One thing the royal family tries to avoid at all costs is scandal. Though so far, they don’t have a perfect track record — not even a little bit — there is one instance that could have been disastrous. Luckily, Queen Elizabeth had the foresight to step in and keep it from happening.
The event in question has to do with her granddaughter-in-law, Kate Middleton. During the brief time the Duchess of Cambridge was broken up with Prince William, she considered posing nude for a calendar to help raise money for a charitable cause. But she didn’t go through with it thanks to the Queen’s influence.
Here’s what happened.
Prince William and Kate Middleton were on a break in 2007
The year was 2007. After spending four years together and amidst fervent rumors of an imminent engagement, Prince William and Kate Middleton shocked the world by splitting up and going their separate ways. Royal fans were devastated by the news.
Prince William was also feeling hurt, but he masked the pain by going out and partying with friends, even jumping up on a table and shouting, “I’m free!” while dancing the robot at a nightclub.
Kate Middleton was also spotted out and about with friends, but mostly handled the split in a much quieter way. Instead of drunken revelry, she joined an all-female dragon boat team called The Sisterhood.
Kate Middleton considered posing nude for charity
The Sisterhood consisted of 21 girls who planned to row across the English Channel to raise money for children’s hospices. It was a noble cause, but it wasn’t without controversy. That’s because a second fundraising effort they had in mind wasn’t quite so innocent.
The team posed for a calendar along with former British cricket captain Alastair Cook. It all seems fine enough, until you consider their attire. All Sisterhood members wore nothing but underwear, baseball hats, and body paint. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, was almost part of it.
As friend and teammate Emma Sayle told The Mirror, “Kate is strongly considering it – we are all leaning on her a bit. We realize if Kate was involved, sales of our Art Of Sport calendar would go through the roof.”
According to Express, money raised from calendar sales went to two charities – Babes in Arms, which sponsors research into abnormalities in newborn babies, and the children’s hospice charity CHASE Ben Hollioake Fund.
The Queen urged Kate Middleton to quit The Sisterhood
It’s unclear whether the Queen knew about the nude photo shoot or not. But regardless, she supposedly encouraged Kate Middleton to quit The Sisterhood because of the “over-exposure” it was causing.
Photographs of Middleton training were being circulated everywhere as the media followed her everywhere. Queen Elizabeth feared there would be negative consequences from so much attention.
Ultimately, her relationship with Prince William proved more important than the brief time Middleton spent as a member of The Sisterhood. By summer’s end, she and the Duke of Cambridge had reconciled and Kate Middleton was no longer involved with the boat racing team.
Now that she’s the future queen consort, no doubt the Duchess of Cambridge is relieved that she never posed nude for that calendar. Though her former teammate is correct — it would have made tons of money for a good cause.