Photoshop schmotoshop: blame the gene pool

3 minute read

The Royal Family needs some diversity, not photo editing lessons.

Honestly, the brouhaha around THAT photo of the Princess of Wales and her offspring has got me baffled, readers.

All those weird physical quirks people are finding in the photo – wrists not attached to arms, heads too big for bodies, chubby little fingers bent impossibly – that’s not digital trickery, ladies and gentlemen. That’s genetics.

Nor is it anything to do with the following conspiracy theories:

  • Kensington Palace so freaked out by Carole Middleton’s rolling out of the Princess of Wales’s bloated body, Weekend at Bernie’s-style, that they’d rather risk Photoshop-shaming than any suggestion Kate carked it weeks ago;
  • Distraction from divorce talk fanned by loving profile pieces (and here) about Willy’s side hustle Rose Hanbury;
  • Distraction from Harry’s-coming-back-to-outshine-William rumours;
  • Distraction from the fact only Princess Ann and Prince Andrew are left standing of the “senior” royals at the moment, with Charles ill, Camilla lounging on a deck chair by the Med, William looking after the kids, and Kate sick, dead, or under a bus depending on who you believe.

Have we forgotten our history here, folks?

The British Royal Family – and its close (and I do mean close) relatives in Russia and Germany – has been plagued for literally centuries by bad health and disfigurement due to the simple fact that they do insist on marrying people to whom they are not-so-distantly related.

Here’s the roll call of totally predictable consequences:

  • Henry VI had a breakdown in 1453 that put him in a dysfunctional funk for over a year;
  • George III exhibited signs of mental illness in the form of logorrhoea – a communication disorder that causes excessive wordiness and repetitiveness, and incoherence;
  • Haemophilia was rampant through the German, Russian and Spanish royal houses in the 19th and 20th centuries. Queen Victoria was a carrier, via her father Edward, the Duke of Kent. Her son Leopold had haemophilia B, and her daughters Alice and Beatrice were carriers. Beatrice married into the Spanish royal family and passed it on to the male heir. Alice married Grand Duke Louis IV of Hesse. She had seven kids who variously married into the Russian and Prussian royals.
  • George VI had a dodgy ticker, though most of the publicity was around his lung cancer.
  • Henry VIII had chronic leg ulcers, as well as headaches, swollen ankles, and constipation. Some literature suggests he had an X-linked genetic disorder and a rare blood type – Kell positive – that could explain many of his problems. He had a lot of wives who had a lot of obstetric problems. Maybe their problem was him?

All I’m saying is marrying outside your class every now and then is a good thing.

Diana, Kate and Meghan have been badly needed injections of wild genes into what is the shallowest paddling pool in the world.

But in the case of Diana and Kate, they’re really only a couple of ponds over from the royal lake. I’m not in the least bit surprised some weird throwback shows up in a photo or two.

Leave the poor buggers be. They are more to be pitied than laughed at. Bless.

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