We're only a few months in, but 2021 has been a tough year for the royal family. Following the departure of Prince Harry, a direct heir to the throne, along with his wife Meghan Markle and their son Archie, the family has been rattled by Harry and Meghan's tell-all Oprah interview and comments the couple have made about feeling trapped and stifled as royals. Then, in April 2021, the family's patriarch and the Queen's husband, Prince Philip, died at the age of 99. According to a royal expert, future queen Kate Middleton is becoming the "glue" that is holding the royal family together—much like her grandfather-in-law, the late Philip.
In an interview with the Australian version of 60 Minutes, Vanity Fair royal reporter Katie Nicholl said that Kate has become the family's greatest asset following the departure of Harry and Meghan. "'The royal family realize they have a really important key player here and they're bringing her center stage, so we have seen a shift," Nicholl said.
"I think Kate is the glue," she added. "In the same way that the Duke of Edinburgh was always the one who would help resolve family issues. He was the patriarch of the family. I see Kate stepping into that role. Trying to keep things together."
"We've seen a different side to the royals [recently], and I think we've particularly seen that with William and Kate," Nicholl continued. "They've been more real, more relatable—and I think that's been incredibly important to the royal family."
"We got access to them in a way that we absolutely hadn't before, and a lot of them was down to William and Kate recognizing that they couldn't be seen to be in their ivory tower. They needed to be accessible," she added.