William and Kate celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary today, and the charming couple appear to be as happy as ever. In the years since their glorious wedding in 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have endeared themselves to the world.
The couple are “the most-watched members of the royal family after granny Queen Elizabeth II,” notes USA Today, with millions of people obsessed with Kate’s clothes and hair. With the birth of Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the couple have their hands full as parents and have shown us glimpses of their home life as they raise their children in as normal an environment as possible.
The fascination with William and Kate isn’t going away anytime soon, says CNN royal correspondent Victoria Arbiter. As the world follows every movement the Cambridges make, “Prince Harry getting married would be the only thing that could take away the attention.” But while Harry is adored as the cheeky younger brother, his wife isn’t likely to be queen.
The wedding of William and Kate wasn’t just a beautiful interpretation of majestic ceremony, but the anointing of the new face of the British monarchy. The Cambridges will be the ones to take the monarchy far into the 21st century.
William and Kate are “really important to Britain,” explained biographer Sally Bedell Smith, the author of an upcoming Prince Charles book. “They are the faces of the future of the monarchy in the new generation.”
The British monarchy went through several dark years following the Queen’s infamous “Annus Horribilis” in 1992. The divorce of Prince Charles and the Princess of Wales shattered the idealized view of a fairy-tale marriage, and the royal family’s reputation as exemplary models to aspire to pretty much disappeared.
That was until Prince William grew up and found his own princess. Kate may not come from aristocratic roots, but her charm and sweetness have won over the doubters. The Duke and Duchess’ obvious love and respect for each other and the royal tradition have spun the British royal family right back to the top again. Charlie Proctor, the editor-in-chief of Royal Central, puts their appeal in simple terms, writes USA Today.
“They are a young couple with two young children, and appear to be a ‘normal’ couple that people (in the U.K. and abroad) can relate to.”
The fans abroad are just as important, if not more so than the ones back home. The British royals bring in countless millions of tourist money into the country, and the popularity of its younger members is important for the future.
“‘The Cambridges remain incredibly popular,’ says Charlotte Crawley, who runs the British blog HRHDuchessKate. ‘People who meet them find them very personable and engaging — their story has resonated globally and they have fans from all over the world…They are clearly a couple very much in love…They are very natural together, very much at ease, and I would say they bring out the best in each other.'”
It hasn’t been all good for William and Kate, of course. They have been criticized in the British media for neglecting their public duties. William especially is expected to have a full royal schedule, although it should be remembered that he is only second-in-line to the throne and not the direct heir. Bedell Smith says these years before Charles takes over the reins are important to the Will and Kate.
“They are trying to preserve their family life, just as then-Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, early in their marriage, were allowed to preserve their family life in the few years they had before she became Queen.”
The couple are expected to celebrate their fifth anniversary quietly with friends and family at their country home, Anmer Hall, in rural Norfolk. Although it is on the Queen’s 20,000 acre Sandringham estate, Anmer is the perfect secluded home for the young family. There’s plenty of room for George and Charlotte to run around and be as carefree as they wish, while William and Kate have privacy to raise their children. The couple have many friends and family in the area, and it’s only a couple of hours from the formality of London when needed.
Judi James, speaking to the Mirror, says William couldn’t have picked a better person to be not only the future queen, but his life partner too.
“‘William might have been happy to protect a more vulnerable wife from royal life but in Kate he married a friend and equal and that dynamic seems to suit him best.'”
[Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images]