Prince William Intends to “Rip Up the Rulebook” When It Comes to Being Prince of Wales

He’s intent on making the title—held by his father for over 60 years—his own.

Prince William
(Image credit: Getty)

When one thinks of the title “Prince of Wales,” one name immediately comes to mind—the former Prince Charles (now King Charles III), who held the role for more than 64 years, making him the longest-serving Prince of Wales in history.

But, as of September 9, a new Prince of Wales is serving: Prince William, who The Mirror reports will make the role his own, including “ripping up the rulebook.”

“It seems William is keen to be a different heir to the throne when compared to his dad,” the outlet reports.

William is the twenty-second heir to the throne to be Prince of Wales, and, right off the bat, will do it his own way, foregoing a lavish investiture ceremony. “The elaborate ceremony traditionally sees the monarch present the Prince of Wales with the symbols associated with their title: the sword, coronet, ring, rod, and mantle,” The Mirror reports.

In 1969, Charles’ investiture was held at Caernarfon Castle, in a large ceremony conducted by Her late Majesty. But a royal source says there are “no plans for any kind of an investiture like the Prince’s father had” and “right now, the Prince and Princess of Wales are focused on deepening the trust and respect of the people of Wales over time.” According to The Sun, William and wife Kate will have just half the staff that work for his father, seeking to “create a more cost-effective and less formal team.” In his new book Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown, Valentine Low writes that suits are to be done away with while inside the office, as “he wants it to be casual,” a source says. “The kids run around the office, and he does not want it to be stuffy. If we have important meetings or are going to Buckingham Palace, then, of course, we [wear suits].”

Additionally, looking ahead to his own reign as monarch, The Mirror reports that William wishes to do away with the long-held “never complain, never explain” mentality.

“William and Kate will modernize how they work,” a source says. “It’s a breath of fresh air…In [the] future they will rip up the rulebook and do things ‘The Cambridge Way.’ They’re trying to work out what that will look like.”

And, in addition to William wanting to carve out his own path as Prince of Wales, Kate too wishes to be her own Princess of Wales, using the title most closely associated with William’s mother, Princess Diana, who held the title while married to Charles. (Though technically, through her marriage to Charles, Camilla was the Princess of Wales, she never used the title publicly, instead opting to use another of her titles, the Duchess of Cornwall, since the Princess of Wales title was so closely associated with Diana.)

“The Prince and Princess of Wales will approach their roles in the modest and humble way they’ve approached their work previously,” a source says. “The new Princess of Wales appreciates the history associated with this role but will understandably want to look to the future as she creates her own path.”

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.