Tatler says complaint from Kate and Prince William's lawyers has 'no merit'
The Duchess of Cambridge faces a showdown with Tatler after the society bible dismissed a rare royal legal complaint yesterday as having "no merit".
Kensington Palace last week issued a furious public statement about a front cover profile of Kate, which featured claims including that she fell out with Meghan in a row over whether Princess Charlotte should wear tights as a bridesmaid at her wedding and that she consulted a psychic.
It angrily dismissed the feature, written by author Anna Pasternak as containing ‘a swathe of inaccuracies and false representations’.
It followed this with a legal letter to the magazine, which is considered to normally be very supportive of the Royal Family, demanding it remove the article – entitled Catherine The Great – from its website.
But in a pithy one-sentence statement, Tatler seemingly dismissed the request yesterday, saying: ‘We can confirm we have received correspondence from lawyers acting for the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge and believe it has no merit.’
It had said previously that it stands by the journalist – who wrote the 1994 book Princess In Love about Princess Diana’s affair with James Hewitt – and her sources. The result of the stand-off means the ball is now firmly back in the Cambridges’ court.
They have a number of options but the most likely is to complain to Ipso, the independent media regulator which Tatler, part of the Conde Nast empire, is signed up to. Ipso would then adjudicate on the merits of William and Kate’s complaint.
The couple could also take the issue to court, but it is unlikely that the Cambridges, who successfully sued French magazine Closer for publishing topless pictures of Kate, would be keen to do so, given how time-consuming and costly it is likely to be.
Kensington Palace has not gone into detail about their complaint but they are known to be very unhappy about the magazine’s claim that the duchess feels ‘exhausted and trapped’ by the increased workload following Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back, which they say is untrue.
William is also believed to be upset by the suggestion that Carole Middleton has become ‘the mummy he’s always wanted’, feeling it is incredibly disrespectful to his late mother.
Other parts of the article, including references to Kate’s weight and choice of "Buckinghamshire five-star hotel" home decor, are considered incredibly snobbish. Kensington Palace declined to comment on Tatler’s response last night. Last week it said: "This story contains a swathe of inaccuracies and false misrepresentations which were not put to Kensington Palace prior to publication."
Kate made her first appearance since the row in a video early today. She and William praised the Australian emergency services in a message filmed at their Norfolk home for today’s Thank A First Responder Day. Kate wore a yellow dress in honour of the country’s national colour.
William spoke of the wildfires that destroyed vast swathes of Australia. ‘Earlier this year, we witnessed thousands of firefighters, supported by the wider first responder community, as they worked tirelessly risking their own lives. The world was watching your efforts, and we were deeply moved by what we saw,’ he said.
Kate added: "Sadly you’re now on the front line of yet another emergency. The Covid-19 outbreak has brought first responders across Australia together again. Today, on Australia’s inaugural Thank A First Responder Day, you all deserve our huge thanks."