Duchess weighs in to row over Beatrice's diet
Saturday 18 January 1997
Within 24 hours of the announcement that she had been signed up by Weight Watchers in the US - for a reported fee of a million dollars - she said she had used some of its ideas on her "chunky" elder daughter. After seeing her in a swimsuit, she told her to cut out bread, chips and fizzy drinks, she said.
Yesterday the United Kingdom arm of the company made clear its disapproval. Linda Huett, vice president of the UK firm, said: "Weight Watchers UK does not believe that children should ever be encouraged to diet."
Children under 10 were barred from its slimming clubs and those between 10 and 16 needed written permission from their family doctor as well as parental consent, she said.
Talk of a diet for Princess Beatrice came a day after the Duchess spoke of feelings of "hopelessness" about her weight problems as she was named the new public face of Weight Watchers. The deal involves the Duchess promoting the benefits of achieving a "healthy weight" to the US public. She will not be doing so for the separate, UK Weight Watchers organisation.
A spokesman for the Duchess said her comments were taken out of context and reflected "normal" advice given by mothers to children about eating.
At a news conference in New York, the Duchess said the contract required her to "keep and maintain a healthy diet so I can keep fighting fit". She admitted being wounded by being dubbed "the Duchess of Pork". She would not confirm reports she would receive a million dollars a year (pounds 660,000) under the deal. In the later interview in New York, the Duchess said: "I very much fear Beatrice is blessed with her mum's genes.
"I mean, she is only eight, but she definitely can pack it on a bit."
Recalling a recent holiday, the Duchess went on: "When she put on her swimsuit, we noticed she was kind of appearing a bit chunky.
"So I began explaining a little of the Weight Watchers' regime. I said: `OK, that's it. From now on, today only, no bread. And no more fizzy drinks.'"
She added: "Poor Baby. I think over-eating sort of runs in the family."
Ms Huett said Weight Watchers UK had "very strict procedures" about slimming advice for children. These included insisting that the youngster's own GP set the "goal weight" at the outset. Young people also had to be accompanied by a parent or guardian when attending sessions.
The spokesman for the Duchess said: "She was really suggesting that healthy eating was important, and was in no way suggesting a diet. This was a normal conversation between a mother and daughter which has been blown way out of proportion."
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Boxing Day snowfall could push even more bargain-hunters online for Christmas sales
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...