This Possibly Overlooked Coronation Detail Proves That the Princess of Wales Calls the Shots Within the Royal Family

A royal expert writes that Kate “was once seen by some as a mere WAG.”

The Princess of Wales at a garden party
(Image credit: Getty)

Whereas in the early years of her romance with Prince William she may have been his plus one, the then Kate Middleton has morphed into a powerful woman who calls the shots within the royal family, and her influence continues to grow, The Mirror reports. That impact was on full display at the Coronation earlier this month and seemingly shows no signs of letting up, the outlet reports.

Royal expert Camilla Tominey writes that Kate “was once seen by some as a mere WAG”—short for wives and girlfriends and a term sometimes used diminutively—but has “demonstrated her growing power and influence at the Coronation of King Charles III.” Kate is now regarded as a “Queen-in-Waiting” and William, now first in line to the throne, and Kate alongside him now have more leverage and power than ever within the Firm.

Pippa Middleton and James Middleton at the Coronation

Pippa Middleton Matthews and James Middleton at the Coronation

(Image credit: Getty)

Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton at the Coronation

Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton at the Coronation

(Image credit: Getty)

Case in point: At the Coronation, Kate’s parents Michael and Carole Middleton and siblings Pippa and James were seated just six rows behind the royals, which Tominey said “left little doubt over the Princess of Wales’s growing influence.”

In an attempt to keep his Coronation significantly smaller than his mother Queen Elizabeth’s, the King cut the guest list at the Abbey from 8,000 to just 2,300. Many did not get an invite to the historic event, but Kate specifically requested extra invitations for her team—a request that was apparently granted, and one more signal of Kate’s emerging authority.

The Middleton family at the Coronation

(Image credit: Getty)

Though she knew William as far back as 2001 and began dating him around two years later, the couple did not get engaged until 2010 and married on April 29, 2011—12 years ago last month.

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.