Speaking to Express about his new book on controversial royal couple King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (fans of The Crown will know exactly who I'm talking about), royal expert Andrew Lownie offered fresh insights into how he believes the royal family is divvying up responsibilities these days—in preparation for the Queen's succession.
"There’s a PR war going on, not just between the Sussexes and the Cambridges, but a PR war by the monarchy to prepare everyone for life after the Queen," Lownie said. "To establish in people’s minds the legitimate succession and also to in a sense resell the monarchy at a time when it’s under pressure."
As such, Lownie explained that the Queen is considerably scaling back her royal duties, leaving more room for her heir, Prince Charles, his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to take on more responsibility—as well as gain favor with the public.
"We’re in a period of what can be called a soft regency, in effect the Queen is standing back, not doing many roles," Lownie added. "The roles that she is doing are being accompanied by Prince Charles, everyone is being prepared for Charles and Camilla."
With Britain's next king and princess consort moving up a rung on the ladder, this leaves space for the Cambridges to prove themselves. "As a result, William and Kate, who seem to be very popular, are stepping into the position that Charles and Camilla had," Lownie says. "Because they are, I would say almost more popular than Charles and Camilla, they’ve probably been given a higher role."
The Queen has reigned for almost 70 years, and with the passing of Prince Philip earlier this year, it only makes sense that she might feel ready to pass the baton—at least to a certain extent.