The atmosphere was already quite heavy around the new Prince and Princess of Wales, even before their awkward reunion with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Saturday. Kate was in the wind – she did not fly to Balmoral at any time, and she was photographed (in what had to be set-up arrangements with royal photographers) in her car, doing the school pickups and dropoffs, wearing QEII’s diamond-and-pearl earrings. Kate did not appear with her husband at the Accession Council either. Then she seemed the odd one out at the “fab four” reunion at Windsor. It’s been said before, but Kate does not have a poker face. You could see her displeasure at having to interact with Meghan. It also seemed like Kate was displeased with having to interact with her husband too.
One of the things I find most curious is the lack – at the moment – of wall-to-wall embiggening stories about Kate in particular. Things are moving very fast and everything has shifted, but it’s actually a very big deal that Kate now has the “Princess of Wales” title. The only piece I saw this weekend was this one, in the Times, called “Catherine is ready to be a very modern Princess of Wales” by Valentine Low. It was written as if “she’s ready to be a modern PoW, all evidence to the contrary.” Curiouser and curiouser. Here are a few highlights I found significant:
Even without the title, the death of the Queen would have heralded Catherine taking a more prominent role. She is now the second most important woman in the royal family, and one whose looks, fashion sense and relative youth mean that the focus will be on her as much as it is on Camilla, or even more.
Catherine, 40, has already demonstrated where her charitable interests lie — in early-years development, mental health, art, sport and addiction — although as her children grow older, and the demands placed on her grow, she is likely to undertake more royal engagements and take on more patronages.
Their third child, Prince Louis, was born in April 2018, fulfilling Catherine’s reported wish that she and William would have “at least” three children so that they could have the same sort of family life that she enjoyed.
Some said that the duchess was slow to embrace royal duties. However, she and William have always made it clear that they wanted to enjoy their children while they were small. And, gradually, Catherine has taken on more. She embarked on solo overseas trips to the Netherlands and Luxembourg and became increasingly self-assured when it came to the nerve-racking business of making speeches.
As her confidence grew, so did her ambition, and she undertook a short national tour to highlight a project on the under-fives. With a team of experts drafted in to advise her on early-years development, she increasingly revealed herself as someone who wanted to make a serious contribution to national life. That, combined with her reserve and lack of ostentation, prompted comparisons with the Queen — and, by extension, inevitable comparisons with the Duchess of Sussex.
As the pendulum of public opinion swung back in favour of the Cambridges, who for a while had been seen as less exciting and, indeed, less modern and progressive than the Sussexes, Catherine increasingly began to be seen as the model of what a modern royal consort should be like. This week, she has moved closer to her destiny.
“…One whose looks, fashion sense and relative youth…” Ouch. “As her children grow older, and the demands placed on her grow, she is likely to undertake more royal engagements…” Double ouch. Maybe this isn’t so much an embiggening piece as much as it is King Charles III telling his daughter-in-law: get up and do some work. That’s the message I’m getting from this piece more than anything, from the casual mention of “Some said that the duchess was slow to embrace royal duties” to the mention of how all of her kids are now in school. The new king just told his daughter-in-law to stop farting around and get her lazy butt out there. LMAO. Wiglets askance!
A gradual embrace of royal duties had prepared her for this moment. Now she has assumed the evocative title last held by Diana, the spotlight will grow brighter https://t.co/GkUM9o0pSz
— The Times and The Sunday Times (@thetimes) September 9, 2022
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.