Life brings with it seasons of consistency and seasons of change, and, for the new Princess of Wales, the past two months have brought about an enormous season of change, one that has left her stressed and anxious, a royal expert says.
Fresh off of a presumably relaxing holiday at Balmoral at the end of the summer, Kate Middleton moved her family from Kensington Palace in London to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor just days before the devastating loss of Queen Elizabeth, who died September 8 at Balmoral at the age of 96. Coincidentally, Her late Majesty’s death happened the same day that Kate’s three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis all started at their new school, Lambrook. The next day, Kate was named the new Princess of Wales alongside her husband, Prince William, who inherited the Prince of Wales title from his father. Kate is the first to be referred to publicly as the Princess of Wales since the death of her mother-in-law, Princess Diana, in 1997; though technically through her marriage to the then Prince Charles Camilla was the Princess of Wales, because of the title’s close association with Diana, she never went by that title publicly, instead opting to use the Duchess of Cornwall title for her public duties.
And, while the rest of the world has, for the most part, resumed life as normal post-mourning period for Her late Majesty, there’s no doubt that grief still permeates inside Adelaide Cottage, where William mourns a beloved grandmother, her three children grieve a cherished great-grandmother, and Kate herself misses a woman who was a bedrock in her own life for two decades. All that’s happening at home, plus increased pressure in her royal role, has Kate enduring a “very difficult time” with a “fair bit of stress and anxiety,” Katie Nicholl says—who can blame her?
“They’ve said that themselves…that this hasn’t been the settling period that they had hoped for,” Nicholl says. “Of course, they made that big move just after the summer holidays to move to Windsor. A significant and pretty bold move leaving Kensington Palace, enrolling the children in new schools, setting up a new life for themselves in Windsor, I think really so that they could be below the radar and have this normal family life which they are pretty successful in having. Of course, no one could have expected that the Queen would have died just at the start of all that. Very, very difficult times. I think behind the scenes there is a fair bit of stress and anxiety for all of the family.”
After being very out front for the month following Her late Majesty’s death as both have embraced their new job titles, William and Kate have been largely under the radar the past week, neither undertaking any public engagements as they mark their children’s fall break from school. George, Charlotte, and Louis will return to Lambrook tomorrow, October 31, to finish the semester.
Last year, the fivesome marked their kids’ fall break from school by traveling to Jordan, where they took photos that were ultimately used in the family Christmas card later in the year. Here’s hoping that this fall break provided some much-needed rest and relaxation for Kate—and the rest of the family, too.
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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