Kelli Finger explains her opinion on the media coverage each royal receives, and why the trivial headlines (such as the one above) has to stop:
Royal Central is dedicated to reporting on the hard work done by the British Royal Family. We’ve discussed at length who the hardest working royals are. We attempt to be fair in our coverage of all events because they all matter and are all important. True royal followers will know this already because you read our posts and keep up with the work done by everyone. The headline above may be misleading, and you may have thought we have lost our standard, but the mainstream media is full of non-stories and trivial headlines just like this.
Today for example, The Duchess of Cambridge dropped a water bottle on the floor, and shock horror, she picked it up herself! Catherine also visited a prison this morning and a charity that works with vulnerable women. So why has such a trivial thing taken up all of the headlines?
The younger royals, mainly the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry always steal the spotlight, getting everyone’s attention, and grabbing all the major headlines across the media for the smallest of engagements. They do the least amount of public work yet are the most popular members of ‘the Firm.’ I don’t believe the three of them planned for this to happen or they like this, but they are forced to deal with it as are all family members.
Sometimes, events and engagements of other royals seem to go unnoticed. In particular, the Princess Royal, solo engagements of The Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Kent’s, Gloucester’s and the Wessex’s, and Princess Alexandra. I’ll even go so far as to include Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice here too because we mostly see coverage of them on vacation rather than doing charity work.
The Princess Royal has maintained a gruelling pace this week during her tour of Malaysia and Singapore, but do any of the major media outlets from the United Kingdom cover it? There are no royal reporters sent to report on all her events, engagements and receptions unless they are from local media where the events will take place. None of these minor royal’s public events are embargoed either. They work their tails off travelling, meeting and greeting dozens of people, handing out awards and investitures and hosting dinners and other events all on behalf of Her Majesty.
When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge head on tour, it’s a major media event. Every newspaper and tabloid send someone to cover every step they take; every handshake and every outfit change the Duchess makes. And if they bring their two young children along? Cyberspace explodes! Despite the photos, the Duke and Duchess release of Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the media and the public can’t get enough of the royal peanuts.
Rather than focusing on the work they do on these tours; the media chooses to draw attention to the mistakes the Duke made while giving a speech in French. The most popular yet low-key engagement of the entire Canadian tour was the garden party where Prince George and Princess Charlotte spent time with their parents and other children. The other two popular moments of the tour? The arrival and departure of the Cambridge family to Canada.
If the Duchess of Cambridge drops her water bottle, as she has during her embargoed engagements today to visit with women in prison, it isn’t her charity work that gets the attention; it’s her ability to pick up after herself which she does. Not very remarkable, yet it’s newsworthy to some rags. Though I’ll give her points for being environmentally conscientious.
And it’s always her fashion choices and new looks that people focus on. I enjoy fashion and beauty as well. But rarely do you see how hard she must work to prepare for these events behind closed palace doors; how she must educate herself on matters like addiction and mental health.
Prince Harry is another royal who can’t blink without it being splashed across the pages of newspapers. Everyone has been focused on his personal, private, still publicly unconfirmed relationship with an American actress. Have we forgotten he’s a veteran? What about his work and passion for his fellow service members?
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will be in the Middle East for the next nine days, carrying out over 50 engagements as we reported just yesterday. Yes, there is UK media there, but will royal watchers/fans stay glued to their social media accounts to see what the Duchess is wearing? Will people stay up late into the night, waiting for the royal couple to arrive at a specific event, losing sleep just to get a moment’s glimpse of the next in line and his wife? I sincerely doubt it.
I’m growing very tired of all the shallow coverage of these younger royals and seeing others work going ignored. These ridiculous headlines of trivial matters don’t mean anything in the overall scheme of things. How sad is it that a story about Catherine dropping her water bottle takes precedence over that of the work she is striving to do? This stupid headline will be available in the archives of the worldwide web for all time and will be available for Royal enthusiasts to locate for decades to come.
I don’t know what these journalists and news editors thought when they wrote and approved these stories. As I said in my opinion piece a few days ago: the media influences the public’s perception of the royals, in particular, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. It controls what people learn about them and what they see of them. Most readers don’t bother to go beyond these trite headlines. If you want to know the “truth”, you go to the source. I went to University for Social Work, not Communications or Journalism and I know this. Why are so-called journalists insisting on publishing these pieces that don’t showcase anything important?
This is why I enjoy writing with Royal Central. I’m not wasting my time writing about matters that no one will ever care about. Plus, I’m not wasting your time as a reader either. Why would you want to read about someone dropping a water bottle over charity work? I can’t honestly answer that for you.
Do you agree with the author of this post? Join in on the discussion by commenting below: