Kate Middleton and Prince William Are Taking on a "Higher Role" in the Royal Family, Expert Claims

Their popularity is apparently working in their favor.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
(Image credit: Pool)

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry may have stepped down (opens in new tab) as senior royals, but Kate Middleton and Prince William (opens in new tab) are apparently stepping up further these days.

Speaking to Express (opens in new tab) about his new book on controversial royal couple King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (fans of The Crown (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) and the Cambridges (opens in new tab), but a PR war by the monarchy to prepare everyone for life after the Queen (opens in new tab)," 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 (opens in new tab), his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab) earlier this year, it only makes sense that she might feel ready to pass the baton—at least to a certain extent.

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Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.