The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have begun their reluctant transition to move into full royal duties in behalf of the monarchy, but both William and Kate are determined to form their own independent Court away from the control of the Palace to control their private lives as much as possible. Yet, Charles sees this as a threat against his authority as both William’s father and higher royal rank as Prince of Wales while the Queen is wary about whether or not William will be running the ‘court,’ or the Middletons, specifically Carole. It’s no secret that William relies on her, but his increasing deference to the Middleton family’s desires to have the Cambridge couple seen as more Middleton than Windsor in the way they spend their free time and time they should be dedicating to the public.
It’s no secret that Charles has a Court of his own, but his independent set of courtiers and assistants assist in his active role as the royal equivalent as a CEO of the Prince’s Trust, to handle his public role and balance his public life without conflicting with HM’s schedule and own hobbies. The separate courts have had minor spats, one comical sparring episode consisting of conflict about furniture; Charles was trying to arrange furniture through an emissary and an assistant acting on HM’s authority spent time reprimanding the emissary representing Charles for moving certain items. There was a compromise, but other than that, the relations between the two ‘courts’ have been fairly amicable despite the known differences in lifestyle preferences.
Charles is known to be far grander in both his private life as well as public, while HM is famed for her preference for thrifty simplicity in her private life, but enjoying regal splendor in her role as Sovereign, stinting on nothing to make a regal impression suitable to the role as Queen Regnant. Despite all this, the Sovereign and Heir have gotten along well and there have been no serious issues. In fact, Charles’ court has been a favorable help in his preparation as King; one of the aspects of Sovereign is how to run a court filled with courtiers, assistants, and handling new faces and old friends in a close household setting. Charles is as a result well prepared and he has likely set a precedent for when William is invested as Prince of Wales once Charles becomes King.
The Queen and Charles both have intense work schedules, family life with their consorts, and as a result, are in need of professional space as well as private when they are not there as a family at Balmoral and in the winter holiday, Sandringham. William’s idea of a court of his own with his brother was briefly floated during his years as a bachelor, but William was working in Wales as a Search and Rescue pilot and Harry was serving and has lived with his fellow soldiers on base and Clarence House when he lives outside base. As a family the Wales have successfully worked out a way to keep the number of privately owned royal estates to a minimum, the family living closely, and before the engagement, the princes were about to be launched as a royal working duo and a way to bond the brothers closer together.
A court of their own was possible, but was still being debated over whether or not it would be practical and needed at all. Between the two of them, William and Harry were doing fairly few official engagements and next to none official engagements involving greeting and entertaining heads of state. Harry has had his charitable interests, but the operations have not caused him to need numerous assistants/staff at the palace and the apartments set aside from him in the various royal estates have been sufficient to enable him to make calls and hold occasional meetings to strategize about the goals that the charities need to be met. William has been active with SAR, his social life has always been an important part of his life (due to his gregarious nature inherited from his mother), and when he did do duties, they were light and infrequent; Harry and William managed well and the Queen was wary about multiple courts being formed and then potential conflicts occurring, with each sparring party launching salvos from their own base.
The recent determination of William to suddenly have a private Court of his own has triggered red flags among the courtiers, mainly since there is no practical need for one and there have been frequent, testy encounters between the Queen’s Court and Charles’ Court and the Cambridge family, who with the Middleton family, have been viewed as chronically defying the traditional routine, protocol, and acting without regard to the expectation that because of their senior status, both the Queen and Charles will be consulted about decisions the Cambridges would like to make and defer to the authority of the Queen and Charles. Despite the initial strategy of launching Prince William and Prince Harry as a working royal brotherly duo, it was disrupted by the shocking announcement of William becoming engaged to Kate.
