Classic Wedding

The Beckhams are facing an extremely awkward Christmas this year

Vic versus Nic is an absolutely classic mother-in-law/daughter-in-law power struggle, the likes of which are raging in families all over the country

October 31, 2022 6:17 pm(Updated November 1, 2022 12:06 pm)

Nicola Peltz-Beckham, daughter-in-law of David and Victoria Beckham, has added fuel to the rumor that she’s in a feud with her mother-in-law by giving an interview stating emphatically that it’s “not a feud”.

Talking to The Sunday Times she said: “It’s not a feud! I kept seeing everywhere that word – ‘feud, feud, feud’! I mean, maybe they picked up on something? And now they’re labeling it a feud? No family is perfect!”

Hats off to Nicola: despite technically denying that there’s drama with Victoria, she’s somehow managed to make it seem like they absolutely hate each other.

In case you’re not up to date on the Beckham’s family drama, some background. Nicola Peltz-Beckham married the oldest Beckham child, Brooklyn, earlier this year. She’s the daughter of a New York billionaire, and used to be very buddy-buddy with Posh Spice, at least as far as Instagram suggests. Before the wedding, Nic and Vic were always liking each other’s posts and making nice comments about each other.

The schism appears to have been caused by Nicola wearing Valentino couture on her wedding day, rather than a dress designed by VB herself. According to the interview: “I think it all started, and I’ve said this before, because I didn’t end up wearing Victoria’s wedding dress, but the real truth is, I really, really wanted to wear it and I thought it was so beautiful that Brooklyn’s mom got to make that for me! […] It makes me sad when I read things [where] people say I was never planning on wearing it [the dress]. That’s just not true.”

In an earlier interview with Variety she said: “I was going to and I really wanted to, and then a few months down the line, [Victoria] realized that her atelier couldn’t do it, so then I had to pick another dress.”

It’s absolutely typical for a fall-out like this one to start with a wedding. Mother of the groom is a miserable position because you’ve got no official role or responsibility. It’s not really about you, and yet you’re front and center and expected to be relentlessly enthusiastic. Your daughter-in-law’s mother, on the other hand, will usually have been consulted on everything from the flowers to the food.

Since the wedding, relations between the two women have noticeably cooled. Nicole didn’t post a single picture of Victoria on her Instagram from the wedding, although she did include pictures of other members of the family. Victoria, meanwhile, shared a rather joyless post reading: “Congratulations Mr and Mrs Beckham. Welcome to the family.” It was also noted that she did not use the couple’s new shared surname, Peltz-Beckham, which was regarded as rather pointed.

The striking thing about this story is that while it involves billionaires, fashion designers and oodles of money, in every other sense it’s the exact same set up that you can read about on Mumsnet every day. “Vic versus Nic” is an absolutely classic mother-in-law/daughter-in-law power struggle, the likes of which are raging in families all over the country right now.

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Tabloid reports have claimed the Beckhams are upset that Brooklyn spends more time in Miami than with the family, that he turns to Nicola’s 80-year-old billionaire dad for advice, whereas the rest of us row about where we’re spending Christmas and who gets to meet the grandkids first. Meanwhile, Victoria was apparently annoyed by a Tatler cover reading “The New Mrs Beckham”. More commonly, arguments start with a passive aggressive Facebook status or WhatsApp message.

The only real difference between the Beckhams and any other family is the window dressing. Swap out the designer clothes for Marks and Spencer and swap the international locations for a couple of suburban midlands towns, and you’ve got the most relatable story of all time.

There’s a saying which comes up perennially on Mumsnet when women complain about their mother-in-law: you don’t have a mother-in-law problem, you have a husband problem. And they’re right. I’d bet my bottom dollar that the issue here is Brooklyn being unable to smooth the ground between his mother and his wife.

In every single mother-versus-daughter-in-law showdown I’ve witnessed, there is one key problematic feature. And it’s the person putting his hands over his ears going “la la la everything is fine” while his wife and mum tear strips off each other. It’s obviously easier to blame the women in this situation because, well, you’re familiar with how society works – but the truth is that Brooklyn has to manage this relationship. Both of these women’s emotional needs are his responsibility.

A bad relationship is a grenade in a family, making everyone miserable and ruining every family holiday and major event. So let’s hope that Brooklyn is more adept at emotional negotiations than he is at photographing elephants, otherwise the Peltz-Beckhams are looking at an extremely awkward Christmas this year.