Friday, December 16, 2016

Will they ever step up?



For the record, I do not dislike the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.   What I do not like is the fact that the Duke, second in line to the throne, and his wife, still do not see their royal role as full time jobs.

In the last few years, several of Britain's royal correspondents, namely Emily Andrews (The Sun) and Richard Palmer (Daily Express) have reported that the Duke and Duchess will not be releasing to the media their Christmas card and they will be snubbing the Royal Family (the Queen) on Christmas Day.

It is not mandatory for a member of the Royal Family to release their Christmas card to the press.  It is something that many royals, British and European, do each year.   Lovely new photographs.  The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall's 2016 Christmas card features a photo taken in Croatia.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and their two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, will not be joining the Queen and other members of the Royal Family on Christmas Day.   They have chosen to spend the day with Catherine's family at the Middletons' family home in Berkshire.

No one is saying that Catherine should be denied the pleasure of spending the holidays with her family.  But ... and this is a big but ... they could change their plans and have a second Christmas on Boxing Day.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first duty should be with the Queen at Sandringham.  This should be a no brainer.   It is about responsibility to one's family, one's heritage, and respect for the monarchy.  If William cannot show respect for this institution, then perhaps, then why should the general public -- the taxpayers who fund a large percentage of the institution.

[Update:  The Sunday Express' royal correspondent, Camilla Tominey, broke the story that the Cambridges have also opted out of the Duke of Edinburgh's Boxing Day shooting party.  Instead, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with the duchess' parents and siblings, Michael and Carole Middleton, Pippa and James Middleton, and Pippa's fiance, James Matthews, will be attending a schoot at the Yattendon Estate at Thatcham, in Berkshire, close to the Middletons' home.  This means Prince George and Princess Charlotte will not have the opportunity to spend time with their paternal grandfather or their paternal great-grandparents, who are in their 90s.  George and Charlotte spend more time with their maternal grandparents, who are frequent visitors to Anmer Hall, then with their maternal grandfather, the Prince of Wales.  It has been reported - but not verified - that the Prince of Wales has lamented about not being able to see his grandchildren.  The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh enjoy having multi-generations attend the Christmas celebration.  The holiday is also a good time for the queen's children and grandchildren to enjoy quality with the Queen and her husband.  In the not-too-distant future,  the Queen and Prince Philip will no longer be alive.  Yes, this is a morbid, but realistic statement.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/744697/Prince-William-Kate-Christmas-shoot-Middleton-Royal-family-Prince-Philip-George-Charlotte 

I can only assume that the Queen would prefer the Cambridges to join family at Sandringham.  She is not a dictator.  Rather, she is selfless, and more likely to say yes, even though she would prefer otherwise.  It is sad that the Duke does not want to  his children spend some time, and make memories, with 'Gan Gan.'   It is possible that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will spend time with the Queen at Sandringham. She will be in residence until early February. ]

In all fairness, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have built up large portfolios of patronages and charities that they support in a myriad of ways. Charles and Camilla were married in 2005.   Eleven and a half years later, the Duchess is involved with 136 charities and patronages.   The Duchess of Cambridge, a royal since April 2011,  has 12 patronages.  Twelve!  William's load: 33.    I don't want to tell you how many his father has .. and his father has never eschewed his royal role.

Here is the link to the British monarchy's charity and patronage database:

https://www.royal.uk/charities-and-patronages

I have been wanting to give the Cambridges the benefit of doubt since their wedding, when William decided not to release a photo of the signed register.  I thought this was wrong.  Every British royal bride or groom has allowed the signed register (most of the signings take place at the reception) since the 1920s.  The register is the record of the marriage, and a historical commentary of who signed the register -- and how the bride or groom was styled.  When the then Princess Elizabeth was married in 1947, she was listed on the register as Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor.  The surname Mountbatten-Windsor was first used in 1973 when Princess Anne married Mark Phillips.  She was listed as Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise Mountbatten-Windsor.  The double-barreled surname was also used by Princes Andrew and Edward on the official registers.   Charles did not use a surname (although his birth registration includes Windsor), but we do not know if William used Windsor (the surname for his birth registration) or Mountbatten-Windsor or no surname.  

