Prince William and Kate Middleton, who have been warned about competing with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s popularity, appear to be doing just that.
This week, the future king and queen of England showed the Sussexes that they also can attract star power after failing to receive invitations to take part in star-studded events.
Prince William, who is not taking the snub lying down and his wife, spoke with actresses Emma Thompson and Emma Stone via a video call ahead of a special screening of their new movie, Cruella.
Prince William and Kate Middleton met with the stars of Disney’s latest movie on Monday, two days before they hosted an exclusive screening of the film for NHS staff at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland.
It was the latest in a series of engagements the royal couple has been carrying out this week before heading back to London after several days in Scotland, including a trip to the Orkney Islands.
When the call began, Emma Thompson, 62, greeted Prince William with a friendly “nice to see you, darling,” having known his father, Prince Charles, for many years.
Meanwhile, Emma Stone, 32, told Prince William and Kate Middleton about the time she was riding a motorbike along The Mall in London, outside Buckingham Palace.
“It’s very dangerous,” remarked Prince William, and joked that they should have “had [Emma] stopped.”
During the video call, Prince William confessed that he was propositioned by a woman who is Queen Elizabeth‘s age.
He said: “I got propositioned by a 96-year-old lady called Betty yesterday who wanted to kiss me. She’s in a care home with her daughter and I said, “Betty if I do that, I’m going to get slapped on the back of the head for being inappropriate, social distancing. She said, “I’ll have you afterwards then!” She was a right character.”
Kate Middleton responded by: “This is what happens when I’m not around.” Cruella premiered on Friday, May 28th, but a special early screening at the Palace of Holyroodhouse gave NHS staff in Scotland the chance to see it in advance.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge thanked Emma Thompson and Emma Stone for the opportunity to share the film with NHS staff.
Introducing the movie to the audience — with actress Tipper Seifert-Cleverland who plays young Cruella sitting in the crowd — the Duchess of Cambridge thanked NHS staff from across Scotland for their “personal sacrifice” and “dedication” during the coronavirus pandemic and for supporting communities during such a challenging time.
Prince William and Kate Middleton are patrons of NHS Charities Together, which Kate said was a “real privilege” to work with.
The video of the heir to the throne was released after Graham Smith, the CEO of Republic, who is pushing for the monarchy to be abolished, said that Prince William and his spouse should not compete with his brother and sister-in-law because they have already lost the battle.
Smith claimed that Hollywood has picked Prince Harry’s side and added: “I think if there is any battle being had in terms of popularity stakes via social media, then that is a battle that Meghan and Harry will win. They have US celebrities and Hollywood on their side. They have got a lot more clout in terms of attracting attention and winning the applause of people through social media than William and Kate have. The other thing is they have also liberated themselves from the constraints of monarchy.”
Royal expert Duncan Larcombe said that he and many others believe that the Duke of Cambridge was snubbed by Hollywood during the big pro-vaccine event where Prince Harry was greeted like a rock star.
Larcombe said that Prince William’s phone is no longer ringing and the invitations are not coming, and he needs to take some action to up his profile.
He claimed: “I don’t think anyone will say I was wrong in suggesting that it is their royal tag which is why Harry and Meghan are able to command hundreds of millions of dollars. And also why they seem to be at the very top wish list of all these groups.”
He added: “That is the point, with Prince Harry and Meghan being available for things like these global concert events – they’re being asked, and the phone’s not ringing for William. That is the problem; that is why William needs to be there. He needs these big, high-profile events that raise his status beyond that sort of the Hollywood A-list celebrities. That is really hard to do when you’ve got the younger brother being called up for invitations before you.”
Some observers say William still has a few things going for him, like the affection of the British people.