It’s 8:20 A.M., and I’m sitting with Serena Williams in her office in New York’s NoHo neighborhood. The space she shares with a tech company when she’s in town from Florida is empty, except for her glam squad in the other room. “You don’t mind if I eat breakfast while we talk?” she asks. Multitasking is par for the course for the 36-year-old tennis superstar—our interview had already been pushed up so she could squeeze in some court time during her jam-packed press tour.
But if anyone has the stamina for such a day, it’s Williams. This morning she’s meeting with beauty editors to talk about Embrace, a scar-therapy dressing she’s currently promoting. Yesterday she did a round of press for an upcoming (secret) project. And tomorrow is the premiere for her new HBO documentary, Being Serena, which chronicles her twenty-third Grand Slam singles victory, her wedding, the birth of her daughter Olympia, and rebounding from the life-threatening complications during her delivery—which all happened in the space of one year.
As she wrote in an essay for CNN in February, Williams needed an emergency C-section after her daughter’s heart rate dropped. The surgery went well, but the next day she had intense coughing caused by a pulmonary embolism (something she’d had a history of), that was so severe her C-section incision opened up again. She alerted nurses immediately and was brought back into surgery, where doctors found a large hematoma, or collection of clotting blood, which meant more operating. The ordeal left her bed-ridden for six weeks.
Now, nearly four months since she first came forward to talk about her experience, Williams is making it her personal mission to raise awareness about the startling maternal mortality rates, as well as the importance of advocating for your own health. Glamour caught up with her to talk about her activism, motherhood, and more.
Queen ‘disappointed’ with Meghan Markle, Harry over christening move
Queen Elizabeth is reportedly ‘disappointed’ over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s move to christen Lilibet within the US and a former butler believes she’ll be heartbroken to miss such a special event.
Some former staffers even fear she’ll be utterly heartbroken if she is not able to participate in the grand event.
The Firm’s former royal butler Grant Harrold made this claim during his interview with Express.
There he speculated upon the possible plan of action Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may take regarding the christening, for the Queen, and claimed, “I am sure if this does not take place in the UK, the Queen will be disappointed to not attend the christening of her great-granddaughter.”
He also went on to add, “However, as with many families who have family overseas, sometimes it is not possible.”
“Maybe their christening will be recorded so the family in the UK can watch as well? Family is very important to the Queen and I am sure before too long she will meet her great-granddaughter.”
31 photos that prove Prince William and Kate Middleton are trying to change their public image
As the future king and queen consort of England, the Cambridges will always have a different set of rules and expectations than Harry and Markle ever did as senior royals. But Eric Schiffer, an expert on celebrity brand management, told Insider that when it came to the couple’s public-relations strategy, Middleton and William took “little risk” before Markle and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.
“They were manicured to the nth degree,” he said, “and played their public persona with a Buckingham Palace excellence, out of the playbook that’s been mastered for centuries.”
Before the pandemic, William and Middleton almost never posted videos on their official Instagram page. If they did, it was usually a slideshow of photos or a clip played over one of the prince’s formal speeches.
The Cambridges also rarely showed affection toward each other in public, believed to be in line with royal etiquette.
But Markle and Harry’s explosive interview with Oprah hurt the royal family’s reputation.
Harry Meghan interview 2
Harry and Markle during their interview with Oprah. CBS
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex dropped several bombshells during the two-hour interview. Markle said Middleton had made her cry over a flower-girl dress (not the other way around, as some publications had reported), while Harry said he and William were “on different paths.”
Markle and Harry also said that they received no support from the royal family when Markle began experiencing suicidal thoughts and that some royals had “concerns” about their son’s skin color.
Schiffer told Insider that the interview released a “giant smoke bomb” that affected the royal family’s reputation while boosting Markle and Harry’s global image, helping them connect “with people’s humanity and their own struggles.”
“It created this contrast, and Harry and Meghan’s PR strategy, in essence, is to be the unanointed modern-day royals of the populace,” he said. “This is a populist strategy.”
Days after the Oprah interview, William and Middleton shared personal family photos on their official Instagram page.
Kate Middleton Prince William Mother's Day Cake
A cake that Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis made for Mother’s Day in the UK. DukeandDuchessofCambridge/Instagram
On March 14, Mother’s Day in the UK, the couple posted pictures of cards and a cake they said their children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — had made to remember Princess Diana.
“For those experiencing bereavement, today may be particularly challenging,” one of the captions said. “Each year on Mother’s Day, George, Charlotte and Louis make cards remembering their Granny, Diana, for William.”
That week, Middleton visited children at a school in London that had reopened after the UK eased lockdown restrictions.
Middleton interacts with a child during a visit to School21 on March 11. JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images
Clare McHugh, a royal historian, told Insider that Middleton and William’s swift new PR strategy was one that the royal family has used since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert took the throne in the 1840s.
“That was a revolutionary moment in Europe when all sorts of monarchies were being overturned,” McHugh said. “They had to find a way to make the monarchy seem more appealing so that it would stick around.
“So they fought back by showing, oh, no, the monarchy is just like you,” she added. “They showcased their children much more than any monarch had done before.”
Weeks before their 10th anniversary, the Cambridges returned to Westminster Abbey, which had been turned into a coronavirus vaccination center.
Middleton appeared to pay tribute to the church’s history by sporting a white knee-length coat. The couple also walked down the same aisle that they walked down on their wedding day.
On April 27, Middleton and William played with children and animals at a farm in Durham, England.
‘Been warned’ Meghan and Harry keeping away from UK after PR disaster, says Lady C
MEGHAN MARKLE and Prince Harry have been “warned off” returning to England after “a lot of bad publicity” following their interview with Oprah Winfrey back in March, claims Lady Colin Campbell.
Meghan Markle, 40, has not been back to the UK since moving permanently to the United States last year with her husband Prince Harry, 37, and their young son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, two. Since their transatlantic relocation, the couple have given a number of interviews to the media, including a tell-all sit down with Oprah Winfrey at the beginning of the year, which left critics divided over their comments on the Royal Family.
The Sussexes had claimed they felt racial prejudice from an unnamed member of the Royal Family after the birth of their son Archie.
They alleged the senior royal questioned “how dark” Archie would be in tandem with talks over whether the baby should receive a prince title.
Since then Prince Harry has flown back to the UK just twice, once to attend the funeral of his grandfather Prince Philip and also to attend the unveiling of a statue in his late mother, Princess Diana’s honour.
On both occasions, the duke has been unaccompanied by his wife, Archie, or newborn daughter Lilibet.
Many have questioned if the Sussexes will ever visit the UK as a family ever again, and now Lady Colin Campbell has claimed the “bad publicity” from some sections of media is preventing their return.
In her latest YouTube video, Lady Colin said: “They know they are going to be subjected to a lot of bad publicity, and they have been warned.
“I am reliably informed that the bad publicity they are getting is affecting their brand. So really they have been warned off coming to England.”
Her comments come as Prince Harry confirmed he would not be attending an event to celebrate his mother’s statue unveiling.