The Reaction to Kate Shrugging off Will Is a Reminder of a Big Double Standard

This would NOT fly if Meghan Markle had done it

(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

The Cambridges are in full holiday season mode with their BBC Christmas special, A Berry Royal Christmas, airing last night in the U.K. The joint holiday special, featuring Prince William, Kate Middleton and famed British TV chef Mary Berry, was filled with adorable moments and inside tidbits about the royal family, including Prince Louis’s first words (“Mary,” after Mary Berry herself), Will’s go-to recipe for Catherine in university (bolognese sauce) and Prince George’s potential Christmas gifts. (“Something for drawing. Or football,” the duke told Berry.)

But there’s one moment from the Christmas special that has everyone talking: Catherine quite literally shrugging off William when he puts his hand on her shoulder.

Twitter users were quick to call out the moment, with one user tweeting “Awkward! Too awkward!! They should have cut it out!” while another noted how Catherine “moved with a quickness.”

Others believed that Kate’s rejection of Will’s PDA had to do with the the Duke of Cambridge’s rumoured infidelity.

As for the diehard royal fans? They were adamant that there are no relationship issues between the duke and duchess, chalking it up to a “seating readjust” or to Will and Kate’s tendency to refrain from partaking in PDA.

But as one Twitter user noted, one big takeaway here, at least judging by the responses to this viral clip, is the lack of negative criticism surrounding Catherine’s decision to shake off her husband—if this were a video of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, the Duchess of Sussex would undoubtedly have been attacked not just on Twitter but also by the media. (At the time of publishing, no media outlet seems to be criticizing Kate for shrugging off Will—as they shouldn’t.)

Markle has had her unfair share of bullying due to her ethnic background, and many have pointed out the racist double standard put upon the Sussexes because of Markle. She’s been brutally scrutinized in the media, often for doing the same things her sister-in-law does. (Let’s not forget the time Meghan bared her shoulders and was ripped apart for doing so while Kate was praised for looking “beautiful” when she did the same thing months later.) So it should have come as no surprise when the Duchess of Sussex revealed that she is “not OK” in the documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, which aired in the U.K. on October 20.

Actual shrug motivation and double-standard hypocrisy aside, this clip of Will and Kate is a good reminder that despite their social status, royals are humans too. It shows that like all couples, the duke and duchess’s relationship is not perfect, and being able to see a more “normal” side to them is actually quite refreshing. And, honestly, maybe the duchess didn’t feel like being touched at the time, which is, you know, totally relatable.