It was initially denied (for yet another time) that there were plans to marry and the courtiers had to figure out a way to integrate Kate into the carefully planned royal brother working duo public relations strategy and injected her name into the originally conceived, developed, and named William and Harry Foundation, to the William, Harry, and Catherine Foundation. William hadn’t properly established himself as an independent individual working royal and it was believed that to have Harry at his side would end up with him (William) having the more socially skilled Harry at his side; it would have provided an ideal way for the brothers to bond, get on a healthy track (William and Harry both became notorious for their borderline chaotic nights drunk at the clubs), and start having them take on the load for the senior royals. Courtiers projected that in four or five years, both princes would be well established, with William working when Harry is serving and Harry filling in for William, with both working as often as possible together.
This plan was disrupted and it became extra work for the courtiers to not just adjust a carefully set strategy, but also having to deal with the sudden announcement (that the courtiers were unprepared for) of the engagement and the rapid pace that the courtiers would have to figure out a proper time frame for a royal wedding and deal with the sudden inclusion of a new member. Kate was William’s girlfriend, had been so for the past ten years, but other than that, she was never taken into consideration when official plans were being laid for William’s future. Marriage had become a fixation on Kate’s part, with her mother, Carole, being increasingly fretful about whether or not Kate would be made into an ‘honest woman’ and become William’s bride. After 2007 he had taken her back, but it is not known if there was a promise made or if it is just a myth.
Courtiers knew of the relationship, but they were fairly dismissive of her due to the fact that she was not a member of the royal family and as far as they were aware, not going to be a part of William’s official side of life for a long time, if ever. As 2010 drew to a close (before the announcement) it was believed that William and Harry would be a working team and as active military service drew to a close, William would be eased into his role of second in line under the tutelage of Charles when Harry wouldn’t be available. Yet, the announcement of the engagement caused a complete destabilization of these plans and as a result, it upset the entire plan that was projected to develop and if done properly, would put William in a position to start seriously considering marriage. It caused the courtiers to have to face a mountain of work and deal with fresh duties in addition to their usual ones in their day-to-day routine.
The wedding preparations required William to be away from base and he spent all his time in London preparing for the wedding, talking with his future sister in law Pippa and going over a lot of the rehearsals with Kate and the people who were selected to be part of the official wedding party. Kate was then required by the royals to move back to Berkshire, to get away from the noise and bustle of London while the preparations were underway; initially Kate moved herself into Clarence House, but it was mooted by Charles due to a lack of preparation (staff had not been told ahead of time that she would be living in Clarence House) and to end up causing less strain on London City police resources. During this time any planned appearances scheduled for the brothers had to be scrapped and there was mild antagonism on the part of those who expected the brothers to make appearances at their organizations.
After the wedding, the couple briefly stopped in Wales, but then went to their honeymoon in the Seychelles and returned home to England and William attempted to get back to military life, but things had changed. Because his marriage generated substantial interest in the newly married couple, William and Kate made a few appearances, but then toured Canada and then Los Angeles, California; it attracted great interest, but courtiers were beginning even at that early stage that the newly minted ducal couple were not being practical over their choice of destination, but were instead beginning to assert themselves for the sake of being in control, but not thinking of the monarchy and nation. Calgary was both fun and had an attachment to Kate and Canada is a country that is considered as much on the verge of breaking away as Australia, but the decision to go to Los Angeles was considered of debatable importance.
Ostensibly it was so William, newly anointed President of BAFTA, could meet with British entertainers while promoting cooperation between the American and British entertainment industry, but the guest list consisted of mainly American celebrities who have been considered more notorious than famous. Several of the entertainers were in fact out of work for several years and it was considered a fairly anticlimactic event. It rattled the cages of courtiers who had been trying to move the royal family away from the celebrity oriented red carpet image that was introduced by Prince Philip and reinforced by both the late Princess of Wales and ex-Duchess of York, mainly to stabilize the family and dynastic dynamics and ensure a lack of scandal that celebrates are prone to. William had asserted himself in his desire to show Kate around Los Angeles and indulged the Duchess’s desire to meet the handful of legends that did agree to greet the Duchess.
