Something rather strange takes place when William and Kate appear on royal duty together.
The Princess of Wales features prominently when photographs of their visit appear in newspapers, magazines and websites. Yet William has often… disappeared!
According to some royal writers, the involuntary vanishing act has left the Prince of Wales a little disappointed.
‘William is delighted by the fact that people warm to Catherine,’ Roya Nikkhah told True Royalty TV.
‘The only thing I know that does slightly bother him is when he is cropped out of photos.’
Which is rather often, as this picture selection demonstrates…
In February, Kate and William raced side by side in a spinning class at Aberavon Leisure and Fitness Centre in Port Talbot. For the record, Kate won
And she was the only winner in the following day’s papers. William had been chopped
The Prince and Princess of Wales were very much a team at this Buckingham Palace banquet in November 2022
But it was only the Princess who appeared on the front page of The Daily Telegraph the next day
Speaking to The Mail’s new Royals section today, Assistant Editor of The Mail on Sunday, Kate Mansey said: ‘I don’t think it’s jealousy of Kate. It’s more that Kate and William have worked hard to create an image of themselves together as a united front.
‘So, when they’re on jobs together, they’d like to be pictured together – as a team.
‘I’m sure they’re realists – and they know that people want to look at glamorous dresses, not a man in a suit. Perhaps William should get himself a great Jenny Packham frock.’
It was already something of a concern last year, she says. Royal aides on the difficult 2022 Caribbean Tour let it be known at the time they wanted to see William as well as Kate on the front pages.
At the time Ms Mansey wrote: ‘The request was said to be more of an attempt to take some pressure off Kate.
‘And that rings true because, throughout it all, there was one impressive constant – the way Kate and William worked together as a team.’
Kate and William were very much together at the 2023 St Patrick’s Day Parade at Mons Barracks
But not on the front page of The Times the following morning…
It was a double act when the Princess and Princess of Wales hosted a post-Coronation garden party at Buckingham Palace
The following day, though, Kate appeared solo
The same thing happened just a few days later. Now you see him…
And now Kate appears to be working all alone
William and Kate looked effortlessly elegant at the Top Gun: Maverick premiere in 2022
While the Princess of Wales had company on The Daily Telegraph’s front page, but it was actor Tom Cruise who survived the cut, not her husband
William and Kate were very much together during this visit to Belfast in 2022
But that’s not the photograph that appeared the next day, even though William was standing by her side – helping her make and drink cocktails
William is not the only one, of course.
Appearing on ITV’s Lorraine this morning, former BBC Royal Correspondent Jennie Bond recalled a conversation with Princess Diana about a tour of South Africa by the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
Diana told her: ‘Sometimes I feel very sorry for Prince Philip, you wouldn’t know the Duke was there at all, it was all about the Queen’
Diana herself was no stranger to the spotlight, of course.
Ms Nikkah said: ‘Charles was always very upset when Diana had eclipsed him, which was all the time.’
William’s attitude towards his wife is very different.
William puts an affectionate arm around Kate at a launch event for The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood in January this year
But William got barely a look-in when the pictures appeared the following day,
William and Catherine seemed hard to separate as they accepted flowers from four-year-old Theo Crompton at Holyhead Lifeboat Station in Anglesey in 2022
But separated they were, with Kate photographed from a different angle
William and Kate met members of the public on the Long Walk at Windsor Castle on May 7 , the day after the Coronation
Or Kate did, at least. William seems to have got lost in the crowd
Dressed appropriately in the red of Wales, the Prince and Princess attend the Wales vs England Six Nations Rugby game in February
If loyalties were divided, as the Sunday Times suggests, so were Kate and William when the photos appeared
The Waleses have worked hard to present themselves as a team – as here at the Windsor Foodshare in January
But there was little sign of team work in the resulting pictures
A glamorous – and coordinated – William and Kate arrive for the BAFTAs in February
But by the time daily papers appear, the papers have identified the true star. Again…