Earlier this week, Marie Claire reported that the Princess of Wales caught some heat for upstaging her father-in-law King Charles at the Chelsea Flower Show, a longtime favorite event in the royal diary for Her late Majesty. (This, of course, was the King’s first show since he became monarch back in September, and his and Queen Camilla’s visit was planned in advance; Kate’s visit, which garnered much of the attention, was a surprise.)
The Daily Mail reports that Kate’s popularity is “unsettling” for the King and Queen, but royal expert Kate Mansey says that, with the Chelsea Flower Show in particular, Kate “was not competing” with her in-laws: “I think she’s a great model for the monarchy [and] for the royal family, and they appreciate that,” Mansey says on the “Palace Confidential” podcast. “They wouldn’t have had her there if they didn’t think it would be brilliant, so I think there’s a way they can all exist.” Mansey added “a bit of glam and glitz from Catherine [is welcome]. There’s room for everybody.”
Royal expert Richard Eden says that, before Her late Majesty died, there were royal aides who wanted Charles and Camilla to complete as many engagements as possible with Prince William and Kate—think the 2021 James Bond premiere, where Kate wore the glittery gold gown—as an attempt to make the two couples “the new Fab Four” following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s departure as working members of the royal family in 2020.
“I think that was a chance to show that this was the future of the monarchy and it’s in safe hands, that sort of thing,” Eden says. “Now that [Charles and Camilla] are King and Queen, it is slightly different. They want lots of attention for their causes and the things that they feel strongly about, so it could be a bit unsettling if they don’t get their attention.”
In his memoir Spare, and per The Daily Mail, “Prince Harry claimed King Charles was envious of the Princess of Wales’ media coverage and allegedly accused her and Prince William of ‘drawing attention away from him and Camilla.’”