Can some explain why the Duke of Cambridge would want to hide the official registration?    I cannot think of one good reason for this decision.   Fast forward to 2016.    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been married for five and a half years.  Two adorable children (well, they were adorable when we last saw them in September in Canada.)  Two homes, again largely funded by others,  a few holidays here and there, but far too little day-to-day royal duties.

Yes, William has been working part time as an ambulance pilot, but why?  He donates his salary to charity, but there must be another father who could use the job.    William's priorities should be his family, which is far more than the wife and kids.  His family includes his country and the Commonwealth, and the duke and duchess must become more pro-active in the next year.

This means stepping up, and taking on more patronages and charities.

There was certainly a lot of fuss about Catherine not handing the shamrocks on St. Patrick's Day.  I defended her, by pointing out that a female royal has not presented the shamrocks to the Irish Guard since 1901.  I provided a year by year  list (meticulous research) of the presenters from 1902 to present day.

The Duke of Cambridge is the first royal colonel of the Irish Guards, and it made sense for the royal colonel to present the shamrocks.

http://royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2016/03/oh-what-utter-tosh-or-research-matters.html

The Cambridges prefer their country life at Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate to the newly renovated apartment at Kensington Palace. There are reports and sightings of the couple having dinner at a local restaurant or Catherine taking the kids to a Zoo or a children's Christmas production.   Fine.   Parents, royal or other commoners, should do things with their kids.  This does not preclude a full time career.

There are millions of working mothers who scramble to find day care to care for their kids.  The Duchess of Cambridge has a full time nanny for George and Charlotte.     Yes, she has private meetings with her few organizations and private visits to prisons with no real press coverage.  But ... and this is a BIG BUT ... the Duchess of Cambridge can be a hands on mom even if she adds several dozen patronages to her schedule, and does engagements for three days a week. Every week (except when the royals have their official breaks.)

The Duke of Cambridge has proved himself adept at knighting people on behalf of his grandmother.   Yea.  Stepping in for granny is good, but he needs his own royal responsibilities.

William and Catherine will celebrate their 35th birthdays in 2017.  Most people have been working in their careers for at least a decade already.    The Duke will have no constitutional role until his father is the sovereign, and he moves into the position as heir apparent.  His lack of a royal work ethic (there, I have said it) will make it more difficult for the older William to take on more, having been accustomed to his years of part time royal work.

I want to have faith in this couple.  They are the future of the monarchy, and they and Prince Harry (and his future wife) will remain the only members of their generation to represent the royal family.

Their advisers and press staff need to be changed.  They don't need American PR gurus to offer a few bones to the media and the vox populi.  They need a Lord Stamfordham or a Sir Alan Lascelles or a Sir William Heseltime to run the offices.   They do not need Yes, Royal Highness, every day.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge need to hear No more often, with recommendations of "I think you should begin to do this," or  "Sir, it is time to stop rescuing others.  You need to concentrate on rescuing your reputation as a royal slouch, unwilling to take on the mantle of your royal role.

Yea, I know, William has little choice.   He wants to live a normal life with his wife and kids.   William was and will never be normal.  He attended the most posh of private schools.  He has personal protection officers.  He never needs to worry if he has enough in his bank account to cover the credit card bill.

When Catherine gave a positive response to William's proposal, she was saying yes, not only to a marriage with the man she loves, but also  giving her assent to joining the Royal Family.   This means a bit of sacrifice on the part of the newbie.  It means taking on a public life of duty and responsibility,  producing heirs (check that box) and accepting that there are times when the Sovereign comes first -- and that includes Christmas and other royal events.



The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge must come out of shadows.  They  -- and their children -- need to be seen doing more engagements.   Contact the Crown Princess of Sweden to see how she and Prince Daniel have introduced their two children, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar, to royal life.   Four-year-old Princess Estelle has been included in royal engagements for most of her young life.  The Swedish royal house has a liberal view of releasing photographs and videos of the royal grandchildren.

35 comments:

Gabrielle Winkel said...

Excellent article. I agree wholeheartedly!

Maora JFB said...

I'm totally OK with you on this subject. Next to them, Prince Harry is more active and he's not even the future king !

