As Prince Andrew falls from grace, Kate Middleton and Prince William are the members of the royal family who are likely to suffer the most.
Who would like to be queen? This is a question I think about a lot. Of course, the perks are impressive: huge castles at your disposal, the ability to unruly make the prime minister wait once a week, and the knowledge that you have a fourth fleet at your disposal, but still … It’s very boring and often repetitive. a job that means working 363 days a year and committing to spend your entire life making small talk while being forced to open entertainment centers in the Midlands.
But for some reason, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, really likes this job and will get her perfectly manicured hands in the next 20 years or so.
However, if she wants to truly have a throne waiting for her, achieving that gilded-edged ambition has become much more difficult in recent days thanks to her uncle-in-law Prince Andrew.
The 61-year-old disgraced royal has secured a dismissal of a sexual harassment case he faced in New York, paving the way for a trial later this year. He faces ousting under oath and on camera in the coming months over allegations that he raped Virginia Giuffre (nee Roberts) three times when she was a teenager, a claim he has long denied.
Then, on Friday, news broke that the Queen had finally decided to strip her son of his honorary military posts and that he would no longer be allowed to use his style as His Royal Highness, in what looked like a too small and too late attempt to insulate the monarchy from the effects of Andrew’s mess. (Talking about trying to close the barn door after all of Her Majesty’s Thoroughbreds, proud and joyful, had long since fled…)
And it is here that the future Queen Catherine enters the frame, because attempts to understand much of this fiasco and pull the monarchy out of the abyss will now fall on her shoulders.
(Recently Telegraph revealed that her husband Prince William was known to charmingly find her after a hard day of royal offerings and ask, “Honey, can I get you a drink… a glass of champagne?” Handy because she’ll need it.)
Let’s start with the practical part of this equation.
Since Andrew initially stepped down as a working member of the royal family, a number of his former official roles, including with the English National Ballet and the Outward Bound Trust, have been left vacant. Now, with the Queen’s defenestration of her son, more vacancies remain to be filled, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, Royal Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers and Royal Colonel of the King’s Regiment of Scotland.
Note also that positions left vacant, including President of the Royal Commonwealth Fund, Patron of the Royal National Theatre, and Captain General of the Royal Marines, thanks to the hasty departure of Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2020.
It is this gap that Kate, William, and later their children will have to step into.
It is impossible to get away from the fact that the monarchy simply does not have enough capable hands to do its bit. This is not only an aging workforce (Cambridge’s are the only ones under 55), but a rapidly shrinking one as the Palace has lost 27 percent of its full-time royal “staff” since 2019 due to the resignations of not only Andrew, but the Sussexes too.
While some of the positions left empty by Andrew, Harry and Meghan may end up by the wayside, others like the English National Ballet and Colonel of the Grenadier Guards are due to be filled, which likely means even more must be mustered. . Limoges porcelain plates by William and Kate.
This situation may also force the couple to put their children to work sooner than they might otherwise hope. While the Duke and Duchess have made great efforts to give their sons and daughter the most normal life possible, these good intentions may be about to collide brutally with the reality of the fact that the royal family is now chronically in short supply.
William held his first official engagement at just eight years old, the same age as his son Prince George, when his parents took him to Cardiff in 1991 with the tiny royal figure in a suit working clumsily on a rope.
While George has technically already taken part in the official outing, delightfully attending the Royal International Air Tattoo when he was just two years old, it’s hardly the same as having to shake hands with retirees for hours when most of the kids his age were at home. I’m watching Captain Planet.
Any hopes William and Kate had of delaying their son and heir’s royal future have not materialized, and George’s public journey to the throne may begin sooner than they might wish.
On top of all that, while the mess with Andrew will mean all the white shoulders of the royal family will now need to be brought to bear, there’s a good deal of this tasteless situation that only Kate can fix, and that’s serious reputational damage. the monarchy suffered.
While Charles and William may have earned the public’s respect in recent years with their diligent but uninteresting work on climate change, only the Duchess of Cambridge commands the kind of massive public love and adoration that is the lifeblood of a monarchy.
The UK is completely enamored with Kate, and countering the very serious damage done by Andrew (and to a lesser extent Megxit) to the Crown’s image will come down to highlighting her further in a rather blatant attempt to dazzle. and captivate the masses.
Buckingham Palace is clearly aware of this, given that it was her, and she is alone with the future William V, relegated to a supporting role who hosted a benefit Christmas carol concert at Westminster Abbey last month.
Every photo of her and her perfect bouncy, shiny hairdo as she meets children and retirees is an antidote to the noxious smell that has been enveloping the royal family for several years now.
Thing is, she may be a miner’s granddaughter, but without Kate, there’s no royal magic or stardust. Take her out of your sight and all you’re left with is a bunch of middle-aged men in expensive suits talking seriously about hedge conservation and carbon emissions.
Likewise, the trio of adorable little Cambridges. Putting them out in public, such as when George and Charlotte joined William at the start of the Sandringham Marathon last June, serves as a great program to counter all the negative headlines and PR crises. What’s more, the image of them as a happy family is a much-needed tonic given that the Windsor brand has become synonymous with dysfunction and strife.
Did Kate sign up for any of this when William put that stunning sapphire on her finger again in October 2010? Maybe not, but just two months later, in December 2010, Andrew flew to New York for five days with his friend, convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein. He and they didn’t know it then, but he was going to change their whole life, forever.
Daniela Elzer is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years of experience working with a range of leading Australian media outlets.