London (CNN) – It was an image lost on the day of Prince Philip’s funeral but strong enough to go viral in the days that followed – the Duchess of Cambridge, taken by a photographer walking through a black veil in the back of a limousine peeked at the service. It is as regal as it is human, and speaks to the king she has become.
It’s a very different picture than it was more than a decade ago. Then-Kate Middleton was followed by paparazzi everywhere when her relationship with William was first revealed in 2004. Royal sources say it got so bad that she was forced to leave London for a while.
The newspapers were obsessed with what they considered to be the story of social advancement – the bourgeois girl who landed her prince on the rugged east coast of Scotland while studying. She was reportedly mocked by William’s friends, who allegedly whispered “Doors to the manual” behind her back – a reference to her mother’s previous job as a flight attendant. It was also a jibe that glossed Carole Middleton’s journey as an entrepreneur, someone who built a very successful business and took all of her children to one of the best private (and most expensive) schools in the country. Meanwhile, Catherine faced numerous gruesome monikers such as “Waity Katie” on the tabloids due to the length of their advertising.
Coverage got less astute after walking down the aisle at that blockbuster wedding this week 10 years ago.
In the years since then, we’ve seen firsthand how she got used to the global stage, most recently when she took a royal tour of Pakistan with William in 2019. The Duchess spoke to us when she was visiting a home for orphaned children in Lahore. During this conversation with her husband by her side, we saw a glimpse of the trust Kate has developed. It was her first news interview, and although she seemed nervous at first, she found her move and has done several others since then. Later in the trip, she demonstrated her demeanor and checked out some nervous members of the traveling press pool after a particularly turbulent flight with her husband.
The media coverage of the Duchess has become consistently more positive and has almost deteriorated in recent months. It is often in stark contrast to the portrayal of her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Sussex. Something media commentators have noticed.
Kate will be the next Princess of Wales before she becomes Queen and preparing for the roles has not been easy. She has experienced forensic examinations and tremendous intrusions into her privacy, as if topless paparazzi recordings of her were distributed on European tabloids while on vacation.
Her work – first with William and Harry to start a national mental health conversation and later on early childhood issues – has shown how she intends to use her profile as a queen on the front lines. Studying these issues gives an indication of her ambition for lasting, meaningful change and her sometimes introverted but always passionate character.
It’s only when you see her off camera and relaxed that you realize how uncomfortable she can be in the spotlight, but she’s learned that to stay relevant, she has to get out of there. William offers advice who grew up in the spotlight, but Lockdown also gave her an opportunity to shine. She felt much more comfortable on video calls from the comfort of her home and without all of the paraphernalia that come with television crews.
Over the years, the couple has found some parity in their public relations. Yes, William is an heir to the British throne, but Catherine makes up for it and has often carried the same weight of responsibility. She also gets a similar amount of airtime.
Understanding that the media is central to spreading their work, they have partnered to develop a strategy that provides a controlled look at their young family – and at Kate as a mother figure fit for a future queen – and in doing so maintains some limits.
They are hands-on parents who are involved in all aspects of their children’s upbringing – something we get through their curated social media accounts. The couple seek to balance private family life with an increasing royal workload in support of the 95-year-old monarch. They don’t want us to see everything that is going on in their life, but they want to give us enough to know that they are on the right track and ready to do the top jobs when the time comes .
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Looking as close as they did the day they tied the knot, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posted new photos to mark a decade of marriage. Many will remember the couple exchanging vows at an extravagant event at Westminster Abbey in 2011.
The two new portraits were taken by British photographer Chris Floyd, who said it would be “exciting to spend some time with them” this week in the grounds of Kensington Palace, the family’s London residence.
While it is unknown how the couple celebrated their marriage milestone – traditionally celebrated in the UK with pewter gifts – they managed to be a little bit of time away from the children. On Tuesday, they attended a sustainable farm near Darlington in the north of England, got behind the wheel of a high-tech tractor and discussed with local farmers how the industry is adapting to improve its environmental impact.