We know that they want to preserve their children of the kind of press exposure that William had know in his childhood but sometimes, the best way to be preserved of something is to be exposed to it (like a flu vaccine).

Their attitude is also in contradiction with the restricted royal family wanted by prince Charles. With this, it's normal for prince Andrew to ask for official duties to be put on his daughters. If the ones expected to do the deed aren't doing it, the firm shouldn't deprive itself of people who can do it in the meantime.

BlueSaphire70 said...

I completely agree with what you said in the article. If the monarchy is to survive, both of them need to increase their involvement in royal life. But maybe that's the problem. I've often read the opinion that Prince William is very reluctant to accept his role as the heir to the heir. It seems he'd rather be just one more aristocratic gentleman. The sad part is that he won't get to be that even if he doesn't get to be king. If that were to happen, it's because the whole house of cards has come crashing down and there won't be any aristocracy left to speak of. Maybe Prince William is a throwback to his great great uncle David, who hated the very idea of being king but at the same time wanted the privileges associated with it.

BlueSaphire70 said...

I completely agree with your assessment of the situation. I've read that Prince William doesn't like being the heir to the heir and that he'd rather be just another aristocratic gentleman. It could very well be that that's what he really wants. He may be a throwback to his great great uncle David, who resented his role as king but wanted all the privileges associated with it. But he should be careful with what he wishes for, because once he gets it he might not like it much. If he and his wife don't increase their participation, there might very well not be any aristocracy left at all. There is a growing anti-monarchy sentiment just about everywhere and he may find himself out of a job.

Bill Foley said...

I often thought that there was a bit of Edward VIII in the future William V of the United Kingdom. The Duke of Cambridge has come across as a reluctant royal in the past and I had hopes that he would one day take to his role and position. I wonder if some of his behavior can be explained by his attitude toward the press and the media, the rumor is he isn't very fond of them. That doesn't explain it all though. I still hold onto hope that both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge soon take on their full time duties.

Bill Durning said...

Prince Phillip was a full time naval officer while his wife was heiress to the throne. Princess Elizabeth spent quite a bit of time in Malta with Prince Phillip. They were not living a life of fulltime royal service. Perhaps the Queen seeing the disastrous marriage of William's parents wants to give her grandson and his wife some time to themselves before being thrust into the role of Prince & Princess of Wales. The last time there was an adult child of the Prince of Wales was the Queen's grandparents who spent the majority of their time at Sandringham until Queen Victoria died. I doubt the Queen really feels snubbed. Crown Princess Victoria is the heir to the Swedish throne, the same role as Prince Charles not Prince William.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The Princess carried out engagements in Malta, but also often returned home to England for engagements.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

I should add Princess Elizabeth was in her 20s

Martha said...

I always wonder if perhaps the reason that William and Catherine do not have a greater role is that they are not the Prince / Princess of Wales. They are aren't the immediate heir. Perhaps Charles does not want to be overshadowed by a couple who aren't the "next in line." The attention should be focused on the Queen and then Charles and Camilla.

And as for Christmas, I think allowing William and Kate to spend an occasional holiday with her family is very modern and appropriate. Just because she married a prince, doesn't mean that Kate has to give up her holiday traditions. All married couples balance holidays between their two families. One of Diana's issues was that once married she was expected to follow royal custom and be at the mercy of the "men in gray." Maybe allowing Kate to maintain ties to her own family traditions was an agreement that she and William worked out before they got married.

Gretchen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lisa Carol said...

I think if the Queen has a problem with them she would say so after all when one marries holidays are divided. William is not next in line so she's probably giving him time with his young children, something that was denied her and Charles has been known to complain about. The Queen and Charles have no problem with them living like this so really I say let them put their children first.

Hovikirjeenvaihtaja -blogi said...

Very nice article Marlene, thank you! I agree.

Also the way I see all this, is that I have lost any respect I had for them. It may be that the Queen is ok with this, it may be that Charles wants this etc. It's also true they have a life long service ahead of them. But the reality still is, that they have totally unique platform on their hands and they don't use it. They could do so much good with so little effort and they choose not to. They don't want to. That's why I am not able to respect them.

Hovikirjeenvaihtaja -blogi said...

