Diana was a princess of the people and beloved by the masses, so it is no wonder that the Duchess of Cambridge is continually compared to the late mother of Prince William and Prince Harry. Duchess Kate is also a royal who has continued to push the boundaries of tradition in the monarchy while attempting to engage more with people. Kate does this by attending many charity events for which she is an advocate, as well as speaking out about children’s mental health issues. E! News shares how Diana and Kate are very similar in their approach to their position in the royal family
“If Diana was the people’s princess, then Kate Middleton is very much their down-to-earth duchess. Much like Prince William’s late mother, Kate is warm and approachable in her dealings with the public. We see her hugging young children, playing games and even smiling for selfies with fans—she is royal, in every sense of the word, but in a hands-on way that wasn’t always necessarily associated with the monarchy. “
Experts on the monarchy and how it has shifted over the last few decades have noted the reasons for the changes and cited the people involved in the shift to a more modern monarchy. One such expert is Christopher Warwick, who is a royal historian and authored the chronicle of Queen Elizabeth II entitled Her Majesty. He shares that the monarchy first embraced modernization back in the 1980s, which was surprisingly due to the Queen’s approach and had less to do with Princess Diana entering the scene as the bride of Prince Charles.
— E! News (@enews) December 7, 2016
“Obviously, the advent of Diana did a great deal to hasten that [modernization],” he said, “because Diana was a different kind of royal person…she broke the mold when it came to the image of a princess.”
The historian focused more on Diana’s appearance being the reason the late royal appealed to the people, reminding readers that all royals devote themselves to philanthropic causes. However, Warwick does admit that Diana’s work with causes that had never before been addressed by any royals, such as homelessness and the AIDS epidemic, did set her apart from those who came before her.
The causes that Diana made her focus remain the focus of her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. As Warwick states, they “have their mother’s influence” that shines through their own work via the Royal Foundation. Issues that would have once been considered taboo are now the focus of Harry, William, and Kate, including anti-bullying and mental health, as well as addiction prevention.
Kate, much like Diana before her, has attached herself personally to specific initiatives and charity work for the purpose of eradicating the stigma that is attached to them and helping where she is able. It was just this year that the Duchess spoke about her own children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, as Hello! shared, while she helped to launch a podcast series that focuses on children’s mental health at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.
— Adella Pasos (@adellapasos) November 24, 2016
Middleton cited a statistic during the podcast stating that one in three adults said they would be too embarrassed to seek help for their children’s mental health. Kate then spoke words motivating families to change the way “we talk to each other about our mental health.” Kate added that she and Prince William both “feel very strongly that ” they wouldn’t hesitate to “get expert support for George and Charlotte if they need it.”
Much like Kate, Diana was always seen as being a more relate-able royal than those who came before her. There is no question that the young royals are carrying on in the footsteps of Diana, and they are modernizing the monarchy under the guidance of the Queen.
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