Prince William, Kate Middleton learn from King Charles and Princess Diana's marriage mistakes: author

02:00 18.09.2023 - FOX News, Stephanie Nolasco

Prince of Wales will attend the second Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit in New York City on Sept. 19.

It's been a year since Queen Elizabeth II passed away - and one author says the British monarchy is surviving with the help of its future king and queen consort.

Britain's longest-reigning monarch passed away in 2022 at age 96. Her grandson, Prince William, is now heir to the throne.

"Prince William and his wife Catherine are very much beloved," author Andrew Morton told Fox News Digital. "Quite frankly, if Disney was to create a princess, a modern-day princess, I think Catherine would tick most of the boxes."

The paperback version of Morton's latest book, "The Queen: Her Life," was published on Sept. 5 with a new epilogue. It takes an in-depth look at the late queen's life and legacy, one that is still impacting the monarchy. The bestselling author, known for being Princess Diana's biographer, has previously written books on other members of the British royal family, including Meghan Markle and Princess Margaret.

William, 41, will be in New York City on Monday and Tuesday for several engagements, including the second Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit.

"The great triumph?? has been the fact that Kate has really come into her own as a Princess of Wales, as a future queen," Morton shared.

Over the years, William has allowed his wife to shine in the spotlight, as they remain committed to duty and raise awareness on causes they're passionate about, Morton pointed out.

And the Prince of Wales has had two examples to live by. His grandfather Prince Philip spent more than seven decades supporting his wife. Since the queen's coronation in 1953, the Duke of Edinburgh fulfilled more than 20,000 royal engagements to boost British interest at home and abroad and headed hundreds of charities. Britain's longest-serving consort died in 2021 at age 99.

And then there was the turbulent marriage of William's parents, Princess Diana and the former Prince Charles. The former nursery schoolteacher turned glamorous icon brought lasting change to the royal family as she comforted AIDS patients, championed the vulnerable and led a campaign for a worldwide band on landmines. In her lifetime, she was a patron of over 100 charities.

But her role as a royal rebel came at a price. Her marriage appeared doomed from the start and publicly disintegrated as she came out of her shell. Diana blamed Charles for continuing his liaison with his longtime mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles. She detailed her struggles behind palace doors in the 1992 book "Diana Her True Story," which was based on tapes the princess sent to Morton.

Charles and Diana's divorce was finalized in 1996. And a year later, Diana died from injuries she sustained in a Paris car crash. She was 36.

WATCH: Prince William, Kate Middleton learn from Princess Diana's marriage

Morton said the lessons William learned from both marriages have stayed with him. The Prince and Princess of Wales have been married for 12 years.

"I think what he's learned from his grandparents is stability and a sense of duty," Morton explained. "It's not all about you, but it's about others?? And giving each other space in the marriage. I think that's what the queen and Prince Philip did admirably."

"Prince Philip went his own way in terms of doing all kinds of charitable works," Morton shared. "He was the one who went out in the evening to various dinners to give dinner speeches. The queen was the person who stayed at home. So the queen's marriage to Philip could be labeled a study in contrast."

"And I think it's interesting that with Charles and Diana's marriage, obviously he recognized that both parents loved the children, but didn't love each other," Morton continued. "And obviously, he has had to cope, as his younger brother, with the death of his mother?? I think the Prince and Princess of Wales have done a remarkable job in supporting each other."

But the couple's marriage hasn't been without scrutiny. In the last few years, tabloids have published unfounded rumors of alleged infidelity. Morton pointed out that all royal couples, including the queen and Prince Philip, have faced the same gossip. The couple has followed the queen's mantra of "never complain, never explain."

"There'll always be rumors about members of the royal family," he said. "It just comes with the territory."

For Morton, he admired the "quiet competition" the couple have in carving out their own identities in the public eye.

And it's not only limited to royal duties. When the couple recently appeared on "The Good, The Bad, and The Rugby" podcast, they were compared to Monica and Chandler from Friends for their "super competitive" nature in sports.

"I'm really not that competitive," said Middleton, 41, with a laugh. "I don't know where this is coming from."

William poked fun at his wife and appeared to give her a subtle wink, which was caught quickly by royal watchers.

Middleton later agreed, saying that she and William haven't "actually managed to finish a game of tennis" together.

"It becomes a mental challenge between the two of us," she said.

"Yeah, it's who can out mental each other," said William.

Morton described the couple's relationship as "an affectionate one," which they display when getting personal about their home life and passions.

"William doesn't have the same chirpy charisma of [his brother] Prince Harry, but he's focused on the job and is focused on his mission," he said.