Very nice article Marlene, thank you! I agree.

Also the way I see all this, is that I have lost any respect I had for them. It may be that the Queen is ok with this, it may be that Charles wants this etc. It's also true they have a life long service ahead of them. But the reality still is, that they have totally unique platform on their hands and they don't use it. They could do so much good with so little effort and they choose not to. They don't want to. That's why I am not able to respect them.

Marion Banks-Wilkinson said...

I totally disagree with you,and I don't know anyone here in the UK who feels that way.We do not want to see the whole Diana mess again.Let William and Catherine have a little space, he is doing a proper job and that is important even if you dont see it that way, most of us Brits think its fine.

Leo A-W said...

First of all Marlene fantastic article, I totally agree with you. I really feel the problem starts with Catherine's lack of confident even after five years in her role she seems to lack confidence and charisma, I watched a clip of her last engagement at the 100th anniversary of the cub scouts everything seemed so forced.

As for William I believe he is just trying to keep his wife happy, I don't believe he prefers to spend Christmas with the Middletons rather the BRF. But a happy wife leads to a happy life, I just hoping that 2017 changes all as Williams contract ends in March 2017 with the air ambulance and George stars school in September 2017.

Brent said...

Once again I am in total agreement with your views ( facts in most cases). I tend to give them a bit of slack as he's only second in line which is ( for me) almost making an excuse for them. When the Prince of Wales succeeds his mother and the Duke of Cambridge is first in line he and his s wife will be ill prepared for what is expected of them then.

HouGalAtty said...

It is rare when you criticize a Royal, so when you did I have to give your thoughts extra consideration. For example, you question the Prince's desire for part-time work, and note that though he donates his salary to charity, he might be taking up a job slot another "real world" pilot might want. I had not thought of that angle, though I seem to recall some discussion a while ago that one reason he worked in the field was to retain the skills he acquired (at great taxpayer expense) in the military. Like you, I am surprised the Cambridges are skipping Christmas Day at Sandringham, if only because both his grandparents don't have too any left, realistically. As far as their royal diaries, however, I would just throw into the discussion that the couple may be intentionally keeping a low key to avoid overshadowing the Prince of Wales and a Duchess of Cornwall (who is indeed coming into her own); however even if that is the case they seem to be overdoing it! In any event I think you are spot on that William needs a firmer Private Secretary who can deal with the admittedly hard-headed Windsor. Thanks for your comments - well thought through and judiciously explained.

Wendy Hunter said...

This is a very American take on the subject. Her Majesty has made it very clear that she has no plans to abdicate. Therefore, the Prince of Wales is next in line to the Throne, not the Duke of Cambridge. The Queen has always made it clear that she wants William to pursue his own interests - even telling him to invite his own friends to his wedding first, and then accommodate "official guests". We Canadians (and you must remember this is OUR Royal Family too) have no problems with the way William and Catherine are living their lives. They are well educated and well able to choose their own interests. It certainly isn't the place of an American "Royal Expert" to tell the British Royal Family how to run their lives!

Meghan said...

Marlene thank you for your well thought through article. I appreciate your point of view but I would like to respectfully disagree. The two main points of issue that you have brought up around W&K's seeming reluctance to take on their Royal roles are their not releasing a Christmas card this year and decision to spend the holidays with Kates family. Last year was the only year they have officially released a picture and I believe it was intended more to give the public a glimpse of Charlotte growing up since there hadn't been an image of her realised for a few months. I am uncomfortable with the narrative of them "snubbing" the Queen. Xmas is a private family affair, not a state occasion like Trooping or Remembrance Day. They are neither representing the UK by spending it at Sandringham nor are they letting down the nation by not doing so. Regardless of who Will's grandmother is, they are a normal family and normal families frequently alternate the holidays with each other's relatives. They spent the last 2 years with Will's family so it's perfectly reasonable that they spend this year with Kates side - in fact I applaud William for ensuring his wife's family is given their fair share of time. If reluctance to do their duty is the question then I would look to their workload - W has done 200 engagements this year, Kate at around 130 has more than doubled her last year's engagement load. They've done 2 significant tours, one smaller Somme visit, William visited Vietnam and Kate visited the Netherlands. I would say that this year there has been a very visible increase in their duties. On the number of patronages they've always said they would like to focus on a smaller number and do meaningful work which we are seeing with Heads Together, United for Wildlife coalition and online bullying initiatives. It seems to me that people's negative reactions stem more from disappointment at not seeing W&K at events that are considered fan favourites like St Patrick's Day or Christmas. Yes we would all like to see Kate in a dashing hat and outfit but that is our desire and not their obligations.

