Kate Middleton ‘dazzled’ during Covid pandemic as Meghan Markle ‘pursued US brand’

Kate Middleton ‘knows what her role is’ says expert

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The Royal Family was forced to alter the way engagements were carried out over the last year as the world locked down to fight against the deadly Covid pandemic. Despite the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepping down as senior royals for a new life in the US, they still kept up philanthropic efforts with causes they were championing as part of their new independent brand. Royal expert Daniela Elser has since compared William and Kate’s efforts to carry out public engagements during the pandemic with Meghan and Harry’s ventures as she claimed the two couples carried out charity work during the virus crisis for very different reasons.

She said Kate and William overshadowed the Sussex couple as they carried out a total of 210 engagements in 2020, with the sole raising awareness of notable heroes in the UK and the Commonwealth during the pandemic.

She wrote in the NZ Herald: “Time and again, together or individually, they popped up on video screens from their suitably inoffensive living room in Norfolk, listening to everyone from Australian nurses to London Ambulance drivers share their experiences.

“Now sure, none of the Cambridges’ work was particularly dazzling or mould-breaking (Hold Still aside) but what will be remembered in the years to come is that when the UK was suffering, the Cambridges, day after day, turned up (remotely of course) for their country.

“(Before we go erecting statues in their honour, keep in mind that in July, Kate only notched up three official engagements and William eight.)

“They did their boring, moderately hardworking best to rise to the challenge that the pandemic presented.

“And while that only bolstered their approval in the UK, it did not seem like notching up a few PR wins was what drove them.

“What is notable about all of this, aside from the couple’s seemingly never-ending supply of innocuous sweaters, is that a significant portion of all this work, passed by totally unnoticed and applauded by the press and the public.

“Can the same be said for Harry and Meghan?”

At the end of last month, Kate announced her Hold Still project was being turned into a photography book called Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020.

The book will feature 100 portraits from the project and heartwarming stories from people involved.

Kate explained her photography book aimed to capture the pandemic for future generations.

She wrote in her book: “When we look back at the Covid pandemic in decades to come, we will think of the challenges we all faced – the loved ones we lost, the extended isolation from our families and friends and the strain placed on our key workers.

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“But we will also remember the positives: the incredible acts of kindness, the helpers and heroes who emerged from all walks of life, and how together we adapted to a new normal.”

Ms Elser noted that Meghan and Harry also carried out charity work during the pandemic last year by participating in video calls.

Meghan also invested in Clevr Blends, a vegan latte brand, which garnered publicity across both sides of the Atlantic.

However, Ms Elser added the Sussex couple’s pandemic efforts will be mostly remembered for financial reasons.

Over the last year, they signed multi-million pound deals with Netflix and Spotify and they also bought a mansion in Montecito, in California, worth an estimated £10 million.

She said: “In 2020 they were far from idle and hungrily pursued important causes — but causes that seemed more aligned with their fledgling US brand than to do with the pandemic.

“What is puzzling is that presented with a historical moment such as this that Harry and Meghan did not do more; that their zeal for philanthropy and for helping others did not translate into some sort of thrilling, big-picture project or powerful grassroots campaign.

“Because, looking back, what did they achieve of lasting substantial note during this (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime disaster? History is written by the victors, or so the saying goes. In 2020, history was written by those who turned up.”

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