The Duchess of Cambridge’s 40th birthday extravaganza went on for weeks. Middleton HQ in Bucklebury went into overdrive to describe Kate as the keen linchpin, the only one who could soothe angry, intemperate William. Kate was described as the most glamorous woman ever AND just a simple countrywoman, beloved by all. Now we’re getting a chance to see how Prince William’s 40th birthday keenery compares. William’s PR comes from Kensington Palace, and KP clearly commissioned several major pieces about how William is finally “coming into his own” and even though he has nothing to show for his 40 years, work-wise, that’s all Harry’s fault. Anyway, I’m including Clarence House and Buckingham Palace’s Instagram carousels for William’s birthday. Here’s part of ABC News’ birthday story:
The world watched as Prince William grew from a towheaded schoolboy to a dashing air-sea rescue pilot to a balding father of three.
But as he turns 40 on Tuesday, William is making the biggest change yet: assuming an increasingly central role in the royal family as he prepares for his eventual accession to the throne.
Royal expert Pauline Maclaran, author of “Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture.” said William was keen to show “how he will treat things differently. And so we see that more and more, where the future of the line is being emphasized, with Charles being put more in a kind of holding position for William. We’re always reminded that William is after Charles,” she added.
“It’s important that William shows there are going to be changes to the monarchy,” she said. “Otherwise, you know, I suspect it really can’t survive.”
Personally, I’m starting to believe that in my lifetime, there won’t be some earth-shattering moment for the British monarchy where they’re dethroned and tossed into obscurity. I think it will be a decline in power and importance, starting with the Queen’s passing. King Charles will lose much of the “British Empire” as former colonies drop the British monarch as their head of state. The Caribbean nations will all likely become republics, and Australia is headed that way in my lifetime. By the time “King William” comes to the throne, the monarchy will be seen as increasingly irrelevant and only kept around for the sake of history. My point is that William doesn’t actually need to pretend to be Normal Bill, Man of the People. Everyone knows how anachronistic this whole endeavor is and how incapable the royals are of changing and becoming more representative, more tolerant, more inclusive. It would be interesting to think that the biggest turning point for Charles and William’s reigns was actually the 2018-2020 period where they fought tooth-and-nail to exile the most popular royal prince and his wife.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Instagram, Instar.