Abby said...

I agree with many of Meghan's comments. I do think William and Kate should step up and have more patronages, etc.

However, I don't think they should have to release the Christmas card to the press or always be forced to spend Christmas with the Queen. It isn't the same to spend Boxing Day with the Middletons and I think it is reasonable to draw some lines. Both of these points seem selfish and not really related to royal duties.

It is important to remember that one reason Charles and Diana's marriage didn't work out is because the royal family was suffocating. Additionally, William deeply believes that media scrutiny killed his mother. He can't be expected to suppress the feelings of loss from losing his mother so young and watching his family life destroyed simpy because he is a royal. That is unfair of anyone.

I do admire the Swedish royals but I don't think it is completely fair to compare the two. The Swedish princess got some space when dealing with anorexia/bulimia why doesn't William deserve some space in his desire to keep his children private when he clearly has some deep seated resentments about being in the public eye. There are limits to what should be fair game even if you are a royal.

Michael Shea said...

Well said! George V wasn't a main player when Duke of York. The Duke of Cambridge should not be competing with The Prince of Wales.

Spoelstral said...

There has been discussion on another royal board on this very subject, and many of those commenting have noted that William and Catherine have not spent Christmas at her parent's home since 2012, when she was very ill with her first pregnancy. Others have commented that as Pippa is to be married next spring this will possibly be the last year that the Middleton family can guarantee that they all will be present on Christmas Day. I do agree with other comments above that if Her Majesty had a problem with the Cambridges not being at Sandringham, then they would be there and not in Bucklebury. As far as engagements go, those too are at the will and pleasure of The Queen - if she wanted them to do more, they would.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Several points. This is not an "American view," but a far more common view in the UK than some people think. I know a number of British people (and remember I travel there often) who are in despair by what they perceive to be William's lack of work ethic. It is also noted and observed by those who cover the royals. For another thing, William and Catherine spend a lot of time with her family, far less than with his. George and Charlotte spend far more time with their maternal grandparents. They rarely see Charles. Another thing: granny is 90 years old. I think it would be important to spend some time with her and have their children spend some time with their great-granny. As for George V (different times, but he and May lamented about not having enough to do.) But they certainly did more than William and Catherine .. http://royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-duchess-of-york-and-her-duties-in.html

Bill Durning said...

Marlene, I really enjoy your blog and this entry has really generated a lot of comments which are pretty interesting to read. Fun to see folks on both sides of the issue.

www.maltagenealogy.com said...

I am sure the Cambridges will step up in due course. Let them enjoy the children as much as they can and William with his work. I m sure when Charles succeeds, things will change GREATLY. Until then, I m sure the Queen is content with their arrangements.

Lisa said...

Brava Marlene!!
You have very eloquently summarized the problem with this couple.
I often think of the Crown Princely couples of Spain, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands who were at the time the same ages as W&C now and they put in so much work on behalf of their respective countries- even with 2x more children than the Cambridges have.

I do not understand the couple not being with the Queen at Sandringham. Who knows how many Christmases the Queen will have to continue this tradition with her great I grandchildren present. Why couldn't the couple do as many other families do-divide the day- that is spend part of it with one family and the other half of the day with the other family. The couple has the resources to fly or take the train from Norfolk to Reading.

Michelle said...

I too believe this was a very poor decision on their behalf. As you said - and as I thought immediately when I read the news - the Queen & Prince Philip are very old. Philip has had health troubles and at his age, one bout of something most of us could overcome may be too much for him. The children KNOW their maternal grandparents. The Queen & other members of the royal family rarely get together in a big group & in a setting where everyone can relax and just be family! George & Charlotte should not miss out on that! The Middletons knew what they were signing up for when Michael said yes to William's asking permission to marry Catherine. They may not like it, but for the sake of their daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren, they need to get on board with the sacrifices that must be made. They should of course be included in family life, but MOST families have to split Christmas into two celebrations anyway, so it wouldn't have been the end of the world to spend Christmas with the royals & have another celebration with the Middletons. Even if they insist on Christmas with them, why not go to the shoot? It really is a snub and William is becoming LESS like his mother every day!

