Leave It to Taylor Swift and Her Eras Tour to Help Make Prince William Appear “More Like His Old Self” Again

An expert said that an “outburst of pent up emotions erupted joyfully” when William attended Swift’s show last Friday—his 42nd birthday.

Travis Kelce meets Prince William and Prince George
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It has been a tough 2024 for Prince William, but the ship seems to be righting itself. Less than one week after the Princess of Wales’ return to public life at June 15’s Trooping the Colour (as she continues to receive treatment for cancer) and on the day of his 42nd birthday on June 21, William attended Taylor Swift’s first Eras Tour stop at London’s Wembley Stadium and, while there, seemed to have the time of his life alongside son Prince George and daughter Princess Charlotte.

This year has seen William handle not just his wife battling cancer, but also his father; a continued rift with his younger brother, Prince Harry; caretaking duties for both Kate and their three kids; a demanding workload as the heir to the throne; and, perhaps most taxing, doing all of this as the eyes of the world watch intently. But at the Eras Tour, as he danced to Swift’s “Shake It Off,” body language expert Judi James told The Mirror that William looked more like his old self as he entered the next year of his life.

William, James said, displayed an “outburst of pent up emotions that erupted joyfully at the Taylor Swift concert,” no doubt a release from the ample tensions of 2024 heretofore. Earlier in the week, at Royal Ascot—an annual staple in the royal diary—James noticed that “constant touches and gestures of maternal-style support and care” came from the women she called William’s “three fairy godmothers”: Carole Middleton (his mother-in-law), Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh (his aunt), and Zara Tindall (his cousin), all of whom were on hand at the event. These gestures “re-energized William, who is back on royal duties looking more like his old self after all the months of what must have been worry about Kate,” James said.

Prince William and Kate Middleton at Trooping the Colour

The week prior, William welcomed with open arms Kate's return to royal life at June 15's Trooping the Colour.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In addition to being caught on camera dancing in the box at Wembley, both Swift and the Prince and Princess of Wales shared selfies of their backstage meet-and-greet before the show last Friday night. On hand for the private meetup was Swift’s boyfriend, Travis Kelce, who called the future king “so cool” and “very genuine” on his podcast, “New Heights,” alongside brother Jason Kelce.

“Dude, he was the coolest motherfucker,” Travis said, to which Jason chimed in “He was awesome” in agreement, per People. Travis admitted that when he met William, George, and Charlotte backstage, he wasn’t sure what royal protocol was and whether he should “bow,” “curtsy,” or “just be an American idiot and shake their hand,” adding “We wanted to be polite, especially on this side of the park.”

Travis also added that Jason got to meet William and the kids, too, and noted that he had never seen his older brother “give someone that much respect” when he met them: “You put your beer, like, 10 feet away from you,” Travis joked, to which Jason responded “I didn’t have it in my teeth when I met [William],” referring to a viral clip of Jason holding a beer cup between his teeth during one of Swift’s London shows over the weekend. “They were wonderful people, and that’s what it’s about, you know?” Jason said. “Obviously, literally part of a monarchy, royalty. Yeah. Hard to be a down to earth human being, I would assume—but came off that way completely.”

Prince William birthday photo

For his 42nd birthday portrait (released on the same day as the concert), William let loose with his three kids in a photo snapped by Kate.

(Image credit: Courtesy of the Prince and Princess of Wales / Instagram)

In perhaps the most touching compliment, Travis said of William’s parenting, “If anyone’s doing it right, Prince William’s doing it right,” he said, according to People

Prayerfully, as he turns a year older, this year will be far less dramatic than the back half of 41 for the Prince of Wales. Reflecting on William’s challenging year, royal biographer and editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine Ingrid Seward told The Mirror “The traumas of the past year have made him a stronger person. He has become the kind of man [his mother Princess] Diana always hoped he would be—kind, considerate, and able to take on whatever life throws at him.” 

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.