Kate Middleton, the princess who already overshadows Camilla

Kate Middleton, the princess who already overshadows Camilla

When Prince Charles became King Charles III, William and his wife automatically became Prince and Princess of Wales. In other words, Kate Middleton is the future queen, and is already overshadowing, despite herself, Camilla.

Princess of Wales. The title is heavy with meaning. Indeed, the last to have worn it is none other than Lady Diana, who was, well beyond rank, the “princess of hearts”, the “princess of the people”. At the time of her marriage to prince charlesin 2005, Camilla Parker Bowles had not dared to adopt it, when it was rightfully his. Out of respect for Diana, first of all, but also out of fear of suffering the wrath of the English, who at the time were already campaigning for her never to obtain the title of “queen consort”, she had contented herself of the – secondary – title of Duchess of Cornwall.

In video, Kate Middleton at the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick in London

But for Kate, it’s different. There is no doubt that no one will mind her raising the status of her husband’s mother. Where Camilla took almost two decades not to displease, the one we nicknamed “Perfect Kate” has long won the hearts of the British. It’s rare enough in royal history to be underlined: she never dropped in their esteem. Her popularity peaked in the early 2000s, when she recently dated Charles and Diana’s eldest son. In this graceful and self-effacing girl described as a “commoner” (she is the daughter of a former flight dispatcher and a former British Airways flight attendant), England instantly sees the signs of a love true of the future king, at a time when no one has forgotten the forced marriage of Prince Charles with Diana Spencer, and the “Wales war” which followed (the two spouses humiliating and deceiving each other in the knowledge of all, with Camilla at the center of their feud).

A new era in motion

For the first time in the English court, prince william was allowed to marry a woman who was not blue blood. The consent is given by Elizabeth II, who it was clear at the time did not want to relive another annus horribilis – in 1992 three of her four children, Charles, Anne and Andrew, divorced their first spouse. Even before the engagement and then the so-called wedding of the century in 2011, the young Kate Middleton was therefore already the symbol of an evolution of the royal institution, democratizing the genes of royalty. Reconciling, even, the new generation with the monarchy, who suddenly readily identified with this future princess. The passion could have been fleeting, the risk was great to disappoint. But Kate never failed. If, like Camilla, she did not follow any training to integrate the royal family, she absorbed the codes by dint of rubbing shoulders with the Windsors, even becoming her best element.

The women who passed before her in the clutches of the “Firm” (nickname given to the clan by Prince Philip) did not have her dazzling success. Lady Diana said she felt “unprepared” ; Sarah Ferguson, that her experience has “not been a fairy tales”. ” I didn’t quite understand what the job was “, released Meghan, the wife of prince Harry, during his shock interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021. However, everything seemed so natural for the one who was still, a few days ago, duchess of Cambridge. She gave three beautiful heirs to the crown of England, Prince George in 2013, Princess Charlotte in 2015, and Prince Louis, in 2018, respectively in 2e3e and 4e position in the line of succession to the throne. She multiplied the princely engagements with her husband William, while remaining discreet and prudent, two qualities so dear to the Crown.

In video, what the arrival of Charles III on the throne will change for the monarchy

The art of staying in one’s place

Sublime on the red carpet of the premiere of Top Gun, last May, alongside a clearly spellbound Tom Cruise. But also human and benevolent during videoconferences with caregivers and patients during the Covid pandemic. Who can cite even a moment when, during a public outing, his smile faded? Who can remember a single blue, green, pink, yellow dress that didn’t go out of stock after she wore it? Kate has never been criticized after one of her speeches (admittedly rare). She never raised eyebrows with the queen, who always appreciated her way of staying in her place despite the immense media attention brought to her. According to a YouGov poll carried out last spring, Kate Middleton enjoyed 68% favorable opinion in the United Kingdom, rising to second place in the ranking of the most popular Windsors, just behind the Queen (75%). Camilla only arrived in 8e position…

Now queen consort (she was solemnly dubbed by Elizabeth II in February), the wife of King Charles III has come a long way. From a world where Diana had given her the sweet little name of “rottweiler” and where the English only saw her as a husband thief. Like Kate, she played the card of discretion, rarely speaking in public and evolving in the shadow of the clan, forcing the modest admiration of the British who now see her as an unwavering support of Charles. “The race for the royal family is a marathon, not a sprint “, told us Andrew Morton in 2018, in reference to the media war which opposed the Sussexes to the Cambridges. The two first ladies of England, who have been said to be very close to each other for many years, have understood this well. Still, the first will have a hard time equaling the second in the hearts of the British. At 40, the new Princess of Wales is more powerful than ever, driven in particular by the departure of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan to the United States, leaving them alone, William and her, guarantors of the future of the monarchy.

Irreproachable wife, exemplary mother, blameless representative of the Crown, she is the number 2 who will in spite of herself overshadow the “queen”, less… perfect. Historian Robert Lacey, lead consultant on the series The Crownrecently analyzed forMadame Figaro : “The English see Kate as a wife rather subject to the rules of the monarchy. But she is much smarter than that! She even has a decisive role in the actions of the royal family. “What leave some resources to the English tabloids, at a time when Charles III wants a royal family reduced to its simplest expression, far from controversy and scandals.


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