Prince William and Kate Middleton's U.S. Trip Showcased Their Boring Genius

Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Chris Jackson/Getty Images  

A friend of the Royalist's dated Kate Middleton when they were teenagers at Marlborough College.

The friend's mother sometimes still tells how insanely "DULL" all the Middletons, including Kate, were. "Terribly nice, the nicest most inoffensive people in the world, but no fun," is her settled opinion.

After a half decade of trying to convince us that actually they are just as glamorous, racy and thrilling individuals as the Sussexes, the Waleses seem this week to have embraced the power of, well, being boring.

It's War! William and Kate's Team Label Harry and Meghan 'the Kardashians'

At the outset of William and Kate's royal trip to America, to present the environmental Earthshot Prize, they said that they were determined to not be "distracted" by any peripheral issues.

Journalists assumed this was code for, "They won't be answering any questions about Harry and Meghan, so don't bother asking."

However, their borderline dowdy sartorial choices Friday night at the gala itself suggested another interpretation; that they weren't about to allow Kate's frocks to eclipse the conversation about the very serious business of saving the planet. Kate, in her rented green Solace London dress, and William in his patrician black tie, were the fabulously staid embodiment of dutiful British royalty.

Of course the couple should be saluted for this ambitious initiative, which they established, which sees five £1m ($1.2m) prizes handed out to five green tech businesses.

This year the winners included a female-founded, Kenyan clean air stove initiative, an Indian micro-farming company, a program training women to be "rangers" of the Great Barrier reef, a British company trying to replace plastic packaging with seaweed-based products, and a carbon capture firm based in Oman.

William said in his speech: "The decisions we make now will affect generations to come. Which is why we must choose the path of hope, optimism, and urgency to repair our planet."

This is not a position you can argue with. But William and Kate are also telegraphing another message, which is: "If you want drama can tune to Netflix and catch the Kardashians-sorry!- the Harry and Meghan show. We are here actually trying to do something."

"Boring old public servants, us, just like granny" seems to be the theme that the couple have decided is their path to the future. Indeed, they have attempted to apply this argument to the chutzpah of Meghan and Harry releasing the trailer for their Netflix show on day two of their trip, with sources telling the Telegraph this was actually a good thing as it had pointed up the difference between Harry and Meghan (drama) and Will and Kate (service.)

It was probably a slightly desperate bit of retrofitted spin, but ultimately, Friday was the day that the Waleses reclaimed the narrative.

The meeting with Joe Biden was an endorsement of their status as statespeople, not mere celebrities (although there were plenty of them at the prize-giving ceremony itself on Friday, including David Beckham and Billie Eilish).

Time will tell if the Waleses have made a smart move by going nuclear on Harry and Meghan and comparing them to the Kardashians. However there is no doubt that there is now, at least, clear blue water between these two couples.

The style versus the substance.

The black and white arthouse pictures versus the mass-market color prints.

The Sussexes and the Waleses.

Pick a side.

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