The couple then went to The Cheesy Waffles Project, a charity that helps people with learning disabilities in the area. The project is supported by The Key – one of 26 charities selected by the Cambridges to benefit from donations to their Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund.
The couple went to Twitter on Thursday, their actual anniversary, to thank the well-wishers “for the kind messages”. The tweet was accompanied by a cute home video of the family enjoying a day at the beach. In a different shot, you see Princess Charlotte running happily from Papa while Prince George walks hand in hand with Mama. It provided a rare glimpse into the Cambridges – who are known to be private, what they share from their young children – and spend some time with the family.
More photos of William and Kate over the years can be found here.
FROM THE ROYAL VAULT
For the first time in 25 years, Princess Diana’s famous wedding dress is on display.
Their sons William and Harry have given their blessings on the dress, which will be on display at Kensington Palace in London from June.
His recording is part of a larger temporary exhibition entitled “Royal Style in the Making” which documents the relationship between fashion ateliers and royals over the decades.
WHAT ELSE HAPPEN?
The queen logs in again
The 95-year-old monarch smiled as she returned to her official duties this week. Elizabeth ran a series of video engagements this week – her first since her husband Philip’s funeral. During the week, the Sovereign conducted a virtual audience via video link from Windsor Castle to the new ambassadors from Latvia, Ivory Coast, Mauritania and Slovenia, as well as phone calls to the Prime Minister and other appointments.
Rock with Harry and Meghan
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will meet a number of famous faces for a star-studded fundraising concert next Saturday. The Vax Live event, hosted by pop star Selena Gomez, which urges governments to advocate fair vaccination, will include performances by U.S. President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and other world leaders, as well as musical performances by Jennifer Lopez , John Legend and the Foo Fighters. The couple announced on Tuesday that they were “election campaign leaders”. In this role, they encouraged the private sector to fund the WHO COVAX vaccination program. “In the past year our world has shared pain, loss and struggle. Now we have to recover and heal together. We cannot leave anyone behind. We will all benefit from it, we will all be safer if everyone has equal access to the vaccine everywhere “they said in a statement.
Andrew’s previous patronage was given to Charles
The Prince of Wales has been named the new Patron of the British Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a position previously held by his brother, the Duke of York. The orchestra’s executive director, James Williams, described Charles as a “longtime master of the arts” and said his appointment alongside that of new music director Vasily Petrenko positioned the orchestra “to lead the resurgence and enjoyment of orchestral music in one post spread.” – COVID world. “While Andrew has recently resurfaced after his father’s death, the move signals that the Duke of York is unlikely to resume official royal duties anytime soon. Andrew was disgraced after a disastrous interview with the BBC about his ties to the Fallen financier and celebrity sex offender Jeffrey Epstein gave up many of his patronages and associations when he stepped down from his public duties in 2019.
It’s a big week for two members of the royal family. The first Princess Charlotte, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and fourth to the throne, will be six years old on Sunday. Then her cousin Archie, son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, turns two just a few days later.
Before their special days, we thought we’d share some adorable snaps of the littlest royals.
Check out more cute photos of the youngest royals here.
“Indian aid and ingenuity have helped other countries through these immensely difficult times. As India has helped others, we must now help India.”
The Prince of Wales expresses his grief over the “terrible” coronavirus situation in India.
Prince Charles sent a message to the people of India this week calling on the public to support the country. He added that the British Asian Trust, which he helped found in 2007, launched an emergency call to raise funds for oxygen concentrators – medical devices that compress atmospheric oxygen – for local hospitals. India is experiencing one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks in the world. The death toll and daily cases are rising steadily. As the nation breaks records worldwide for the highest daily gains, the crematoriums are overwhelmed and the hospitals have little supply. Read more about why the crisis in India could have a global impact here.