed that Prince Charles had tested positive for the virus two days earlier, on the 27th, it was reported that Harry and Megan had zippers across the border from their borrowed home in Canada for relocation to Los Angeles.
That month, the world collapsed and we all tried to understand this scourge and our rapidly shrinking worlds as borders closed, schools closed in the United Kingdom and the United States, and supermarket shelves were stripped bare.
For the royal family, this was uncharted territory, the name of their handshake and official visit is no longer possible – or really useful – in this brave new world. For the Duchess of Cambridge and Sussex, this new, dark example was both a challenge and an opportunity to make their mark.
By the time the masks became de rigueur and we were piling on toilet paper, Harry and Megan were no longer members of the royal family, but certainly as two people struggled to make a difference, a crisis like this should have seen them want to jump and give a hand.
There were first indications of this result.
On April 16, Harry and Megan were photographed delivering meals as part of Project Angel Food, putting the compassion and care they sought to establish as their brand milestones into action.
That same month, both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex participated in video calls with UK-affiliated organizations (WellChild for him, Hubb Community Kitchen for her) to discuss the pandemic response to these groups. $ 176,000 commitment to benefit from the broadcast of their marriage to a charity helping fund hungry children during the pandemic.
In May, to mark the first birthday of their son, Archie, they released an adorable video of the Duchess reading a book on the bub to support a Coronavirus Save the Children fund.
However, in the months that followed, as spring arrived in summer and the number of infections and deaths continued to rise, the couple’s public outings took on a different hue, focusing heavily on issues they had long advocated, namely equality. gender, women empowerment and mental health.
Instead, Sussexes 2020 in general was determined by regular disagreements and the issue of money. In August, it was revealed that they had found a dosh to buy a $ 21 million mansion in a celebrity pocket; high price stars.
The combined, estimated value of their meeting room: $ 194 million. Shortly before Christmas, and thanks to the promotion of the couple’s neighbor Oprah Winfrey on Instagram, it was announced that Meghan had invested in Clevr Blends, a vegan latte brand.
Contrary to what William and Kate responded to Blighty, making an endless number of video calls to frontline workers from across the Commonwealth and trying to encourage a busy one, he suffers from a nation.
Repeatedly, together or individually, they appeared on video screens from their appropriately aggressive living room in Norfolk, listening to everyone from Australian nurses to London Ambos share their experiences. Asked how many drug knives they want to spend time having a polite conversation with jerking HRHs via Zoom aside, at least the duo had a crack at making a coordinated, regular effort.
Now for sure, none of Cambridges’ works were particularly dazzling or mold-breaking (Keep that aside) but what we will remember in the years to come is that when the UK suffered, the Cambridges, day by day, appeared (from a distance of course) for their country.
(Before we go to build statues in their honor, keep in mind that in July, Kate had only three formal engagements and William eight.)
They did their boring, mediocre hard workforce to meet the challenge posed by the pandemic. And while that only boosted their approval in the UK, it did not seem that winning a few PR wins was what led them.
What is remarkable about all this, apart from the seemingly endless supply of the couple’s innocent sweaters, is that a significant part of this work, which went completely unnoticed and was applauded by the press and the public.
William and Kate made a total of 210 appearances last year, a significant portion of which was on the pandemic and the impact of the virus in the UK and the Commonwealth – and most of which failed to garner more than a fleeting reference to the present.
This is the sad part of the royal life that The Crown kindly requested, the hours and hours of meeting and greeting and listening with zero expectation for fans or kudos.
Can the same be said for Harry and Megan?
In 2020, they were not idle at all and are hungry for important causes – but causes that seemed more in line with their original American brand than with the pandemic.
What is embarrassing is that it presents a historic moment like the one Harry and Megan did no more. that their zeal for charity and for helping others did not translate into any exciting, great work or a strong grassroots campaign.
Because, looking back, what did they manage to take substantial note during this (hopefully) once in a lifetime disaster?
The story is written by the winners, or so the saying goes. In 2020, history was written by those who appeared.
Daniela Elder is a royal expert and author with over 15 years of experience working with several of Australia’s leading media titles.