For Kate Middleton, The Timing Of Her Uncle’s Stint On Reality Television Couldn’t Have Been Worse

Gary Goldsmith lived up to his 'bad uncle' name on Celebrity Big Brother.

Kate Middleton

by Jessica Barrett |
Published on

He’s been referred to over the years as a ‘buncle’ - a ‘bad uncle’ - and Gary Goldsmith, uncle to the Princess of Wales, somewhat lived up to that name after he arrived on Celebrity Big Brother last Monday. The controversial figure - who was the first housemate to be evicted on Sunday night - spoke out about personal aspects of his familial relationships, and fanned the flames of speculation about his niece's health. He also accused Meghan Markle of ‘creating drama’ between Kate, William and Harry. During last Tuesday night’s episode of the show, Goldsmith also said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could not ‘throw your family under a bus in such a dramatic style’ - referring to ‘books’ written by Meghan and Harry - and still be expected ‘to be invited round for Christmas’. He added, ‘I have the opinion that Harry was really, really, really loved, massively loved, and when they were a threesome - Kate, William and Harry - were really comfortable together, loved.’

These words, barely 24 hours into the ITV reality show’s relaunch (the last series aired on Channel 4 in 2018), will have come as a massive blow for both the Middleton family and the palace, especially considering reports that suggested Goldsmith had been ‘read the riot act’ before landing in the house. A source told the paper, ‘Gary said he's been read the riot act by Kate's mum Carole and her dad Michael - they aren't happy he's going into Celebrity Big Brother. It is infuriating for them. Kate doesn't need this stress.’

The last line of that source quote refers to, of course, Kate Middleton’s health, given that she hasn’t been seen publicly since Christmas and has been recuperating from an undisclosed abdominal surgery since last month - and is going to be out of action until Easter, according to a palace statement.

Gary Goldsmith Celebrity Big Brother
Gary Goldsmith Celebrity Big Brother ©ITV

In fact 58-year-old Goldsmith’s arrival in the Celebrity Big Brother House, where he resided with the likes of Fern Britton and Louis Walsh, could not have come at a worse time. It coincides with a period of extreme instability amongst the senior Royals, at a time when conspiracy theories about her health had just days before culminated in the palace being forced to issue a statement about the princess. ‘We were very clear from the outset that the Princess of Wales was out until after Easter and Kensington Palace would only be providing updates when something was significant,’ a spokesperson said, adding that the princess, 42, is ‘doing well’. Then, on Monday night, shortly before Celebrity Big Brother began, a grainy photograph of Kate was published by US gossip site TMZ, showing her riding in a car driven by her mother Carole - an image which sparked further conspiracy theories about the state of her health.

And when the official Instagram account for the Prince and Princess of Wales released a photo marking Mother's Day over the weekend, it did not quell the speculation around her health. The image of Kate and her three children, George, Louis and Charlotte, was taken by Prince William and captioned, 'Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months. Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day. C'.

However, eagle-eyed sleuths claimed that the photo had been doctored by pointing out various irregularities in the photo, leading to picture agencies pulling the image completely. The Princess of Wales then issued a statement reading, 'Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone had a very happy Mother's Day. C'.

Kate's wellbeing was raised during Goldsmith's short stint in the Big Brother house. Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu asked him, 'Where's Kate?' to which he replied, 'So, because she doesn't want to talk about that...' Ekin-Su interjected, 'You can't talk about it?' and Gary explained, 'There's a kind of code of etiquette. If it's announced, I'll give you an opinion.'

Before assuring the reality star that the wife of the heir 'will be back', Gary said, 'I spoke to her mum, my sister, she's getting the best care in the world. All the family has done is put the wagons around and look after family first before anything else.'

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle ©Gary Miller/Getty Images

During one conversation with fellow housemate Sharon Osbourne, Goldsmith asked her what people in LA thought of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. She suggested their popularity is ‘dwindling’, adding: ‘I think everyone is fed up of their moaning.’ Goldsmith replied: ‘I think it is pretty sad because I think at some point he's going to want to come back and be part of the gang, he might need to, but I think we're a very forgiving nature and I think everybody will give him a chance again [sic].’

With a royal whirlwind already circling around the Firm, with King Charles also out of action as he receives treatment for cancer, the fact that the palace will now be subjected to a new onslaught of stories and attention as Goldsmith spoke out from inside the infamous Big Brother house, will not be a welcome development. He has attracted attention from social media users, who claimed that he may be, in fact, speaking on behalf of Kate Middleton and her family. One wrote on X, formerly Twitter, ‘Considering he’s never met Harry or Meghan I’m assuming this is what Kate has told him’, while another said, ‘So Kate Middleton gave her uncle Gary talking points and approval go go slag off Meghan on #CBB.’

What these commentators (and there are many of them) are missing is that Goldsmith isn’t a mouthpiece for either Kate Middleton or her immediate family, let alone the palace. While he was a guest at William and Kate's wedding at Westminster Abbey in 2011, and then Kate's sister Pippa Middleton's marriage to James Matthews in 2017, he hasn’t been seen in the family’s company regularly - and in fact has brought them great shame over the years. He made his living building an IT recruitment business, but has been caught up in scandals, including being pictured with drugs in Ibiza in 2009. He was also arrested in October 2017 after allegedly assaulting his fourth wife, Julie-Ann, outside their London home. Goldsmith knocked her to the ground after she accused him of taking drugs during a drunken fight outside their home. He later pleaded guilty to one count of assault by beating and was fined £5,000 and handed a 12-month community order with 20 sessions of rehabilitation.

Goldsmith’s actions are said to have been a cause of great concern to Kate and the palace, and this latest chapter on Celebrity Big Brother is likely to be the icing on an already ugly cake. Although Goldsmith claims to only want the best for his niece, someone he calls ‘the most spectacular person I've ever met', speaking out on any aspect of her life should be a no-go for any family member. Doing so during one of the most stressful times of her life is likely to be inviting greater tension than ever before.

He admitted on Good Morning Britain, 'I haven't spoke to Kate in ages. In years, maybe a year. Weddings and funerals is when we see them.'

While friends of Goldsmith claimed they could see him going the distance on the reality show, there was no doubt that his assault convictions and uncomfortably loose tongue when it comes to the royals would leave a nasty taste in many viewers' mouths.

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