“Work-shy” Prince William? The now Prince of Wales and Prince Harry have both faced no such criticism. How William reacted to being called a “reluctant king” for once. Plus why the Duke of Sussex called the dig “grossly unfair” because of two things in his spare part Memoirs.
A journalist asked Prince William if he was a “slightly reticent king” in 2016
Just before the late Queen Elizabeth II turned 90 in 2016, William, then Duke of Cambridge, sat down for a full-length interview with the BBC. The network’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell posed a series of questions in a nearly 12-minute video.
At one point, the journalist addressed Williams’ “work-shy” nickname. “There’s a feeling in some circles that you’re a bit of a reclusive king in a way,” Witchell said.
“You will have seen some of the stories, some of the headlines over the last few weeks and months – or I’m sure people have told you about them. ‘Shy William,’ I think some of them said,” he continued.
The interviewer mentioned that Kate Middleton, then Duchess of Cambridge, also came under fire for similar “criticism” and asked William: “How do you react to that? Do you think this criticism, this impression, is justified?”
Prince William didn’t “completely ignore” or “completely take it to heart” the “work-shy” comments.
William responded, telling the interviewer that while acknowledging the “work-shy” moniker, he pretty much brushed it off.
“To be honest, I’m going to get a lot of criticism throughout my life,” he said. “And it’s something I don’t completely ignore, but it’s something I don’t completely take to heart.”
William continued, acknowledging that while he takes his duties “very seriously,” he is “very focused” on being a “new dad.”
“I want to raise my children to be good people and with the idea of duty and service to others being very important,” he told the BBC. “But if I can’t devote my time to my children, I worry about their future.”
William also noted that his soon-to-be-expanding responsibilities were ultimately determined by Queen Elizabeth II.
Prince Harry called the nickname of “work-shy Wills” “obscene” and “grossly unfair” in his memoir.
In addition to many searing comments about William, Harry stated in his best-selling memoir: spare part, who debuted in January 2023, why the nickname “work-shy Wills” wasn’t fair to the now-Prince of Wales. At the time, Harry noted, William had a growing family.
“The newspapers were full of stories about Willy being lazy, and the press called him ‘work-shy Wills,’ which was obscene and grossly unfair,” Harry said (via Newsweek). Why? Because William, he shared, “was busy having kids and starting a family.”
Back then, the Prince and Princess of Wales weren’t quite the parents of three that they are today. Instead, they became parents to one after welcoming now 9-year-old Prince George in 2013. They were also in the process of expanding their family. At the time, Kate was pregnant with Princess Charlotte, now 7 years old.
In addition to the family aspect, Harry explained how another element – money – played a part.
William “was still indebted to Pa, who controlled the purses,” Harry said, referring to her father, King Charles III. “He did as much as Pa wanted and sometimes it wasn’t much because Pa and Camilla [Parker Bowles] I didn’t want Willy and Kate to get a lot of publicity.”
‘Pa and Camilla,’ he explained, ‘didn’t like it when Willy and Kate drew attention away from them or their concerns. They had openly berated Willy about it many times.”
Harry further cited a public appearance where Kate attended a tennis club on the same day where the King and Camilla also had an official engagement. He claimed King Charles’ press secretary warned that Kate was holding a tennis racket.
“Such a winning, gorgeous photo would undoubtedly wipe Pa and Camilla off the front pages,” said Harry. “And in the end that was intolerable.”
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