There’s More to Princess Kate Than Meets the Eye, Royal Author Says

“Interestingly, behind the scenes, she’s a lot more steely, a lot tougher than we give her credit.”

The Princess of Wales at an engagement in Bristol
(Image credit: Getty)

The Princess of Wales’ tough streak is taking center stage lately, especially with the news that it was she who was behind the addition of the “recollections may vary” line from Her late Majesty’s statement in response to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey. Royal expert Valentine Low said, per The Mirror, that Kate is far tougher and steelier than she seems, and that she’s an expert at playing the long game as she prepares to be queen someday.

She has become a key player in King Charles’ slimmed-down monarchy—perhaps the most popular senior royal, and one that Low said thinks carefully about her role in bringing long-term stability to the royal family in the years ahead.

Kate Middleton at polo

(Image credit: Getty)

And, while Kate is typically all smiles and good cheer when in public, the “determined side of Kate is something rarely seen in public but is displayed behind Palace walls,” The Mirror reports.

“Interestingly, behind the scenes, she’s a lot more steely, a lot tougher than we give her credit,” Low told Page Six. “She’s this nice-looking woman, dresses nicely, smiles nicely, adopts sort of fairly uncontroversial charities. You know, they think she’s slightly bland.” (Not sure who the “they” is he’s speaking of, but bland she is not.) 

Kate Middleton at Wimbledon women's final 2023 in a green Self Portrait dress

(Image credit: Getty)

In the updated version of his book, Courtiers, Low revealed that Kate was behind the aforementioned “recollections may vary” line, pushing for its inclusion as it was on the cutting room floor.

According to Low’s book, it was a member of William’s team who came up with the phrase—but Kate who insisted it be kept in the statement. “There were some people in other [royal] households who felt it would antagonize Harry and Meghan and would go down badly and just keep the whole unpleasantness going,” Low writes in the book. “But it was Kate who really strongly made the argument,” in hopes that Harry and Meghan’s version of events wouldn’t be accepted as truth.

Kate Middleton in red at Royal Ascot

(Image credit: Getty)

Kate “thinks very carefully about the long-term security and strength and stability of the royal family as an institution,” Low said. “She’s good. She has a good eye on the big picture, the long game.”

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.