Since coming back the Cambridges have been embroiled in a series of scandals and minor family spats, spats which have resurrected the fears of many courtiers of a new set of family feuds, feuds thought to have been buried with Diana. Kate has been having problems integrating into the royal structure, being borderline unwilling to respect the set protocol and has avoided the traditional family gatherings that enable the royal family to spend time together after so many months apart due to work schedules and other commitments. William in particular is causing concern since he’s become almost entirely alienated from the royal family in his determination to assert himself in what he sees as protecting his wife from the same protocol that he believes caused his mother to become sick and run headlong into self destruction, culminating in a car crash in Paris. Despite assertions in the media that Kate is helping William deal more effectively with his paranoia with the media, the concern in the royal household is that Kate is enabling his unhealthy paranoia about his family and courtiers.
Kate has compounded this alienation by determinedly seeing her family as often as possible, showing a preference for family life instead of the life of a royal duchess. It’s increasingly exasperating the court, who admire her closeness, but see it as a developing dependency reminiscent of when she would retreat to her family home during times of crisis (involving William and at times the media) and it was a source of amusemnt during the years of dating, but has become a source of additional expense in paying for security to guard her at the newly acquired Berkshire home of her family, dubbed “Middleton Manor” in the mainstream press and tabloids. William ends up going to the manor almost as often, sometimes to enjoy weekends that turn into a full week’s stay or he goes to bring her back to the palace, but ends up being convinced to stay himself until both are practically ordered to return to the palace by the royal family. “Kate has been having the best of both worlds, but at palace expense and has wasted a lot of time that would be better used dedicating herself to her new duties,” whispers one palace source, one of the many palace staff who are tired of planning the royal schedules around Kate’s trips to her family; “Diana is constantly used as a justification, but the royal family has been tired of the constant comparisons mainly since the royal family is tired of hearing about Diana in general.”
The alienation and his assertion of his rights as future king have unsettled Charles, who despite having had problems with Diana, he adores his sons and William made him proud, seeing his son go to school and university, living as a fairly ordinary student. Initially Charles had substantial say over where William would live and how he would end up living (since Charles was paying the bills for the Cambridge’s living expenses), but since William came into his inheritance from Diana, William has distanced himself even further from his family, confusing his father and making Charles wonder if whether or not William is becoming as ill as Diana was. Diana’s problems weren’t seen as hereditary, but it is beginning to frighten even the Queen who was witness to many fits and chaotic outbursts and the courtiers are afraid that William is proving to be increasingly unstable. As he started St. Andrews William seemed to be easily moving along beyond the past, but since the engagement the palace have been seeing worrying signs that he is regressing into the same mindset of the untrusting adolescent he used to be as a child before his St. Andrews years.
Kate is not at all in any way like Diana, not just because she is an untitled commoner, but also because Kate had been used to the spotlight for ten years during her occasionally rocky relationship with William. During the past ten years Kate was often photographed, but her responses were contradictory, ranging from smiles, solemn disinterest, to outright demands for injunctions and frequent threats of lawsuits. The palace managed to keep out of the fray, despite the odd occasional request that the palace ask for security for Kate and her family members. The palace refused, but it only resulted in William distancing himself even more from the palace. Since the development of his own life as a husband and father, he has been trying to bring the Middletons more into royal life in official roles (he even looks at Michael as a surrogate secondary father and Carole as his surrogate secondary mother), but it has been refused on the grounds that the Middletons are not qualified and the palace has been trying to work on extricating Kate from Carole’s allegedly domineering control.
Unfortunately these attempts to make Kate more independent of her family and more active in a role of working member of the FIRM, Kate and William have begun to decisively cut themselves off from the Queen’s court and Charles’ court, with the apparent intention of forming their own court and have the Middleton family play a primary role, not just as being part of William’s private life, but part of his official life in official working roles. Kensington Palace is under the control of Her Majesty and has already asserted herself by telling the ducal couple under no uncertain terms that the Middletons are not welcome to reside there or participate in running of their official office or participate in the running of their agenda for royal life. Before his marriage the (now deceased) Queen Mother gifted him a lovely cottage on Sandringham grounds, but William is becoming increasingly grand and views his working role in the royal family far more substantial than the senior courtiers who are part of both the Queen’s court and the Wales court view it.
“William is full of grand ideas and he and Kate think calling the shots in Hollywood is making them major players on the world stage, but it is considered pathetic to the world at large. Government officials and powerful business people have had celebrities dancing to their tunes for decades and William isn’t working enough and he doesn’t have a wide enough range of interests that he dedicates himself to enough to need a court of his own,” states on courtier on condition of remaining anonymous; “Kate hasn’t taken initiative in getting to know people outside of the world of celebrity and royalty and it’s an annoyance since as consort it is considered her job to constructively maintain links with the world outside palace walls, but as a commoner, she was one of the crowd and wasn’t someone who was born to palace life. She has unfortunately taken the mindset of her snooty grandmother and ambitious mother and closed herself off from the public that pays for her lifestyle and she does so little that their official work can easily be handled by members of the Wales staff or Queen’s courtiers.” The Palace has become tired of seeing the ducal couple become so irrelevant in vital areas that the royal family is now mainly featured on the front pages of tabloids, not respectable papers. It’s a huge expense to maintain a court and while William is wealthy, it won’t last forever.
The Middletons are seen as heavily influencing the decision, with their ambitions for social acceptance going nowhere with the dual courts of Charles and the Queen making it clear that they are not welcome, they have already shown themselves as eager to market their way into the elite families. With an independent court of his own, financed by his own money, William can decide to let Carole preside over as a surrogate Queen, with James and Pippa in positions of William’s creation, and Kate in the role of Princess of Wales in waiting and William’s ‘Dad’ Michael as a surrogate King. While Pippa is friends with Earl Percy, she hasn’t had luck in the area of romance and James is in a relationship with Donna air, it hasn’t been what the two siblings of Kate have been hoping for. Pippa was touted as expected to marry a man with a title and estate, while James’ life has been consumed by his work as an entrepreneur, with his cake business regrettably failing and his parents had to cover his overdraft. Despite this, a position as a courtier to William and Kate, no matter how derided by the palace, would enhance James’ resume and give Pippa a substantial position to work on since her book failed and her work for various publications as a columnist has been controversial.
While none of the Middletons can be granted official titles, they have time on their side since William is the future, no matter how rejected they are now and this is considered a power play with a potential threat being sent to the palace from the Middletons, making it clear that while the Queen has the throne, Charles will be next, but William is the future. William for one reason over another has chosen to create a power base, despite the fact that he does not at all have so much work that he needs a substantial staff of his own. William however is increasingly (and irrationally in the eyes of the Court and royal family) asserting his determination to be independent of palace authority and in the past, this would have been considered potentially treasonous as well.
Anmer Hall is likely to be the place for the newly formed court, close to the residence of the Queen, but not so close that the palace can regulate the comings and goings of people and will make it difficult for the palace to properly vet the people William and Kate want to socialize with effectively to prevent criminal personalities from infiltrating the social scene. William was burned in the scandal involving a sex trafficking and drugs, when a reporter working for News of the World conversed with Kate’s Uncle Gary and exposed his illicit life. It also unnerves the Queen at the idea that security officers will have to set up a whole new base of operations to protect the Cambridge family and the idea of the Middletons benefiting from the taxpayer funded protection is a public relations disaster in the making. The courtiers know that money has been a testy area in dealing with the public, but to support security officers for the Middletons to benefit from would likely blow a powder keg into oblivion. The ducal couple have yet to move in, but if William does follow through on his suspected plans, the royal family will end up being split apart with the Cambridges enabled to continue their impulsive actions and the Middletons will end up continuing their grab for more perks and position.