The intra-palace code for Kate Middleton’s lack of job was ‘The Kate Problem’
The Duchess of Cambridge has always been work-shy. She never shared her mother’s work ethic, although it is abundantly clear that Carole trained and prepared Kate to social climb and “land” a prince to the exclusion of everything else. Kate graduated from St. Andrews in 2005, same as Prince William. In the years between her university graduation and her engagement to William in the fall of 2010, Kate only “had” two jobs. One was a real job with Jigsaw, which she was basically part-time for a handful of months. Her second job was as a “photographer” with Party Pieces, the Middleton family’s company. No one believes for a second that Kate did much work with PP, but sure.
It’s worth noting that from the beginning, there was always an awareness of Kate’s laziness and lack of work ethic. Even the Queen saw it. From The Palace Papers:
[From The Palace Papers by Tina Brown]
Even the Queen, who saw there was more than a chance that Kate might be here to stay, reportedly thought she get a “real job” or an attachment to high-profile charity work. William was dedicated to a grueling training schedule, but Kate seemed only to be drifting around, dabbling in her parents’ company so she could be available when William came home to party. The Queen’s discomfort increased after the economic collapse of 2008 when Her Majesty was not at all enamored of images of her grandson and his girlfriend leaving Boujis.
Palace sources briefed that the Queen “was acutely aware that Prince William’s public image could suffer if his girlfriend were not recognized as a working professional in her own right.” There had been conversations, says the sources, with a “few trusted friends” about how to tackle what was being called “the Kate Problem.” On the few occasions the Queen had met Kate, Her Majesty apparently thought she was a nice enough girl but had no idea what she actually did.
Concerned about his girlfriend’s lady-of-leisure rap, it was William who urged her to find employment.
It was reported at the time – circa 2006-07 – that the Queen thought Kate should get a job and stop waitying around endlessly. What I didn’t know was that it went so far as this, that palace aides were briefing the press about the Queen’s concerns about Kate’s lack of employment. That was likely the Queen telling Prince William to order his girlfriend to get a job, and William got the message. I also didn’t know that the intra-palace nickname for Kate’s laziness was known as The Kate Problem. Bonkers.
In this section of The Palace Papers, there’s also a story which I didn’t know, which is that William invited Kate to Sandringham for the Royal Christmas “house party” in 2006, but she said no because they weren’t engaged (I knew that part). So after Kate refused William’s invitation, she invited William up to Scotland where her family had rented a house for the holidays, and he was scheduled to arrive on New Year’s Eve… and he didn’t show up. Just ghosted her, cold, with no warning. William apparently had a heart-to-heart talk with his father over Christmas, and Charles told him to wait to propose until he was ready. Meanwhile, Kate still expected him to propose to her on or around her birthday in January 2007. William would dump her over the phone in April of that year, but not before he cheated on her.