Kate Middleton: Cressida Dick comments discussed by experts
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Kate has found herself in the middle of a storm after Dame Cressida Dick claimed that her appearance at Sarah Everard’s vigil in Clapham was part of her official work. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner had been trying to defend the Duchess of Cambridge’s visit as legal when she was asked about it on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. However, her answer drew outrage, something ITV Royal Rota podcast hosts Chris Ship and Lizzie Robinson set about dismantling.
Dame Cressida has said: “The Met did know [about Kate’s visit], absolutely, but of course we take all sorts of precautions to make sure that we don’t unwittingly draw attention to visits like that.
“She’s in the course of her duties, she was working.”
However this admission clashed with the Palace’s defence of the Duchess’ visit, as they claimed it was done in a private capacity because she “wanted to pay her respects to the family and to Sarah”.
A spokesperson added: “She remembers what it was like to walk around London at night before she was married.”
Dame Cressida’s comment sparked uproar online as users debated whether the visit was a PR stunt or illegal.
Mr Ship explained: “There’s a difference because she didn’t join the protest, she joined the vigil. There was no way this was an official event.
“Kate didn’t tell the media she was going in advance, there was no tipping off, it just happened that a couple of people recognised her and took pictures.
“There was no pre-briefing this was going to happen, therefore that made it a very private visit, therefore it wasn’t a work visit.”
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Ms Robinson agreed: “Also the visit wasn’t listed in the Court Circular, which is the daily list of all official royal engagements.
“It’s not listed there so it wasn’t an official engagement.
“It was during the quieter period that the Duchess paid her respects.”
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She continued: “It was only at 6pm when crowds of people gathered and they needed to intervene.
“In the period that she was there, it was very quiet, and she just slipped through the crowds and left again.”
Mr Ship added: “There was no suggestion that people shouldn’t be going at that point.
“People were shocked by Sarah’s killing and the circumstances surrounding it, and Kate wanted to go.
“So I thought the Metropolitan Police Commander was therefore wrong to say that she was there in a working capacity because she wasn’t.”
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