In celebration of their tenth wedding anniversary, the Cambridges have released a 40 second vignette of their painfully British existence. It’s all Barbour jackets, laughing children and windswept beaches. It is, in other words, a John Lewis nightmare.
But who wants an aspirational royal family? That’s kind of the point isn’t it, that they’re not like us? No, apparently the focus groups have spoken and Britain wants a set of Boden models to represent the nation.
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) April 29, 2021
Thank you to everyone for the kind messages on our wedding anniversary. We are enormously grateful for the 10 years of support we have received in our lives as a family. W & C📹 @will_warr pic.twitter.com/eWNw1E8FLB
Instead it’s jollies in orchards with the suspiciously giggly children overlaid with tinkly, faux-folk music (you’re half expecting Marcus Mumford to jump out from behind one of the apple trees, mandolin at the ready). The Land Rover in the background feels horribly like a prop designed to remind us of Prince Philip rather than just a car that happens to be parked in the background. I’d have far more sympathy for the Middleton-Windsors if they had included images of young Louis bawling his eyes out as Charlotte yanks on his hair, Kate yelling at William for giving George a swift slap around the ears for biting his sister.
I suppose this is it from now on. Next it’ll be William stuffing his face with stodgy chips on some Highland beach in an artfully planned show of understated Unionism. Or a cheeky snap of a gin and tonic in St Mawes after the kids have been put to bed. But this is the problem, it’s all designed to be personable but inoffensive. As if we’re meant to feel like they’re the nice, slightly posh couple from up the road rather than the soon-to-be sovereign. It’s ever so slightly manipulative.
No family spends the day perfectly frolicking about like that. The Cambridges' performance is arguably just as confected as anything Harry and Meghan said on Oprah’s sofa. And if there's one moral to be drawn from the H&M saga, it's that Wills and Kate should perhaps think twice before drifting down the path of puffed up self-promotion.