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Kate Middleton and Prince William’s recent move against a British magazine goes against a long-standing rule in the royal family. Since the 1930s, the royals have adopted the saying “never complain, never explain” as their motto for handling the press. But Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and William seemingly abandoned this rule by filing a lawsuit against Tatler magazine for an article they reportedly felt was “sexist and woman-shaming at its very worst.”

Prince William Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Kate Middleton and Prince William were highly offended by a magazine article

Tatler started the drama with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when it published an article last week titled Catherine the Great. In the article, writer Anna Pasternak claimed that Kate was feeling “exhausted and trapped” in the wake of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s exit.

The author also compared Kate to William’s late mother, Princess Diana, and not in a flattering light. Pasternak noted that fans believe Kate might be suffering from similar eating disorders as Diana due to the added stress.

In light of the publication, an inside source revealed that William and Kate were very offended by the article. According to Daily Mail, the insider said that the article was “full of lies” and that Kate and William felt like it was “disgusting” work.

“That is such an extremely cruel and wounding barb. It’s disgusting. It’s sexist and woman-shaming at its very worst,” the source shared. “The piece is full of lies. There is no truth to their claim that the Duchess feels overwhelmed with work, nor that the Duke is obsessed with Carole Middleton. It’s preposterous and downright wrong.”

The insider went on to say that the piece was an example of “class snobbery” and that the Cambridges could not believe the claims about Kate’s sister, Pippa Middleton.

Kate and William have not commented on the drama, but their actions indicate that there is some truth to the reports.

Have Kate Middleton and Prince William abandoned the ‘never complain, never explain’ rule?

The “never complain, never explain” saying was actually coined by Benjamin Disraeli. The rule was adopted by King George VI’s wife in 1936 and was passed down to Queen Elizabeth when she took the throne in the 1950s.

The royals have stuck by the saying for the past 80 years, but it looks like the younger generation is forging a different path. Last year, for example, Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, sued several British tabloids for publishing personal letters she wrote to her father.

Although it seemed as though Kate and William were following in Queen Elizabeth’s footsteps in this regard, the couple has officially filed a lawsuit against Tatler for the article about Kate. The two reportedly want Tatler to take down the article and are now taking legal action against the magazine.

There is no telling what will happen with the lawsuit, but this is a major shift for the royals. Previously, Kate and William have only taken things to court in extreme situations, like the time a French outlet posted topless photos of her.

Unfortunately, Kate and William have not commented on the lawsuit, but Tatler recently released a statement confirming that the Cambridges reached out.

What did Tatler have to say about the drama?

A spokesperson for the magazine recently revealed that Kate and William’s lawyers sent them letters requesting that they remove the article at once. Tatler, however, refused to take down the piece and said that the lawsuit has “no merit.”

“We can confirm we have received correspondence from lawyers acting for the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge and believe it has no merit,” the spokesperson shared.

It is unclear why Kate and William have suddenly shifted their stance on how they deal with the media, but some experts believe the lawsuit is a “warning shot” to the press that they will not condone this type of reporting.


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Kensington Palace has yet to issue a statement on the lawsuit. An editor at Tatler, however, has since come forward and supported Pasternak’s article. They are making it clear that the magazine has no intention of taking it down.

Kate and William, meanwhile, are currently hunkering down at their country estate, Anmer Hall, due to the coronavirus pandemic. They are fulfilling some of their royal duties via video calls but are not expected to pick up their regular schedule until things calm down.