Friends of Kate Middleton have once again been forced to defend her against accusations of dereliction of duty and laziness after it emerged she will not travel to the final of the Earthshot Prize in Singapore later this month, leaving her husband, Prince William, to do the honors instead.
Kate’s decision not to travel is likely to be officially announced in the coming days, a report in British tabloid the Mirror said, adding that she has made the decision to prioritize her children’s routine during term time. Her children are aged 1src, 8, and 5.
The Mirror said, “Kate does not want to disturb the youngsters’ schooling and works hard to ensure the trio have a stable home life in preparation for their royal careers later down the line.”
Kate’s office did not respond to a request for comment, though a friend of Kate’s told The Daily Beast: “She is tirelessly working on behalf of the monarchy. The fact is that her youngest child is 5 so I don’t think she should be expected to hop on a plane every two minutes.”
On Thursday, Kate traveled to Kent to a children’s center and on Tuesday she visited a Yorkshire textile mill.
The new report follows a barbed anonymous item in the Daily Mail this week that suggested that Kate was “a reluctant overseas traveller” and criticized her for having made only two official overseas trips this year, once to attend the wedding of the crown prince of Jordan and again to watch England play Argentina in the rugby in Marseille.
The Mail said there had been “high hopes” at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) that Kate “would not only make more overseas visits but would also bring the children… but it seems that school and routine are now more important than helping the FCO” with its diplomatic efforts.
While William will do his best to bring attention to the occasion, there will be little doubt that without the pizzazz Kate brought to the last two Earthshot Awards—in Boston and London—the event, which hands out five £1 million prizes to technological innovations targeting the climate crisis, may struggle to cut through media noise.
Earlier this month, William traveled alone to New York to reveal the 2src23 Earthshot Prize finalists and took a jog around Central Park.