King Charles Reportedly Hated That Kate Middleton's Fashion Got More Attention Than His Work Did


Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, known as the Duke of Rothesay, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, known as the Countess of Strathearn, and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, known as the Earl of Strathearn, when in Scotland during a visit to Dumfries House on March 05, 2013 in Ayrshire, Scotland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge braved the bitter cold to attend the opening of an outdoor centre in Scotland today. The couple joined the Prince of Wales at Dumfries House in Ayrshire where Charles has led a regeneration project since 2007. Hundreds of locals and 600 members of youth groups including the Girl Guides and Scouts turned out for the official opening of the Tamar Manoukin Outdoor Centre.
(Image credit: Photo by WPA Pool / Getty)

Royal fashion matters, because it sends a clear message within such a public-facing role.

While Queen Elizabeth liked to infuse subtle political messages into her sartorial choices, Catherine, the Princess of Wales, is often praised for her elegance and simple yet boldly colorful wardrobe.

But the former Prince Charles has apparently not always been a huge fan of the media attention royal women's clothes attract, because he felt it detracted from more attention being paid to his own work.

It all started when he married Princess Diana in 1981, and she was consistently in the limelight from then on.

"Her star immediately eclipsed her husband’s, causing early fractures in their relationship," writes royal expert Katie Nicholl in her new book, The New Royals (via Entertainment Tonight).

"The diligent, sensitive, and status-conscious Charles found it hard to understand. He could not see that in the new media age, being a royal-born prince and future king was a lesser currency than his wife’s megawatt beauty and disposition."

And that situation was echoed when Prince William introduced Kate Middleton to the world as his girlfriend and future wife, and everyone was suddenly hyper-focused on her fashion.

"In the past, father and son hadn’t always seen eye to eye. There was a well-documented clash of opinions in 2013 over the palace’s priceless collection of ivory, for one," Nicholl continues.

"And Charles was sometimes irritated that Kate’s frocks got more media attention than his good works. He also had been hurt by not seeing as much of his Cambridge grandchildren as he might have liked."

Hopefully it's all a little more smooth-sailing these days!

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.