Prince William’s down to earth and candid trip to New York City this week revealed glimmers of his late mother Princess Diana – despite sometimes being ‘awkward’ and ‘cautious’ experts have told Palace Confidential.
Richard Kay, editor at large for the Daily Mail, noted how the Prince of Wales’s willingness to get involved in activities including collecting oyster shells on the Hudson River showed members of the public that he has an ‘open side’.
Speaking to the Daily Mail’s diary editor Richard Eden and host Jo Elvin, Kay commented on the ‘spontaneity’ of William’s itinerary during his stateside trip.
In particular, he noted the 41-year-old’s casual jog through Central Park one morning, which he said was an act that was ‘straight out of Diana’s playbook’.
However, he noted that, while the Prince of Wales looks comfortable and at ease during some engagements, he is ‘still learning’ which means he can look less fluid at times (for example, when meeting world leaders).
This week’s episode of Palace Confidential saw Richard Kay (pictured) and Richard Eden analyse the Prince of Wales’s trip to New York City
‘One of the problems with William is that he’s not a natural on his feet. He’s slightly awkward on his feet. He’s cautious – he’s always been cautious, so is Kate, too – and he’s trying to show that there’s a more open side to him, he can be a bit more spontaneous.’
Kay also noted the success of William’s stateside trip, which he argued may have been overshadowed had Princess Kate joined him.
Speaking to his panellists, Kay said: ‘The fact is it becomes less of a fashion show [if Kate is there]… it’s more about him and what he wants to say.’
Elvin and Kay suggested William was keen to place emphasis on his ambitions to combat climate change during the trip by meeting with senior figures while he was in New York City.
Kay said the Prince of Wales showed a ‘spontaneity’ by heading out for a jog in New York City, like his mother would have done
Some of William’s activities in the Big Apple were ‘straight out of Diana’s playbook’ said Richard Kay
Citing names including Earthshot supporter Mike Bloomberg and Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary general, Kay said William was keen to make an impression with ‘powerful figures’.
However he added the Prince of Wales was ‘much more comfortable when he met people like [Bill] Gates, who are sort of on board with his Earthshot project, and much more uncomfortable when he met presidents.’
During the meeting with Ecuador’s president, Lasso Mendoza, William’s conversation with the world leader was ‘stilted’, Kay said.
‘On those occasions William doesn’t have the fluidity of his father who was so wonderful at that sort of meeting.
‘But he’s learning, and he is learning, and it was impressive.’
Eden also noted the differences between William and his father King Charles – this time in the way they tackle their commitment to protecting the environment.
While King Charles has always been a negative-style ‘gloomy prophet’ when discussing climate change and damage to the environment, he said the Prince of Wales has captured the ‘can-do spirit’ of the American people.
‘That’s what the Earthshot prize is all about,’ Eden said.
‘Prince William, by contrast, has always tried to be much more positive and it’s all about, ‘What can we do to make a difference?”
Elsewhere in the episode the panellists discussed the King and Queen’s state visit to France this week, where they appeared to form a very close friendship with the Macrons.
They noted the difficult relationship King Charles has with the city of Paris, having travelled there in 1997 to collect Princess Diana’s body after she died in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel.
However, on this visit, Kay said the public has seen an ‘entirely different Charles’.
He said: ‘You can see it in his body language. He’s much more comfortable in his role as King.’
He added that, now he is monarch, there is less risk of him being ‘overshadowed’ by his partner, like he was during a 1988 trip to the city of Paris when Princess Diana stole the limelight ‘through no fault of her own’.
Daily Mail Diary Editor Richard Eden (pictured) said Prince William’s trip to New York was ‘calm’, in contrast to Prince Harry’s trip there, which was ‘chaos’
Prince William (pictured) undertook a solo trip to New York this week to announce the finalists for his Earthshot prize
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