On the 80th anniversary of D-Day, King Charles and Queen Camilla attended a commemorative event at the British Normandy Memorial. The event was also attended by President Macron and France’s First Lady Brigitte Macron, and Camilla made a horse’s ass out of herself with Madame Macron. Charles made a speech and then he and Camilla had lunch with some WWII veterans, and then left Normandy before the big commemoration on Omaha Beach. They left Prince William to represent them at the big ceremony. This was a last-minute adjustment in plans, and William has been trying to get mileage out of it every since. He briefed the Mail about how he was a big-boy international statesman and CNN dutifully reported that Charles’s absence will help prepare people for “King William’s reign.” William just couldn’t help going overboard and rushing around to all of his favorite reporters to brag about how he did this one thing (sitting on a stage with actual world leaders). Of course Roya Nikkhah at the Times got a special briefing too. Some highlights:

Charles used to be anxious about his idiot son interacting with world leaders: Once upon a time, not so long ago, the sight of his son rubbing shoulders with more world leaders than the monarch would have induced a wave of anxiety. For years, those close to the King and his heir experienced the sensitivities as William and Kate’s profile sometimes overshadowed that of Charles and Camilla.

William is hesitant about overshadowing his dad?? William’s friends observe that the prince, who regularly beats his father in polls charting the royal family’s popularity, has always been conscious of not “queering his father’s pitch”. But something has changed.

Charles & William’s relationship these days: A friend of the King says that in recent years Charles’s tendency to consult William on tricky family issues involving the Duke of York and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has helped to ease the anxieties of the past and boost their personal and working relationships. “If there was ever a green-eyed monster or a sense of rivalry between the two, that is a chapter of the past,” the friend said. “The King sees his son as a useful ally on family matters and increasingly in discharging the duties of nation and state. When you are monarch, you’re not counting the column inches. You’re thinking about performing your role for your country, not just as King Charles but as ‘the family’.”

William is really drawing attention to all of his medals: Pinned to his suit were medals and decorations, including his Golden, Diamond and Platinum Jubilee medals, and Coronation medal. But it was his striped Army Air Corps tie that carried a subtle but significant message, a nod to the military role handed from father to son last month, when William took over from Charles as the colonel-in-chief of the AAC, which trained Prince Harry as an Apache helicopter pilot.

Harry’s absence: To many royal watchers, Harry’s absence from D-Day events last week — where, had he still been a working royal, he would surely have played a significant role — only highlights the importance of the strengthening bond between Charles and William.

William’s support: A source close to William said: “He very much wants to support his father. That isn’t something new, but of course with everything the King is going through with his treatment, he will continue to support him as much as he can.”

A big-boy international statesman: The global platform that events in Normandy provided was also a diplomatic boost for William, 41, who travelled to France with his new private secretary, the former diplomat Ian Patrick. The prince, whose annual environmental prize is held in different locations overseas, continues to want to burnish his credentials as an international statesman. This year’s Earthshot event will be in Cape Town in November. “It is important for him, both for his current role and his future role as head of state,” an aide said.

Charles’s heavy lifting: The King left Normandy on Friday before the main international event to pace himself as he recovers from cancer. A friend of his observed: “The King did the heavy lifting in the morning, his heir was there to honour veterans later in his absence. Those decisions are very carefully made, they’re not done without consideration about the optics.”

[From The Times]

William is really showing his hand with all of the talk about the medals – it’s clear that both Nikkhah and Becky English got a memo to draw attention to the fact that William wore his coronation medal (unlike Harry!) and that William made a point of reminding people that he’s now patron of Harry’s old Army Air Corps. Nikkhah and English both got the same briefing about William’s keenness to be seen as an international statesman too.

What I find fascinating about this story though is how it’s positioned like it’s coming from Charles’s people, when really, this is ALL William’s PR/comms. This is William telling people that he’s more popular than his father and his father is fine with William’s enormous popularity (lmao) and that Charles recognizes how important it is for William to be an international statesman, and how Charles loves him more than Harry! William is as obvious as he is stupid. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have this entire system in place solely devoted to flattering and embiggening dull, dumb William.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.