While the British royal family has always been in the public eye, there are parts of their story that are hidden from the public. Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ attempts to fill those blanks and give the audience an idea of what may or may not have happened behind closed doors. These speculations by the show are often based on heavily researched material, but sometimes, they take full creative liberty to concoct fictional scenarios to serve the plot. This makes one wonder about the authenticity of some claims made by the show, one of which is regarding the strategic planning of Kate Middleton’s mother to ensure that her daughter ends up with Prince William. How much truth is in this story?
The Crown Uses Facts to Back a Common Theory
In the Netflix series, we discover Carole Middleton keenly following Prince William’s every move and then encouraging her daughter to take the same path to ensure that she catches the prince’s eye. Though Kate initially rebuffs her mother’s ideas and even chides her about it, she always ends up working on those ideas, which further leads her toward William. At one point, Kate even compares her mother with Mrs. Bennet from ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ taking a jibe at her mother’s enthusiasm to secure a suitable match for her daughter.
While it makes for a good plot arc in the show, this maneuvering on Carole’s part has never been talked about in real life by Carole, Kate, or anyone else for that matter. So, when it comes to concocting this narrative, the devil lies in the details, most of which, in the case of Kate and William, are true.
In the show, Kate blames her mother for forcing her to change universities and go to St. Andrews, even though she was all set to go to Edinburgh University. In real life, too, Kate Middleton went to St. Andrews even though her first choice was Edinburgh, and that’s where she would have gone, but instead, she took a gap year, went to Chile (among other places), and shortly after Prince William announced his plans to go to St. Andrews, Kate ended up applying for St. Andrews as well. It must also be noted that applications to St. Andrews saw a considerable spike of 44 percent following Prince William’s announcement to attend it. As for the gap year and the trip to Chile, much like mentioned in the show, William and Kate did miss each other by one week.
In a similar fashion, ‘The Crown’ claims that Carole advised her daughter to go for a bold look in the charity fashion event that turned William’s head for good and confirmed his feelings for Kate. Again, it cannot be confirmed whether Kate acted on her mother’s advice. However, Charlotte Todd, who designed the dress that Kate wore that night, revealed that she had no idea how Kate ended up wearing that dress. Whether she chose it or if it was chosen for her remains a mystery even to Todd.
These coincidences make one wonder if there is any truth to the rumors that Carole Middleton orchestrated things in a way that would put her daughter in the prince’s path. There has, however, never been a confirmation on this matter, so it all remains a speculation. And that was the tricky part for the makers of ‘The Crown.’
According to Annie Sulzberger, the show’s head of research, the idea was to find a solid, non-William-related reason to justify Kate’s decisions, especially her move to St. Andrews, despite initially favoring Edinburgh University. They were surprised to find that they couldn’t come up with any logical reason. Rather, they found that going to Edinburgh would have been better, when it comes to the matters of her education and her preferences. The more they looked at her other decisions, the more they realized that there really was no other way to explain these coincidences except that they were all related to William.
While the show approaches the narrative of Carole as the main schemer in this game, the creators of ‘The Crown’ were clear about one thing. They didn’t want to have Carole come across in a negative light. They wanted to show her as the strong, independent woman that she is and that her drive to get Kate with William was driven more out of her love for her daughter and the faith that Kate should never feel she falls short of something she wants. They intentionally focused on Carole’s individual achievements, which shows her in a much more positive light, rather than just some woman trying to hitch her daughter to a prince.
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