The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge: what the way forward for the British monarchy will appear like
Considered modern and close to the British people, William and Kate Middleton are the next successors after King Charles III
The popular couple formed by Prince William, now number one in succession to the throne, and his wife Catherine, together with their three children George, Charlotte and Louis, hold hopes for a modern monarchy close to the British people.
Their Instagram account usually shows the life of this couple with their three children (9, 7 and 4 years old respectively). The youngest, Louis, starred in the Jubilee festivities in June.
Over the years, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have won the hearts of Britons with the image of a happy, exemplary and close family, a far cry from William’s difficult childhood, when his parents Charles and Diana fought in front of everyone. .
The “huge interest” they arouse is “obviously” because they embody the future of the monarchy, considers royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams, but also because of “their own way” of “looking at things”. “They have mastered the art of controlling both the formal and the informal” in the public sphere, he points out.
The couple is often photographed arm in arm at official acts and events, such as the premiere of the latest film in the James Bond saga. Plus, “Catherine has been a fashion icon for a long time,” adds Fitzwilliams.
This, he estimates, “has been very beneficial for British fashion” (…) but also for the couple’s image.
This glamorous image is compensated for by a more relaxed facet that is closer to people, especially through the couple’s numerous commitments to causes that are very dear to them: mental health for William, childhood for Catherine.
The couple regularly exposes their home life, such as their children’s schoolwork during Covid-19 confinement, or their sports activities.
In June 2021, Prince George was photographed with his parents at the European Championship games in England, prompting some jokes for wearing a suit and tie despite his young age.
His mother fuels this image of normalcy by sharing casual, intimate photos of everyday life, in which George appears on the grass in a football jersey. In others Charlotte distributes packages of food and Louis paints a picture with his hands.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge accompany their children, George (left), Louis and Charlotte at the Lambrook School (AFP/AFP)
This allows to satisfy the press’s insatiable need to obtain images of the family, protecting her from the paparazzi who pursued Diana until her death.
“There has always been agreement regarding media coverage of real children,” although relations with the press may have been “very strained” at times, Fitzwilliams said.
“When they are little, they get a little privacy in exchange for photos and videos at certain times, like birthdays, Christmas, their first day at school.”
Kate and William “did a really good job protecting this mix of normalcy” and royal status, says the expert.
Necessary modernity and continuity
According to a recent YouGov poll, Catherine is the most popular member of the royal family after the now-deceased Queen. Her husband comes later, far ahead of her father, King Charles III.
“I believe that William and Catherine are, in many ways, a reflection of the Queen. [Elizabeth] and [seu falecido esposo] Philip,” journalist Robert Jobson told the report. In his opinion, the reign of Charles III “will be seen as a transition to that of his son”.
The Cambridges “will give the monarchy, after such old monarchs, a sense of modernity that is probably necessary to help its continuity”, he estimates.