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How Kate Middleton Took on a Royal Favorite—And Won

"This is a deeply personal victory for Catherine," said a Palace insider.

As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle continue their long-standing battle against the British tabloids, in just four months, Prince William and Kate Middleton have emerged victorious in their lawsuit against Tatler for their "cruel, sexist and woman-shaming" cover story on Kate titled "Catherine the Great." In May, when the article was posted on the magazine's website ahead of its print publication, Kensington Palace made a rare comment condemning the piece as containing a "swathe of inaccuracies and false representations" and demanded it be taken down. This week, the offending comments were excised and replaced by a newly edited version of the original story.

"This is a deeply personal victory for Catherine," said a Palace insider. "She has endured her share of negative press at the hands of the media, but this was a bridge too far and both Catherine and William were determined to shut it down."

In the controversial article, author Anna Pasternak claimed to talk to several of Kate's "close friends" and made many eyebrow-raising claims about the duchess, including alleging she felt "exhausted and trapped" by the increased workload following Harry and Meghan's exit from royal life. But what has been reported as having angered Kate the most were highly unflattering comments about the Middleton family, including a description of her mother, Carole Middleton, as the "mastermind" behind Kate's rise from commoner to future queen.

At first, Tatler editor Richard Dennen (an acquaintance of Kate's) staunchly insisted he stood "behind the reporting of Anna Pasternak and her sources." But ultimately, after the Cambridges' lawyers argued that Kensington Palace had not been given the opportunity to comment on the specific claims, large sections of the story were edited out, as it now says on Tatler's website.

Perhaps it was the prospect of further alienating the future king and queen that got Dennen to agree to edit the online version. According to The Daily Mail, a source with ties to Tatler's publisher, Conde Nast, says the magazine "has a long-standing relationship with the Royal Family and wanted to end this amicably." Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Princess Margaret, Princess Diana, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle have all appeared on Tatler covers in stories that never prompted comment from the Palace.

"Some members of the family read the magazine. There's been respectful pieces about the Queen and countless covers on the Princess of Wales over the years that have run the gamut," said a royal insider. "The cover story on Catherine contained many comments that were downright cruel. The Palace was not going to let that stand." Here's a look at the most outrageous claims in the Tatler article that drove Kate to take the British glossy to court—and win. And for more on Kate, check out How Kate Middleton Became the Biggest Royal Force to Be Reckoned With.

Read the original article on Best Life

Tatler claimed William was "obsessed" with Carole, calling her "the mother he never had."

Carole Middleton (left) and Michael Middleton arrive on day nine of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.
Philip Toscano / PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

One source in the piece claimed, "I've heard that Prince William is obsessed with Carole. She's the mummy he always wanted." While it is widely known that the prince is extremely close to the Middletons, it is "outrageous to say that Carole has replaced Diana in William's mind," said a Palace insider. The comment was edited out. And for more on William and Diana's relationship, check out The Sweet Ways Prince William Has Taught His Children About Princess Diana.

A source also called Carole "an incredible snob" who is difficult to deal with.

Carole Middleton, who has spoken of her delight that her family has remained close over the years and described son-in-law William as lovely in a rare interview.
Gareth Fuller / PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

In the original story, Donna Air, a friend of an ex-girlfriend of Kate's brother, James Middleton, called Carole "an incredible snob." Pasternak backed up the claim by writing "rumor has it" Carole "puts people's backs up in a way Kate does not." For example, she wrote, a "craftsman" once hired to work on Anmer Hall, William and Kate's country home, allegedly told the author, "[Carole] was exceedingly demanding, fussy, and questioned everything" and "has put her stamp on Anmer décor-wise." Her taste was criticized for not being aristocratic enough by a visitor who claimed Carole created a new money, showy environment, "like a gleaming five-star hotel, with cushions plumped and candles lit." In the new post-lawsuit version of Tatler's Kate cover story, the entire section has been erased. And for more on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, check out 8 Things Kate and William Have Done to Give Their Kids a "Normal Life."

There were allegations that Pippa puts on airs and the family trades on Kate's royal status.

Kate Middleton (C) waves to the crowd outside the Goring Hotel, London, Great Britain, 28 April 2011. She stands with her sister Pippa (left) and her mother Carole
Frank May / dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo

The Tatler article originally claimed a source "in Kate's circle" said her sister, Pippa Middleton, refers to her as "the duchess" in public and "is absolutely paranoid about the paparazzi, which feels too regal and try-hard." There were also overtones of sisterly jealousy from the same unnamed source: "Pippa is a bit lost now and is struggling to find her place. She's always in the shadow as someone's sister or someone's wife," the insider said.

But it was perhaps this snobbish putdown of the family's loyalty to each other that angered Kate the most: "The Middleton family will always close ranks. None of them can quite believe that they have hit the jackpot, so between Kate, Pippa, and Carole there is an unspoken bond. A sort of 'We have to bring it to fruition at all costs'." In the new version, the catty remarks are gone. And if you want royal updates delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

There was also a reference to Kate becoming "perilously" thin.

The Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to The Nook in Framlingham Earl, Norfolk, which is one of the three East Anglia Children's Hospices (EACH).
Joe Giddens / PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

In a thinly veiled reference to Kate possibly having an eating disorder, Pasternak, who concedes the duchess is "naturally" slim and a "vigorous exerciser," wrote, "Outwardly, it seems that with years of scrutinizing public pressure, Kate has become perilously thin, just like some point out—Princess Diana." Like the rest of the offending comments, any reference to Kate's weight has disappeared.

The newly edited online version concludes with this true statement: "Whatever the truth, as the woman behind the man who will reign from what Winston Churchill called 'the greatest throne in history', Kate has emerged as the ultimate power player. Underestimate Queen Catherine at your peril." And for more on the future king and queen, check out William and Kate's Most Adorable Couples Moments Through the Years.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.

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