| 16.3°C Dublin

Kate Middleton and Prince William's 'dress code for journalists' sparks backlash in US

Prince William and Kate can expect to be on the receiving end of plenty of mischief when they arrive in New York City on December 7th for their highly anticipated official three-day visit.

The couple, who will, among other things, visit the September 11 Memorial and take in a basketball game in Brooklyn, may be well-versed in dealing with the hardcore tactics of Fleet Street hacks but they, and their staff, are obviously clueless about how to handle the American version of the species who, while not quite as rabid, have their own particular set of quirks.

Close

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives for The Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives for The Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium

Getty Images

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives for The Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium

For starters, reporters here don't feel as if they have to answer to Buckingham Palace. And they really don't like being told how to dress or behave - two sore spots the Brits managed to hit in one directive, issued last Thursday, when BP laid down a dress code for those covering the trip.

"Journalists wishing to cover royal engagements, whether in the United Kingdom or abroad, should comply with the dress code on formal occasions out of respect for the guests of The Queen, or any other member of the Royal Family," the palace press office declared. "Smart attire for men includes the wearing of a jacket and tie, and for women a trouser- or skirt-suit. Those wearing jeans or trainers will not be admitted and casually dressed members of the media will be turned away. This also applies to technicians."

Reaction was swift and biting. "First of all, what are "trainers" or, for that matter, "technicians"?" asked NY magazine. "And second, why should the United States' press corps - who barely bother to brush the muffin crumbs off their polo shirts before lobbing questions at the president of the United States - schlep extra pieces of clothing to work just so they can make smalltalk with a (perfectly nice-seeming) British air ambulance pilot-in-training and a former chain-store accessories buyer?"

The guys at Politico were less passive-aggressive. "A Pulitzer for the reporter who shows up in camo cargos," tweeted one, "and a Who Farted? T-shirt."

Close

Kate Middleton in an Orla Kiely dress

Kate Middleton in an Orla Kiely dress

Kate Middleton in an Orla Kiely dress

Fun times ahead.

Close

Kate and William

Kate and William

Kate and William

Sunday Independent