Kensington Palace makes legal complaint over claims Duchess of Cambridge feels 'overworked'

Sophie Barnes

Kensington Palace has sent a legal complaint to Tatler magazine over claims the Duchess of Cambridge feels “overworked”, it is understood.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are understood to have asked that the society magazine remove its ‘Catherine the Great’ profile from the website. 

The Royal couple are reportedly upset about what they say is unfounded criticism of the Duchess’s family, her children and her weight.

The Tatler article described the Duchess as “perilously thin” and referred to Princess Diana’s eating disorders.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are understood to have asked that Tatler magazine remove its ‘Catherine the Great’ profile from the website - Stephen Lock/i-Images

The society magazine claimed to have spoken to various friends of the Duchess of Cambridge for the profile with a source reportedly claiming the princess feels “exhausted and trapped” after taking on more royal duties following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step back. Kensington Palace has denied this account.

"Meghan and Harry have been so selfish,” one source told Tatler. “William and Catherine really wanted to be hands-on parents and the Sussexes have effectively thrown their three children under a bus.

“There goes their morning school runs as the responsibilities on them now are enormous."

Another source allegedly added: “Kate is furious about the larger workload. Of course she's smiling and dressing appropriately but she doesn't want this. She feels exhausted and trapped.

“She's working as hard as a top CEO, who has to be wheeled out all the time, without the benefits of boundaries and plenty of holidays.”

Earlier this week a source familiar with the Duchess's work emphatically denied to the Telegraph that she feels "exhausted and trapped" by her duties, saying the description was inaccurate and offensive.

They added: “Like many people across the country, the Duchess is juggling home schooling and work. But she's not also having to juggle being a front line worker. She is of course cognisant of that.

"That's who she would much prefer the attention to be on."

A Royal source told The Mail on Sunday the description of the Duchess as “perilously thin” is “such an extremely cruel and wounding barb. It's disgusting. It's sexist and woman-shaming at its very worst.

“The [Tatler] 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.”

Tatler's article also claims that the Duchess had an argument with the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018.

It claimed the row took place at a rehearsal two days before the wedding and was over whether the young bridesmaids should wear tights. 

Quoting an unnamed friend, the article said: “There was an incident at the wedding rehearsal. It was a hot day and apparently there was a row over whether the bridesmaids should wear tights or not.

“Kate, following protocol, felt that they should. Meghan didn't want them to. The photographs suggest that Meghan won." But Kensington Palace insisted the story is wrong, the Mail on Sunday reported.

In response to the Tatler claims a Kensington Palace spokesperson said at the time: “This story contains a swathe of inaccuracies and false misrepresentations which were not put to Kensington Palace prior to publication”. 

Tatler issued its own statement: “Tatler's Editor-in-Chief Richard Dennen stands behind the reporting of Anna Pasternak and her sources.

“Kensington Palace knew we were running the 'Catherine the Great' cover months ago and we asked them to work together on it. The fact they are denying they ever knew is categorically false.”

During the pandemic the Cambridges are working from home at Anmer Hall, homeschooling Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis while holding royal engagements over Zoom.

Along with the rest of the Royal Family, they have changed the focus of their work to helping the country through the coronavirus crisis, paying particular attention to mental health. The children have joined in the "clap for our carers" movement, and delivered homemade pasta to their isolated neighbours. 

Since the Covid-19 lockdown, the Duchess of Cambridge has launched photography exhibition Hold Still, and taken part in video calls to schools, hospitals and maternity services, as well as playing bingo with pensioners to highlight social care.

Tatler did not respond to a request for comment on the legal complaint and Kensington Palace declined to comment.

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