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Prince William and Kate's most difficult public engagement that showed Princess is 'no pushover' - exclusive

Back in 2015, just over a year after getting married, Prince William and Kate faced their most difficult public engagement during a royal tour

Prince William and Kate looked serious as they arrived at the Borneo Rainforest Research Center in Danum Valley
Andrea Caamano
Andrea CaamanoWebsite Editor
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There’s nothing more magical than a royal romance: the swoony engagement tales, the over-the-top, perfect wedding day and of course, newlywed life.

Not everything is smooth sailing for the royals though, and in the latest episode of A Right Royal Podcast, hosts Andrea Caamano, Emmy Griffiths and HELLO! royal editor Emily Nash welcomed award-winning journalist Kate Mansey, who detailed Prince William and Kate's “most difficult” public engagement just a year after their fairytale wedding at Westminster Abbey.

Prince William and Kate walk through the rainforest in Danum Valley Research Center in Danum Valley, some 70 kilometers west of Lahad Datu, on the island of Borneo © Getty
Prince William and Kate walk through the rainforest in Danum Valley Research Center

Back in September 2012, whilst the whole world speculated over possible topless photos of the then Duchess of Cambridge being shown on a French magazine cover, William and Kate put on a brave face as they took part in an engagement in the Borneo rainforest, during a royal tour of Malaysia as part of the Diamond Jubilee Tour on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. Journalist Kate, who covered the event in person, remembers what happened during the engagement in the episode which you can listen to below

Kate remembers: “So, for Sunday, journalists, I was one of them, went on ahead to the Borneo rainforest, where Kate and William were going to arrive by helicopter and be shown round. It was lovely to be there. We had a two-day trek and went on these 4x4s up these mountain roads. And all of a sudden, any kind of criticism that we had about them helicoptering in and out in their very short timescale evaporated because there's no other way to get there.”

She went on to reveal that the journalists hadn’t had phone reception for two days, until the night before the royal couple were due to arrive.

“The night before they arrived, we're all in situ waiting for this. And our phones start buzzing in this one restaurant in the hills where we actually got one bar of reception, and some pictures had emerged in a European magazine of the then Duchess of Cambridge topless on holiday. Pap pictures, taken with a long lens, and clearly a massive breach of privacy."

Kate Mansey revealed the engagement was probably the royal couple's hardest© Getty
Kate Mansey revealed the engagement was probably the royal couple's hardest

Despite thinking that the royal couple would pull the tour over the images, William and Kate arrived at their engagement and “pulled it off marvellously".

“The very next day, Kate appeared at a mosque, and she pulled it off marvellously, she went business as usual. And they came in the rainforest, and it was clear to see that William, in particular, was rattled by it, she seemed quite calm. But William, for sure, it had really affected him," she added.

She continued: "It was remarkable to see how it worked and see how their team supported them, and to see how he supported her, but also how the fact that he was clearly much more rattled than she was. And I thought that was telling as well. That incident for me showed that she has this kind of steel rod of metal running through her, she is no pushover. She's completely solid. And if anything, he was the one that was more worked up about it, than she was. That's telling, that's why they make a great partnership."

Kate went on to talk about the couple's romance and how despite it being compared to Prince Charles and Princess Diana's relationship at times, it's much more similar to that of the late Queen and Prince Philip.

Also joining Andrea and Emmy on the episode is author Hugo Vickers, who talks about the late Queen and Prince Philip's special relationship.

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