Morton also praised Middleton's transformation from a commoner to a well-loved princess.

The couple first met at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. First friends and then housemates along with two other students, William and Middleton became romantically linked around 2004. Middleton graduated in 2005 with a degree in art history.

As the romance blossomed, William complained about press intrusion and Middleton's lawyers asked newspaper editors to leave her alone. The couple briefly split in 2007. William later admitted that they were both young and trying to find their way.

The tabloids dubbed Middleton Waity Katie for her patience during their courtship. The couple married in 2011.

"I think [William] has done an admirable job?? the word 'training' is wrong, but [it's like] getting a thoroughbred ready for the big race," said Morton. "And it's taken [Middleton] some years to become confident and competent in the role of princess, but I think now you are seeing her in her best years. She looks great. She has found her?? footing as a royal in terms of charity work with the early age stuff."

"She's very confident doing her own engagements," Morton continued. "She's not leaning on William all the time. And I think that she's genuinely come of age as a princess. And I say that because it's not easy being a princess or a duchess for that matter. It takes a long time to get to understand the role. It's more than just being a celebrity - there's got to be something about you that transcends who are you."

All eyes are on the royals and what the future holds for them. King Charles III ascended to the throne upon the queen's death. But Morton noted that the Prince and Princess of Wales have been supportive of the new king and queen as they prepare for their own destiny.

"It's funny, [the queen] is still on top of the popularity charts, so it's as though she [hasn't] left us," said Morton. "From that point of view, I think King Charles has done a very capable job. He's done everything that's been expected of him, as has Queen Camilla. They've largely ignored all the noise?? and they've focused on the job of being a monarch and consort. And they have the right support."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

/ Monday, September 18, 2023, 2:00 AM /

themes:  New York City  New York (state)

Prince William, Kate Middleton's new power move could lead to 'even more backstabbing and intrigue:' expert

The Prince and Princess of Wales put out a job ad for a CEO before William, heir to the throne, traveled to New York City.

Before Prince William touched down in America, he and his wife Kate Middleton had already planned out their latest power move.

 ..... But before his visit, the Prince and Princess of Wales put out a job ad for a "low ego" chief executive officer (CEO) who will run their household.

Christopher Andersen, author of "The King," warned Fox News Digital that the hire of a CEO could risk competition with the king's office. However, it's noted in the job description that the CEO must align the couple's priorities with those in support of the king and his wife.

"I'm sure William and Kate think they are helping Charles 'streamline' the monarchy by creating this new post of CEO, but of course, all they are doing is adding another layer of bureaucracy," Andersen explained.

"It's bad enough that the private secretaries and deputy private secretaries for all the royal households - the 'Men in Gray,' Princess Diana called them - spend so much time jockeying for position and trying to get the upper hand," he shared. "They have always wielded all the power behind the scenes - even the king defers to them, just as his mother Queen Elizabeth II did. Now they will have someone above them reporting directly to the Prince and Princess of Wales - a person who will almost certainly set about building their little empire within palace walls."

"This is a recipe for even more backstabbing and intrigue," Andersen alleged. "I think William and Kate should stick to the basics - just do what they've done in the past, only more so. They already have the key to success. They know what they're doing. As the saying goes, don't fix it if it ain't broke."

Andersen believes the title of CEO is "woefully misguided" because it's "intended to make the monarchy sound more business-efficient."

"People don't want to be reminded that 'The Firm' is exactly that - a multibillion-dollar moneymaking enterprise," said Andersen. "The term 'CEO' is rather cold-blooded. People want to cling to the illusion of history and romance that is the essence of the British monarchy."

According to the job description obtained by Fox News Digital, the CEO will be "the most senior and accountable leader for the Household of The Prince and Princess of Wales." The CEO will report to the couple directly, as well as support them "to deliver the work and impact of TRH's official and private offices." The individual will manage a team of about 60 people and develop "a positive, collaborative and professional culture."

In addition, the CEO will provide "counsel and support to TRHs on a wide variety of matters related to their public and private offices."

The ad was posted not on Buckingham Palace's official website, but on the page of recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson.

A spokesperson for the couple didn't immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.

Middleton, 41, has been without a private secretary since December, The Telegraph reported. According to the outlet, Hannah Cockburn-Logie previously took on the role for two and a half years.

But not every royal expert feels the same way as Andersen. British royal commentator Jonathan Sacerdoti told Fox News Digital that the Prince and Princess of Wales have been revamping things behind palace doors as the future king and queen consort.

"[Prince William's] intention to hire a CEO is interesting because it is not the conventional way royal households have been staffed," he said.

