The Mirror has reported that relatable royals William and Kate had checked into the luxurious and top-secret ‘Windsor Suite’ at Heathrow Airport en route to their mid-term family holiday.
The suite is so confidential that the reporter was unable to reveal the exact whereabouts – presumably it’s accessible only through underground tunnels and a network of secret doorways hidden in bookcases.
But it is there and, by gum, is it posh!
Guests are greeted by a doorman in a top hat and tails, who takes you to a private lounge where there is a portrait of the Queen (makes sense) and loads of very, very expensive artwork.
There are 96 staff at your beck and call, a BMW chauffeur service to ferry you to the runway, a personal shopper, and a menu devised by Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton – no Egg McMuffins here.
The Mirror reports the piece de resistance is ‘a squishy sofa, a nice big telly and your own loo’. A squishy sofa and a nice big telly? What heady living is this?
To use the suite costs around €3,900 – so you would want to get there early to get bang for your buck.
A more cynical person (me) would point out that William and Kate probably got to use all of this for free, and Heathrow are telling everyone about it VERY LOUDLY as a deliberate PR push. It’s unlikely the couple had to fork out any actual readies.
But regardless, any time the royals do something against their own diligently crafted personal brand, it ruffles feathers.
And this is against brand for Kate and William who have positioned themselves as down-to-earth royals.
We read that Kate is an Everywoman from a middle-class background in middle England who wears sensible clothes bought from high street stores. William is stoic and loyal and supports Aston Villa football club: I mean, Aston Villa!
They are a self-styled low-key couple who love taking photographs of their children frolicking in dappled garden light, taking the dog for walks in the rain, baking, and recycling winter coats.
As a couple they are packaged as prudent and practical.
They are seen as being diametrically opposed to Royals-turned-LA power couple Harry and Meghan.
In 2019, it was headline news when William and Kate were spotted at an airport in Norwich waiting on the tarmac to board a low-cost flight to Scotland. It came shortly after Harry and Meghan were roundly, and rightly, criticised for their use of private jets.
But what we see of William and Kate's family life has been carefully curated.
And then something comes along that reminds royal fans that – wait one second! – these people are literal millionaires.
And, no, they are not going to go on the same middle-of-the-road mid-term break as me and you because – guess what? – they live in castles, and are the future king and queen of England.
When I covered Meghan and Harry’s wedding in Windsor in 2018, practically every person I spoke with said the reason they loved Harry was because he was just so relatable.
“He’s like us,” people chimed. “He’s a normal guy.”
Obviously, this was before he and Meghan hot-footed it over to the States, became pals with Oprah, ditched the British royal family, signed megawatt deals with Netflix and Spotify, and became the figureheads for ‘ethical banking’.
The truth is that these people are not really relatable. It’s more that we all have a tendency to project ourselves on to others, and try to connect and identify.
Which is why it probably feels so jarring when they do something, or afford something – be it a private jet or a squishy sofa and nice telly – we can’t.
The most certain outcome of this kerfuffle is an influx of enquiries to Heathrow's aspiring VIP set – which, you might think, was the plan all along.