A DELIBERATE WITHDRAWAL
While the spread of the coronavirus in Britain forced Elizabeth II to confine herself and pushed Prince William to the front line, Kate Middleton remains surprisingly discreet. A conscious choice. Explanations.
She was at the heart of her husband’s speech… in pictures. While William spoke remarkably to the British people, proving how well his royal training was mastered, Kate Middleton appeared stealthily in his video highlighting the action of the National Emergency Trust on British soil in the midst of the pandemic.
For the moment, that’s all we’ll have to make do with. After a remarkable appearance with her children George, Charlotte and Louis in Norfolk, William’s wife has joined the Kensington Palace.
Prepared to assume their roles as Acting King and Queen while the Queen is now confined to Windsor with her husband Philip, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge want to “help the most vulnerable.
The care of her children, deprived of schooling, is not a problem, thanks to the 24-hour nanny Maria Borrallo. But Kate remains true to one principle: not to overshadow William, the direct heir.
HER MODELS: QUEEN MUM AND PRINCE PHILIP, WHO KNEW HOW TO STAY IN THEIR PLACE AS CONSORTS.
If this attitude seems to contrast with a certain emancipation and the multiplication of very personal interventions, in recent months, the good student of the Windsor clan remembers her role models: Queen Mum, the wife of King George VI, and Prince Philip, husband of Elizabeth II.
Two figures who contributed to the continuity of the British monarchy, but who always knew how to stay in their place as consorts. Kate has always known that her marriage is also a “contract”.
In 2018, the royal biographer Penny Junor, close to Prince Charles, already enlightened us about this calculated reserve in an article posted on thedailybeast.com: “We’d like to see William and Kate exchange more signs of tenderness and illustrate beautiful pictures, but William models himself on the Queen, and I suspect Kate is in restraint so as not to overshadow her husband.”
The biographer also pointed out that Diana’s extreme media coverage, at Charles’ expense, was a counter-example for the Duchess: “This is what ruined the marriage of William’s parents. Kate is there to support him, just as the Duke of Edinburgh has supported the Queen all these years. Kate and William are going to be the focus of attention all their lives, they can’t behave like celebrities who charm and then tire.”
At the time, Penny Junor was already pitting the fate of Kate, “self-effacing and shy”, against that of Meghan Markle, “an actress who loves the light”. While the war of egos between Cambridge and Sussex is still smouldering, the Duchess of Cambridge, who has shown her inflexibility lately, sticks to the lessons of history. Her popularity among the British has never been stronger. Well put, Queen Kate…