Without Kate Middleton, the Royal Family “Would Crumble,” Royal Author Says

The institution rests on the Duchess of Cambridge’s “slim shoulders,” says Tina Brown.

Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In her new book The Palace Papers, longtime royal expert Tina Brown writes “In 2011, the question mark over Kate Middleton was whether a girl of such unexalted origins could successfully evolve into a future queen. Now the only question is how the House of Windsor could survive without her.”

Now 11 years and one day since marrying into the royal family, Brown says that it’s Kate that has kept the British monarchy from collapsing, and that the institution’s future rests on her “slim shoulders.”

“[The royal family] would, I think, crumble at the moment without her because she’s the only modern, beautiful woman who’s well-educated, substantial in herself, who’s actually wanting to commit herself to the rigors of this institution,” Brown says, per Page Six. “Not many young women could do that.”

Brown says that Kate required “a lot of care and strategy to end up married to William,” much of it driven by her mother, Carole Middleton, who was “very critical” in helping Kate avoid missteps that could have ended her path to a future with Prince William.

“They were madly in love all the way through but…making it from the loving girlfriend to the future queen, that’s an obstacle course,” Brown says. “And it’s like snakes and ladders. At any moment she could have stepped on the wrong square and had a snake.”

Another longtime royal expert, Robert Jobson, whose book William at 40: The Making of a Modern Monarch comes out just in time for the Duke of Cambridge’s milestone fortieth birthday, says Kate is a calming force for the future king and a hugely positive, grounding influence.

“They’ve got a solid relationship and she gives him confidence,” Jobson says, per the Mirror. “There is no jealousy, no friction—they are happy for each other’s successes.” 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

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.