Negative Press: Kate Middleton’s private battle with ‘onslaught’ attempts to spark angry expression
Royal writer Daniela Elser said photographers would hurl abuse at the twenty-something Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, to make her retaliate or pull a “terrible face”. Kate would be branded a “b,” “w” and “s***” as paparazzi desperately tried to get their shot.
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Ms Elser said the “onslaught” began when Kate and Prince William graduated from St Andrews University in Scotland, where they met, and moved to London in 2005.
She said the private battle began when the Duke of Cambridge started his training at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst in 2006 and Kate moved into a £2.8million Chelsea apartment that her parents had previously bought.
She wrote in the NZ Herald: “For nearly five full years, Kate was chased, harangued, dogged and generally harassed by certain quarters of the media.
“She was photographed at the supermarket in her tracksuit pants, repeatedly at airports and train stations, with her parents in London, with her family in the Caribbean, shopping, out with her sister, at cafes, on holiday, in taxis, in cars, and in so many other locations that it would take a doctoral thesis and the patience of a saint to fully enumerate.
“Some paps used to yell things like “b, w and s***g, look this way!” at her to try and get a reaction. A photo of Kate making some terrible face or losing it was far more valuable than her just going about her business.”
Ms Elser praised Kate’s “poise” and “grace” despite the harassment.
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She added: “What is remarkable, in hindsight, is her poise and grace under fire.
“There are not any videos of her crying, hysterically yelling at the press or crumpling as you or I probably would.”
The couple’s first meeting at St Andrews, where they were both studying Art History, marked the start of a blossoming romance.
After starting out as friends, Kate and William moved into a house together with two other friends in 2002.
But their relationship soon became public in 2004 when they were pictured skiing together in Klosters, Switzerland.
And engagement rumours soon began to swirl when the then-Kate Middleton was spotted kissing Prince William on the slopes as the pair enjoyed another Klosters holiday in 2006.
However there was a brief separation in 2007 when the pressure of William’s life in the armed forces took its toll on their relationship.
But the pair were soon back together again as if nothing happened and from 2007 Kate appeared at a number of high-profile events alongside her prince, including the Princes’ Concert for Diana, where she was a VIP guest in the royal box.
And the nation rejoiced when they announced their engagement in November 2010, with William proposing to Kate with a beautiful 12-carat sapphire ring, which had once belonged to his late mother, Princess Diana.
The couple now share three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.