To celebrate her 40th birthday, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William, offered herself a series of official photos taken by Paolo Roversi, famous Italian fashion photographer.
“These new portraits released to celebrate 40 years will be on display to the public at three locations: in Berkshire, St Andrews and Anglesey [au Pays de Galles], as part of the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London titled ‘Returning Home’, in anticipation of the museum’s reopening in 2023 ”, can be read on the official Twitter account of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The Duchess’s birthday comes as her role becomes increasingly important within the British royal family. For many, the wife of the eldest son of the heir to the throne even symbolizes the future of the monarchy.
This always impeccable brunette who fulfills her official commitments with a smile, reflects an image of reliability at a difficult time for a monarchy which closes ranks in the face of scandals and divisions.
An increase in popularity since the start of the health crisis
It is this image, smiling and sober, that return the three photos published this Sunday by Kate Middleton. The series of pictures then delighted the British media, which do not cease to be enthusiastic about the actions of the Duchess. The latest: his performance on the piano during a Christmas concert at Westminster Abbey broadcast on television and dedicated to those who worked during the coronavirus pandemic.
In this photo, Kate Middleton is wearing pearls that once belonged to Lady Diana. Her dresses are designed by Alexander McQueen.
Speaking of the pandemic, Kate and her husband William, who will celebrate his 40th birthday in June, have gained visibility since the start of the health crisis: by videoconferences with caregivers, or by recounting their confined life with their children George, Charlotte and Louis – in a large house in the country – and the vagaries of home schooling.
With restrictions eased and Elizabeth II, 95, curtailing her activities, the couple also stepped up official appearances, from the world premiere of the new James Bond film to the COP26 climate summit. Kate has developed themes that are dear to her, such as early childhood, mental health and environmental protection.
“When things need to be done, she does them”
The couple’s former private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, cited his down-to-earth and unfazed sides as one of his strengths. “She takes the time to talk to people,” he told the journal The Times, comparing her to the mother of Queen Elizabeth II, a symbol of British resistance during World War II: “When things need to be done, she does them”.
Giving the impression of complying with good grace to the obligations linked to his role in the royal family, the media have been quite benevolent towards him, especially since Meghan and her husband Prince Harry have moved away from the royal family and have moved to the United States.
“Window mannequin without personality without personality”
Some attribute the media’s differential treatment of Kate and Meghan to a contempt for those who flaunt easily, against the grain of a very British phlegmatism.
Kate Middleton has also suffered some criticism, especially on her impeccable appearance. Novelist Hilary Mantel has even accused her of looking like a “mannequin with no personality.”
A reliable person in the midst of scandals
The Duchess of Cambridge is however seen in the royal family as someone who can be counted on at a delicate moment, between the explosive confidences of Harry and Meghan and the accusations of sexual assault targeting the second son of the Queen , Prince Andrew.
In the storm, the royal family tightened on a small number of members. And like William, his father Charles rose to prominence, preparing to succeed Elizabeth II.
Considering Charles’ age (73) and his low popularity, many commentators already see his future reign as a transition before the arrival of William and Kate.