Instead of living in Diana’s shadow, the Princess of Wales is choosing her own path, writes KATE MANSEY. Her approach to the Royal role has been transformed. And the future is bright!
- Kate Middleton is the Royal Family’s not-so-secret weapon
- She was taught how to be Royal by the best teacher of all – Queen Elizabeth II
- READ MORE: For all the latest Royal news, pictures and video click here
They were three little words which would set the tone for the next decade and beyond: ‘Are you happy?’
Spoken by Kate to William as she left Westminster Abbey on their wedding day 12 years ago – and picked up by lip readers at the time – his well-being was her first concern.
And has continued to be so ever since.
It is no wonder that the woman who walked into the Abbey as plain Catherine Middleton has been so warmly embraced by the Royal Family – to such an extent that she is today not just the future Queen, but is regarded by many as the future of the Monarchy itself.
The Princess of Wales is now a crucial part of the monarchy. Here she is pictured in the robes of the The Royal Victorian Order on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Coronation
Kate is pictured standing next to her husband, William, in the official Coronation portrait of the Royal Family. She is seen by many not just as the future queen, but as the future of the monarchy itself
Kate’s commitment to William and to her role has remained undimmed since their wedding in 2011 at Westminster Abbey, when lip readers spotted her asking William, ‘Are you happy?’
And who could doubt it, seeing her take her place, elegant, composed, resplendent in her robes as a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order?
Kate’s commitment to William and to her role has remained undimmed, yet a great deal has changed for her since then.
It has been quite a transformation, yet further – still-more significant – change is happening today.
As the new Princess of Wales, she is more confident and fast becoming The Royal Family’s not-so-secret weapon.
And, crucially, she is still making sure that her husband, now the heir apparent, is happy.
For this is the one thing that Diana, in her ill-fated marriage could not achieve. Nor could Charles reciprocate.
Yet for the new Waleses, this is precisely why their union works.
You don’t have to look any further than their happy, well-adjusted children who behaved so marvellously during the Coronation weekend.
All three – Prince George, nine, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five – were a credit to them.
Kate Mansey, Assistant Editor of The Mail on Sunday, believes that the Princess of Wales has stepped up a gear in her public appearances – and that there is more to come
The Wales and their three children, George, Charlotte and Louis, volunteer with the Big Help Out during the special Coronation long-weekend
As the new Princess of Wales, Kate is more confident than ever is and fast becoming The Royal Family’s not-so-secret weapon. She is much more ‘herself’ than in the past
Here she stops for pictures with royal fans on the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park the day following the Coronation
On turn, Kate appears to have learnt a thing or two from her children.
Gone is the mask she used to wear on public occasions. She appears to be allowing herself to breathe and, well, just to be herself.
A source said: ‘The Princess has grown in confidence and that comes with time and experience of doing the job. It’s apparent in her public speaking and by branching out with her own projects like the Shaping Us early years project.’
She learnt from the very best, of course – the late Queen Elizabeth II. And Kate has been an excellent student, even maintaining an air of mystery about her while still being chatty.
With a young, savvy team at Kensington Palace advising them, the Waleses are only too aware that every interaction on a walkabout can be uploaded and fly round the world in seconds.
Until very recently, Kate was more shy. Was she concerned about diverting attention from her husband?
On their tour of the Caribbean last Spring, Kensington Palace aides suggested to newspaper reporters that their editors might want to feature William instead of Kate on their front pages – or at least show them together.
‘It looks as if he isn’t even here,’ one aide grumbled.
But now, as the Princess of Wales, she has stepped right out into the limelight and appears happy to embrace her power.
She’s braver in public. Talking to the public and readily posing for selfies, hugging a crying child.
If she were a politician on the campaign trail, she would be nailing it.
The cost of her Coronation outfits over the course of the past week is estimated to be upwards of £30,000. It was money well-spent
Kate’s commitment to William and to her role has remained undimmed since they married 12-years ago. Yet her approach to the role has been transformed
She does not need to win a public vote, of course, but she knows this all too well: the Royals need public support if they are to survive.
Immaculate presentation and sharp dressing help no end.
Today, she is also more likely to take risks on new fashions and bold colours.
Gone are the safe LK Bennett wedges in favour of £530 Gianvito Rossi silver heels.
The cost of her Coronation outfits over the course of the past week is estimated to be upwards of £30,000. It was money well-spent.
Kate chose to include her late mother-in-law on Coronation Day by wearing a pair of pearl and diamond earrings that had belonged to Princess Diana.
Pedants on social media observed unkindly that Kate appeared to be wearing them the wrong way round – the right earring in the left ear and vice versa.
The Princess of Wales during walkabout along the Mall to meet royal well wishers ahead of King Charles III’s Coronation
A rare misstep?
Perhaps. Others saw it as a symbol of Kate bringing her own twist to the job of being Princess of Wales.
Right from the outset a palace source said that the new Princess of Wales ‘appreciates the history’ of the role but wanted to ‘create her own path’.
Rather than living in Diana’s shadow, she will take a new direction.
And these are just the first steps along the road of what promises to be a very successful journey.
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