One of People Magazine’s cover stories this week is “Life Without the Queen,” a one-year death-anniversary update about what the remaining Windsors are up to. Maybe People Magazine will release a stand-alone story about Camilla at some point, but hasn’t it been so notable that Camilla has been largely absent from all of these death-anniversary articles and “Charles’s first year as king” thinkpieces? I’m sure that’s by design – I’ve come around to the idea that Camilla has pulled most of the strings to create the current situation. She’s accrued an enormous amount of power, yet she remains massively unpopular. Oh well! Speaking of unpopular, People Mag’s cover story has a lot about how Prince William and Kate are, as always, preparing to be keen. I still haven’t gotten used to the fact that everyone speaks and writes about a pair of 40-somethings like they’re teenagers who are too dumb to understand the basics of work or diplomacy. Williams wants everyone to know that QEII gave him a gold star for his “work” and now sources describe Peg and Buttons as “ready and willing to do the job.”
In the days after his mother’s death last Sept. 8, King Charles made William and Kate the new Prince and Princess of Wales (the titles formerly held by Charles and his first wife, Princess Diana), recognizing their seniority in the family and signaling their critical roles ahead.
“Charles is leading the way for them already, and [William and Kate] are both involved in decision-making behind the scenes. They are ready and willing to do the job — and Kate is very much a part of that,” a friend of the princess tells PEOPLE in this week’s exclusive cover story.
Prince William and Princess Kate “are maintaining a good balance between carrying out their duties and raising their children as privately as possible,” royal author Sally Bedell Smith exclusively tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. Getting that right is key and “something they think about every day,” adds a source close to the family. In doing so, they honor the Queen.
“The prince was incredibly close to his grandmother,” the source adds. “She was such a big part of his life and a real supporter of his work, and I’m sure he and the princess miss her presence.”
Some suggest there is a sense of King Charles steadying the ship for William and Kate one day. King Charles and Queen Camilla will “provide the best possible platform for William and Kate to go forward,” says one close insider. But palace sources deny that Charles sees himself as a “caretaker King.”
“He will be keen to make his mark in whatever time he has and champion those brilliant causes he is interested in — like the environment, sustainability, art,” a palace insider says. “You don’t go into a position like that with an idea of how long or short it would be.”
For years before QEII’s death, I often noted that William and Kate’s “future king and future king” PR fluff was the wrong message, because they were completely skipping over their Prince/Princess of Wales roles. They’ve left the impression for years that they’re committed to doing jacksh-t until William gets the throne. For all of Charles’s faults, he was a significant, active and important Prince of Wales – he carried out diplomatic missions, he remade the Duchy of Cornwall, he created important charities and foundations. Charles’s biggest legacy will arguably be his decades as PoW. So… it’s actually quite strange to watch as William and Kate stagger around, rudderless and promising to be keen, even now that they’re the second-most powerful people in the royal court. It speaks to how the royal court has always treated William and Kate though – as if they’re too incompetent and lazy to do anything. The bar has always been set in hell for them.
“They are ready and willing to do the job — and Kate is very much a part of that.” Who are “they” and why was Kate added on? William and Rose are ready and willing to do the job and Kate is very much a part of that!
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images, Backgrid, cover courtesy of People.