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After she became the Duchess of Cambridge, every aspect of Kate’s appearance was scrutinized for fault — and these stories were inevitably published in Femail. She was “no trendsetter.” Her eyebrows were deemed trashy. Her graying hair was called a “disaster” or in need of a ruthless trim.

Although Andreae declined to comment on specific stories — and the Daily Mail declined multiple requests for comment from BuzzFeed News — multiple media industry beat stories from these years indicate that Andreae was one of the head editors — if not the head editor — of the Daily Mail’s Femail section when these stories were published. Did they reflect his own views about his new employer’s daughter-in-law? Or was Kate just a commodity to be turned into content?

It’s been many years since the duchess was the favored target of the tabloids (and, as I noted in my piece last year, her press coverage has been overwhelmingly positive or at least neutral since Meghan joined the royal family), but it seems difficult to believe that she’s forgotten that time in her life. Having your phone hacked 155 times by one tabloid reporter (specifically, former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman, who admitted to this in court in 2014) seems like something that would stick with a person. In her March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, in a roundabout way, even confirmed that the “rude” moniker “Waity Katie” still bothers the new Princess of Wales, after all these years. How does she feel about this new hire? Might Andreae’s editorial past create tension between the Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace press offices? (A spokesperson for the Prince and Princess of Wales declined to comment to BuzzFeed News.)

But the columns critical of Kate pale in comparison to the fact that, during Andreae’s tenure as one of the top editors at the Mail on Sunday, the paper published one of the most damaging royal stories in recent history — a story that threw the planning of a royal wedding into chaos and, ultimately, was an impetus for the breakdown of a father–daughter relationship.

I am, of course, talking about the news that Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, had staged photos in collaboration with a British paparazzi photographer, published by the Mail on Sunday on May 12, 2018 — one week before the royal wedding.


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