Kate’s ‘editing fail’ doesn’t airbrush away the real problem at Prince William’s palace.

It’s unquestionably silly, all this. An obsession with a far-away representative of an outdated, problematic institution. A nosy-parker invasion into a woman’s intimate health issues. A need to decipher official communications for Easter eggs as if they’re Taylor Swift videos. 

But also, even with Kate’s relatable admission, it’s hard to believe there isn’t there isn’t a bigger problem embedded in the Palace of William and Kate. And it’s one that Prince Harry complained about a long time ago. 

The British royal family doesn’t have one overarching publicity machine. Their operations are broken into houses, with their own staff and their own press offices, their own politics and problems, hires and fires. 

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud, where on this episode, Mia, Holly and Jessie talk more about Kate’s doctored photo. Post continues after audio.

Harry went into great detail in his memoir Spare about the damage this does, internally, to a family. To have different factions competing for coverage, warring publicity strategies and contradictory messaging. In the early part of his adulthood, Harry wrote, it was he and William against Clarence House, his father’s base. Keen to get the best possible coverage for the man who would be King, his father’s press office would sometimes throw the young Princes under the bus — feeding a tidbit about them to the media, planting a glowing story about what a great father he was, refusing to deny some scrulious gossip about the boys obtained by shady means. In his last years at the Palace, Harry and William had separate press arms, too, constantly leaking and sniping at each other. It’s what he hated, he said, and what he wished his brother and father would stop doing.