Thursday marks the tenth anniversary of Prince William and his wife Kate’s engagement, with the famous couple gradually seen as the future of the British monarchy as other senior royals mature or fade from view.
William, the second-in-line to the throne, and Kate, the third-in-line to the throne, married on April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey, after meeting at university and dating for more than seven years.
They currently have three children — seven-year-old Prince George, five-year-old Princess Charlotte, and three-year-old Prince Louis — and their family represents many families destined to lead the centuries-old organisation for several years to come.
After ten years of performing solo and joint royal duties as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they have been officially known since marrying, the pair is among the most common monarchy members.
“We really have as near to normal a family in the Cambridges as we’ve ever seen in the royal family and that all bodes well for the future,” said royal writer Penny Junor ahead of the anniversary.
The couple has received more attention lately, amid a difficult time for the royal family, which has seen the death of Queen Elizabeth II’s 99-year-old husband, Prince Philip, William’s grandfather.
The kingdom has also been rocked by Prince Harry and wife Meghan’s surprise decision to leave the institution and relocate to the United States last year, prompting reports of a split with his brother William.
Following their exit, Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, gave a shocking television interview in March in which they accused the monarchy of bigotry and failing to help them.
Harry also said that William and their aunt, Prince Charles, were “trapped” by royal protocol, while Meghan pointed out Kate for making her cry before her 2018 wedding.
The allegations provided a rare insight into the fraught ties that exist between Britain’s most prominent dynasty and the four younger royals, who were once called the “Fab Four.”
The incendiary allegations that surrounded it for weeks forced William to defend the organisation he will ultimately head, telling reporters, “We’re very much not a racist family.”
Harry appears to be beginning to mend some lingering schism with his brother after apparently spending many hours with him following Philip’s funeral earlier this month, their first public encounter since the uproar.
The saga seems to have earned Harry and Meghan little supporters in Britain, with polls showing that their support remains strong, although most royals’ popularity has recently increased — most likely due to sympathy for Philip.
Kate, in particular, received universal acclaim for her demeanour and style at his funeral, with a striking image of her arriving by car wearing a black veil and face mask going viral.
The photograph, in which her eyes are fixed on the camera lens, attracted comparisons to William’s late mother, Princess Diana.
“She has got such poise and elegance and she’s not in competition with William,” Junor added on Kate. “Everything about her is measured. She’s a grown-up.”
The pair, who met when both were students at St Andrew’s University in Scotland, married in 2010 after William proposed with Diana’s engagement ring.
“When I first met Kate I knew there was something very special about her,”
he said in an engagement interview.
Kate maintained her distance from big royalty activities during their early years as a couple, but was eventually accepted into her future roles and is generally regarded as having shone as a working princess and the family’s unofficial photographer.
During the past year of lockdowns, they have been particularly involved with William, from baking products for local needy people to conducting video calls, helping key staff, and encouraging mental health programmes.
According to polls, they are very common.
William is much more popular than his 72-year-old father, with roughly one-third of Britons preferring him to replace his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Meanwhile, Kate is the third most famous member of the royal family, behind only the 95-year-old queen and William. According to a YouGov poll released on Tuesday, two-thirds of people liked her.
Kate has no royal ancestors, but as William succeeds to the throne, her formal title will be Queen Consort. However, to the majority of people, she would always be known as Britain’s queen.
“I think she has been absolutely extraordinary and a model of what a future queen should be,”