"Hiring someone who doesn't come from a background of decades of work in the royal households, the military or even from the civil service?? [is] a sign that [William] wants to modernize his executive team and run things a bit differently," Sacerdoti explained. "I think every senior royal in the line of succession has the opportunity to work with what they inherit, and also to modernize and shape things more in their image. So it's a sign that he may want to do things in a more modern, corporate sort of way."

"We'll need to wait and see how well it works, and if the new CEO will fit in with the more traditional structures and styles of the rest of the institution," Sacerdoti added.

British royals expert Hilary Fordwich pointed out to Fox News Digital that, according to the ad, the couple is seeking someone who is "calm under pressure, able to deal with difficult situations sensitively and with integrity."

"The first person who came to my mind was Patrick Jephson, the private secretary and equerry to Diana, Princess of Wales from 1988 to 1996," Fordwich explained. "While responsible for every aspect of her public life she soared in popularity, and she totally trusted him until Martin Bashir deceived her, for which the BBC had to apologize."

"Likewise, William and Catherine need someone they can trust, just as Diana did Patrick," Fordwich shared. "He most certainly was an admirable 'servant' leader. As he recounted, after a long day visiting a leprosy hospital or the like, if she complained to him, he would raise an eyebrow in disapproval, causing her to reproach herself, validating him with 'What you're telling me Patrick is, 'Just shut up, Diana, and do your job!' How many would have the strength of character to do as Patrick did? How many will bring good judgment to the table?"

Fordwich noted that the hunt for a CEO projects "an Americanized approach" in an attempt to keep the monarchy fresh and relevant to a new generation. ..... 

"The House of Windsor has never attempted such an appointment like this in its long history," Fordwich explained. "Both William and Catherine are known to be introverts and are being urged to 'do more.' Where has the desire for this position originated from? Perhaps as a response to Prince Harry's accusations of courtiers wielding too much power while he was on an American chat show where he doubted whether his grandmother had 'the right people around her.'"

"It is also well-known that Prince Andrew also resented royal courtiers as he had a hand in forcing out the queen's previous private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt, amid concerns regarding his heavy influence over his mother," Fordwich continued. "Or perhaps this position is being posted as a response to the less than successful Caribbean tour William and Catherine undertook last year. It may well also be in response to the criticism they recently received in response to William's decision not to fly to Sydney to watch the Lionesses play the World Cup Final."

Fordwich added that the likelihood the Prince and Princess of Wales will be visiting the U.S. more, as well as all the countries in the Commonwealth, "will be high." The goal is to boost their image globally amid the ongoing family drama that has made headlines in recent years.

According to The Sunday Times, William "has no plans to answer inevitable questions" about his "fractured relationship" with his brother.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back as senior royals in 2020. At the time, they cited what they saw as the media's racist treatment of the duchess and a lack of support from the palace.

After moving to California, the couple aired their grievances in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021. In late 2022, their six-part Netflix documentary was released, which detailed their love story and struggles with royal life. Then in January of this year, Prince Harry's memoir Spare was published. It unveiled his longtime rivalry with William, the heir to the throne, and the grief he endured after the death of their mother, Princess Diana.

In interviews given to promote the book, the Duke of Sussex, 39, accused members of the royal family of getting "into bed with the devil" to gain favorable tabloid coverage. He singled out his stepmother Camilla's efforts to rehabilitate her image with the British people after her longtime affair with his father.

Sacerdoti said William's U.S. trip is part of a "carefully planned evolution" as he tunes out the tabloid noise.

"I expect he won't waste much, if any, time on discussing his brother," Sacerdoti explained. "It's unlikely he'll want to be sidetracked into the circus of competitive PR and gossip?? The future king has other matters to deal with. He is positioning himself as a global statesman, the U.K.'s next head of state?? He's keen to be seen using his position in connection to the big issues of the world."

"That's why his Earthshot Prize is central to his activities, along with his efforts to tackle homelessness," Sacerdoti shared. "These are world causes he sees as relevant to the future of the world and therefore also to him as the future king. He seems to be aware of the importance of the American public and their mostly positive opinion of him. He looks comfortable visiting the U.S. regularly."

"William is the next head of state for the U.K. and 15 other countries," chimed British royals expert Shannon Felton Spence. "It's important that he builds these relationships while he's an apprentice for the role. His father did the same thing since the '70s."

"The more that William is seen in the mix of world leaders, the more relevant and essential the monarchy seems," she noted. "The Prince of Wales is meant to be the sparkly mover and shaker, while the king is in the castle."


All rights to the materials belong to the sources indicated under the heading of each news and their authors.