Michelle said...

I honestly believe that William has decided that he can do as he pleases and there's nothing anyone (other than perhaps the Queen) can do about it! After all, if he angers the public by rarely showing a glimpse of his children & dodging out of royal occasions and responsibilities, what can we really do about it? We don't have the power to do anything to change the situation, he really holds all the power. Problem is, the only thing the public CAN do is eventually overthrow the monarchy! Everyone sees William as the monarchy's great savior, but I am increasingly concerned that he will actually be its demise! Charles, though perhaps not likeable to some as a person, IS an excellent Prince of Wales & will make a fine king! Also, as you pointed out, other monarchies have the kids in public all the time AND still live a private life! The Swedes are the best, but the Danes and Norwegians also release pictures of the children and have them out in public frequently. Princess Madeleine of Sweden just this week posted a private picture on her Facebook of her children with Princess Estelle from their Christmas party! Honestly, people are LESS LIKELY to push into the Cambridges' private lives if they saw the kids more often. The more you see something, the less you feel the need to pry. Harry is doing a great job & needs to give big brother a lesson!

John said...

Bravo. I agree wholeheartedly.

Matthew Plooster said...

With today's news of Her Majesty reducing her patronages, I am interested to see how much more the Cambridges will be taking on. So far, I've only found three patronages with identified replacement patrons: Barnardos (Duchess of Cornwall), AELTC (Duchess of Cambridge), and RFU (Prince Harry). Today does leave a lot of potential opportunity for things to go down a very good direction...

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Matthew ... all of 25 have been passed on, but all have made announcements. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/20/queen-hands-25-royal-patronages-ease-workload-91st-year1/

Sophie will be taking over Blind Veterans and the NPSCC, perhaps others Andrew got the Navy Marines one. William got at least 2 Charles Holocaust, perhaps next two on list. Nearly sure Camilla accepted Battersea. William the swimming one, Catherine Action for Children. expect more verification in the NYyear

paintbrush said...

I'm sure they will be taking on a lot more royal duties once Charles becomes king. It was sort of unprecedented that they took both children to Canada which got huge media coverage even in this country. Who really knows what goes on behind the scenes regarding family dynamics. I'm sure the overall outcome of Charles and Diana's marriage and her subsequent early death must have had a profound effect on both William and Harry which may alter the way they want to proceed with their lives.

Maureen said...

I think the agreement was for William and family to alternate families each year at Christmas until he becomes POW. I am sure William and family will be spending time with Charles and the Queen this Christmas season. William is just the heir of the heir and I don't think either Charles or William wants to turn Kate into another Diana. Look at what Meghan Markle is being exposed to, it would be 100x worse with Kate.
I also think that Charles and HM the Q think that the major attention should be on Charles and Camilla, not William even though the older couple are not as photogenic.
I'm sure that William is convinced his mother would be alive if not for the press and is not above punishing them whenever possible, which is regrettable.
I am hoping in 2017 they take on more duties and start introducing their children to more public life.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

There is no agreement. The last time the Cambridges spent Christmas at Bucklebury was in 2013 when she was pregnant with George.

Unknown said...

Marlene, I enjoy your blog so much.
I would like to make a couple of points. First, given that a lot of people in GB apparently don't want Prince Charles to be king (which is a shame), it may be that the Cambridges are being made to keep a lower profile in order to boost the image of the heir to the throne. Remember, the royal PR operation has been taken over by Prince Charles.
Second, if it is true that Prince William is a reluctant heir presumptive, it would not be surprising given his mother's conflicts with the Royal Family and the problems she created. I have read that she cried on his shoulder when he was just a child, which is terrible - no mother should ever burden her child with her adult problems. If his conflicted about his role it should come as no surprise.
And, as a PR person myself, I agree with you - the Cambridges need a new team!
Happy New Year!