“How dare you even say that?” breakfast television host Karl Stefanovic asked former royal butler Paul Burrell on The Today Show this morning.
He was coming to the defence of the Royal Duchess of Cambridge after Burrell claimed she “didn’t have the X factor”.
“I met Mother Teresa — she had it, Pope John Paul II had it, the Queen has it, Diana certainly had it. Kate (Middleton) doesn’t,” Burrell had told Nine News earlier .
Stefanovic thought the remarks were “way too harsh”, reminding viewers that Middleton is a mother-of-two and photographed wherever she goes.
“How dare you even say that?” he asked
And – despite Burrell insisting his comments had been taken out of context, calling Middleton a “beautiful lady” who “should be the Queen of England” – Stefanovic didn’t back down.
Burrell was forced to defend himself further, this time referencing his work with the late Princess Diana of Wales.
“Standing beside someone like Diana I saw something so special and so magical that I can’t — I have never seen that,” Burrell responded.
Still, Stefanovic wouldn’t relent: “How often have you stood beside Kate?” he asked. Burrell didn’t have an answer.
Stefanovic then implored Burrell to "leave Kate alone".
“With respect, you are not taking anything out of context, you are saying it again and again and again that she doesn’t measure up to these other people in front of the camera. It is ridiculous,” Stefanovic said.
“I mean, come on. Leave her alone. She is a mother-of-two doing the very best she can. She is awesome.”
After more prodding, Burrell asked Stefanovic to "let it go".
While some Today viewers felt Stefanovic went too far, it's clear he was well-intentioned, not wanting to see two women pitted against each other.
And he was certainly the 'people's voice' yesterday, when calling on the government to "pull its finger out" and vote for marriage equality in parliament.
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