Fromattending garden parties at Buckingham Palace tojoining the Garter Day procession at Windsor Castle,Prince William has been seen stepping up recently to assist the Queen as she scales back her official engagements.
It's a significant sign that the Duke of Cambridge, who turns 40 on June 21, has gained the full “trust” of his grandmother, according to royal experts, and as part of a 'dynamic' pairing with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, could secure the future of our monarchy.
“He’s grown in stature and is doing much more serious work than he was 10 years ago,” royal editor of the Daily Express Richard Palmer tells OK!. “I think the Queen really trusts him now.”
Michelle Thole, co-host of the Keeping Up With The Windsors podcast, shares this view. “Turning 40 is a big milestone for anyone, but we’ve seen William emerge as a real leader in the past few years,” she says.
“That’s been especially evident during the pandemic, when he massively rose to the challenge and perhaps improved many people’s perceptions of him.”
As Britain battled the worst effects of Covid-19, William and Kate, 40,strived to support key workers, emergency responders and those in the mental health sector.
“They have both been much more high profile since the start of the first lockdown,” says Claudia Joseph, author of William And Kate’s Britain. “It’s astonishing how much William has changed since he got married and became a father.
“He has certainly stepped up to the mark since the death of his grandfather Prince Philip last year, and seems to have embraced his role, rather than resent it.”
As a result, royal experts seem to be unanimous in the belief that William V will be a caring, truly modern monarch when his time on the throne arrives. Many commentators even believe William and Kate could save the monarchy from extinction.
Royal author Robert Jobson says, “King William V and his consort, Queen Catherine, will be… devoted to each other, the monarchy and their people; they are a dynamic duo, hell-bent on making as much of a difference as they can.
"They have a perfect blend of warmth and steely determination which means the monarchy as a 21st century institution will be safe in their hands.”
But despite embracing his role as future King, things haven’t always been smooth sailing for William, who was said to feel ambivalent about the prospect of becoming monarch while in his teens.
Speaking to OK! recently, royal reporter Jennie Bond said, “We did see a reluctance to take on the role earlier on, in his early adolescence.
“But in the last couple of years he has shown convincingly that he is the man for the role and that he cares about being king. He absolutely fully accepts the role and the responsibility destiny has put his way.”
Indeed, William was just a young boy when he was told he was second in line for the throne – and his “training” began at age 13 with visits to the Queen at Windsor Castle.
“He was primed for the position from such a young age,” adds Michelle. “Her Majesty has been an amazing role model… he really has learned from the best.”
His mother Diana also played a big part in preparing him for what lies ahead, and when she took him on public engagements as a child, William began to recognise a need to “give back” and support those less fortunate.
And while this preparation may have helped William become the man that he is today, there have been some sacrifices along the way, with William and Harry allegedly taking different roles in light of his growing responsibilities.
As reported by author Robert Lacey, both brothers each had a different "function".
“It was the function of the elder brother to be perfect in the public eye, whether he truly was or was not, and it was the function of the younger one to make the rest of us laugh or complain or feel disapproving,” Robert said in his 2020 book Battle Of Brothers.
Article taken from OK!'s royal special William At 40. Pick up at your local newsagent for just £5.99 or you can purchase the special edition magazine online now here!
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