Royal book author Penny Junor’s incisive views on William and Kate Middleton
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Royal book author Penny Junor’s incisive views on William and Kate Middleton

London : United Kingdom | May 11, 2012 at 8:01 AM PDT
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Report By: Nina Rai

London, 11 May, 2012

Veteran royal biographer, Penny Junor in her new book on Prince William, Born To Be King – An Intimate Portrait has come out with startling insights into the lives of the British royals.

Defending herself against critics of the book, Junor comes out with her understanding of the British royals, particularly the highly private Prince William. In fact, Junor has portrayed the Duke of Cambridge glowingly in her latest biography as someone mature, levelheaded, calm and serious.

Despite being brought up in a highly dysfunctional family, with both parents at loggerheads with each other, their differences and scandals out in the public domain, Junor thinks, its remarkable William and Harry have turned out so well.

Two things the author believes 'can send children off the rails — a lack of love, and loss'. Four-year-old William’s Nanny Barbara Barnes, whom he adored, was sacked as Diana hated their proximity to each other, reveals the royal book.

Later, the loss of Nanny Barnes and then Diana’s death itself had a devastatingly dreadful impact on the psyche of both the boys. Fortunately for William and Harry, they never lacked love; they in-fact were surrounded by it at the palace. They were loved by the members of the royal family, with them being attached to their grandparents, says Junor.

Queen Elizabeth is understood to be particularly very close to Prince William. Junor says 'She stepped in after Diana died, asking him for tea at Windsor Castle, over the bridge from Eton.' Surprising William’s relationship with eccentric Philip, too, is comfortable and affectionate. Both grandparents are proud of William and Harry, adds Junor.

According to Junor, Prince Harry has been blessed with a happy-go-lucky kind of temperament. He has a sort of relaxed 'just do it' mentality, but initially it was the other way round between the brothers. William was the more confident child but it’s not surprising that the tense relationship between his parents, got to him and he went into his shell.

Junor believes that Prince William’s childhood spun out of control due to its peculiar circumstances. He has managed to overcome it very well now, but he is still the result of it. 'Partly because of the difficulties in his parents' marriage, partly because of the approach they took — both spilling their guts to the world,' opines Junor.

So how did William tackle this difficult situation particularly with regard to the media which was always prying into their lives? He actually hates journalists’ fascination with his life, says Junor. So he adopted a different approach to them; he would share very little and also expect his friends not to speak about him to the press.

His parent’s messy relationship and everything related to it must have had its impact on William, and it explains his long eight-year courtship with Kate Middleton, believes Junor. 'He had lost women he loved, so he had to test her to see whether she, too, would abandon him,' says Junor perceptively.

The 63-year-old English journalist informs, the couple’s high-profile split in 2007 was not the only one. They had quite a few 'cooling-off periods' while they were studying at St Andrews, as a result both had even gone holidaying with other people. It could be because, as Junor writes in the biography, 'he questioned whether it was possible to be faithful to just one woman.”

Further the book says “They weren't always as lovey-dovey as the Press made out. Kate was always the clingier ….but also so normal and that appealed to him, as did her happy family.' One tutor, who knew Kate in college, didn’t think she was someone who stood out though she was pretty. According to the teacher Kate Middleton is 'just another girl in a pashmina'.

However, Junor believes it is this very ‘feet firmly on the ground’ side of Kate that appeals to William. A women who is 'I, me, myself’ or a more flashy or a Barbie doll kind of girl wouldn’t suit him one bit, with him being quite conservative. About Kate Middleton, Junor says 'She's steady and normal; although I'm sure she can also be great fun. She seems very well-balanced.' To a boy who longed for normality, the Middleton kitchen table in Bucklebury, Berkshire, must have seemed like heaven.

There are some critics of Middleton family, who do not have charitable views about Kate or her mother Carole insinuating that they are schemers. Junor disagrees and says 'Kate waited for eight years, which doesn't suggest scheming to me. She is quiet and self-contained, and William can spot a sucker-up a mile away. And he adores her family. If Carole was as she has been presented, he would have noticed.”

While conceding that Carole Middleton is a tough woman, ‘a bit of a social climber’, Junor opines, that like anyone who has struggled in life, Kate’s mum too might have hoped her daughter marries well “but you'd have to be insane or stupid to want to marry into the Royal Family for a nice life.” Junor goes on to add on a happy note: 'A year after he married Kate, William has a wife who is level-headed, absolutely adores him and hasn't had her head turned by fame.'

Source: Daily Mail

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Prince William and Kate Middleton appear to have the ultimate fairy tale romance but just five years ago, William dumped his loyal girlfriend so he could spend more time clubbing with his friends.
Nina Rai is based in Mangaluru, Karnataka, India, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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