Royal Experts Say Kate Middleton Isn't Trying to Upstage Camilla Parker Bowles

The Duchess of Cambridge may look like a queen, but she knows how to wait her turn.

Kate Middleton smiling in blue suit
(Image credit: Getty)

After official portraits of Kate Middleton to commemorate her 40th birthday were released to the public, royal enthusiasts couldn't get over how very queenly she looked. And we get it. Nothing says "I'm a freakin' princess" quite like a fluffy white gown and long, wavy hair. It can't be an accident that the black-and-white photo kind of looks like a yassified Queen Victoria. 

But royal experts are saying we should all hold our horses. Because despite the Duchess of Cambridge looking like she's ready to ascend to official Queen-dom at any moment, she knows better than to try upstaging Camilla Parker Bowles, who is actually most likely to become the next Queen Consort. Rules about hierarchy in the royal family are not just social norms or suggestions. They are, if not written in stone, definitely written in some very old and important books. 

According to royal expert Ingrid Seward, speaking to the U.K.'s Mirror, rather than be gratified by all the attention, Kate Middleton is more likely to be embarrassed by the implication that she's trying to outshine Camilla. 

"Prince Charles is not even King yet and the Royals are very careful about not upstaging each other. Kate will be keen not to upstage Camilla," Seward said. "But she is a wonderful advert for the monarchy, especially globally, and people will see her as the perfect queen." 

It's especially important that Kate not try to jump the queenly gun when it's not even certain that Camilla will officially get the Queen Consort title. Though Prince Charles has been fighting hard for his wife to receive the honor, public opinion has made it tough. According to Newsweek, a YouGov poll of Britons found that only 13 percent of the country want Camilla to be called queen at all. 

Either way, Kate has a little while to wait before her turn comes up.

Kathleen Walsh

Kathleen Walsh is a freelance writer and editor whose work focuses on culture, dating, and feminism and especially where all three intersect. Her writing can be found in the New York Times, InStyle, Teen Vogue, and more.