King Charles has always expressed his wish for a “slimmed-down monarchy,” and it has certainly become just that. All one needs to do is look at a photo of the Buckingham Palace balcony from Trooping the Colour last month juxtaposed with a photo of the same balcony from Trooping in, say, 2019—and the difference is stark. Since then, Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle have all resigned as working members of the royal family; Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have passed away; and, because of new rules stating that only working members of the royal family can appear on the balcony, family members like Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie don’t make the cut anymore.
Perhaps no one feels the weight of the shifting working core of the Firm more than Princess Kate, who has taken on a huge chunk of the workload, specifically since Harry and Meghan’s exit in January 2020. In addition to raising three kids under the age of 10, Kate is taking on more work than ever before, OK reports. Since the Coronation just two months ago, Kate has taken part in Order of the Garter, Royal Ascot, Trooping the Colour, Wimbledon, Charles’ second Coronation in Scotland, and numerous other engagements for her patronages. It, indeed, seems she is busier than ever.
“She’s taking on more engagements than ever before,” a source said. “She feels like it’s more important than ever for the monarchy that she’s seen out and about and that people don’t just associate her with relaxing all summer.”
Kate became a working member of the royal family upon her marriage to Prince William in 2011 but has never been more in the forefront than now: “King Charles is so happy that Kate wants to take on extra events and duties,” the insider said. “Especially because the British people are more able to come out and see her in the summer, so she’s getting to be with an audience who waits all year for time off to meet her.”
Kate is the glue that holds the Firm together, according to Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell. “Kate is in such an incredible position because it all rests on her, really,” he said. “The future rests on Kate and that’s an enormous responsibility, because if she decided that she didn’t want to be a part of her marriage anymore, then I think the royal family would collapse.”
He compared Kate to a young woman named Diana Spencer, who herself married into the Firm 30 years before Catherine Middleton did as well: “Everything is pinned up by Kate—the future is underpinned by Catherine Middleton and that’s incredible,” Burrell said. “Back in my day, the future seemed to be pinned on Diana Spencer, our future queen. Now we’re looking at another Princess of Wales who is in the same role that Diana had, married to a Prince of Wales, and the future of the monarchy is down to her. It’s not an enviable position to be in.”
Thankfully she has the support of William, and the two seem to make each other more comfortable and, all in all, better at their jobs whenever they’re together. “William’s years of being mentored by his grandmother and his father have really paid off because the transition to Prince of Wales has been seamless,” said royal expert Katie Nicholl. “Kate has also effortlessly moved into a role with so much weight and history and is already making it her own.”
Though it has been a busy summer, the Wales family of five—William, Kate, and their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis—are expected to go on their annual summer holiday next month.
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Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.
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