Just like Princess Diana, Kate Middleton continues to do things differently in her royal role as wife to Prince William. Kate and William spent Christmas with the Middleton family instead of with the Queen and other royals at Sandringham, and her status as a commoner before her marriage to William is itself a big change for the royal family.
The International Business Times reports that Middleton recently took another step outside tradition when the Duchess decided to take official portraits of her children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
After Kate and William’s second child was born, it was expected that the couple would engage a professional photographer to take photos, but Middleton loves photography. Kate “was the first member of the royal family to break with tradition” when she took on the task of snapping the “official portraits of a royal baby.”
Now, Middleton’s adorable pics of “Prince George hugging his baby sister” have earned her recognition at the highest level. According to International Business Times, the Royal Photographic Society just made Kate Middleton an honorary member of the prestigious organization.
“She is the latest in a long line of royal photographers and the society is pleased to recognise her talent and enthusiasm through honorary membership. “We look forward to a continuing relationship with her.”
Several of the pics showed “Prince George kissing Charlotte” as the little royals cuddled on the couch in matching blue-and-white outfits. Other photos showed off Princess Charlotte, who was obviously enjoying herself, ” laughing and looking away from the camera.”
The photos “melted hearts” everywhere and seem to have softened the professional critics at the Royal Photographic Society too. When Middleton first started sharing her photos, critics were less than impressed.
During Kate and Prince William’s visit to the Borneo in 2012, Kate took a ton of pics of the lush Malaysian rainforest and wildlife. Fleet Street photographer Harry Page said Middleton’s pics were “a good first effort” and lauded the Duchess for “putting them out there and inviting critique,” but he didn’t think much of the quality.
He said they were “not brilliant” and criticized Middleton for changing the pics from full color to black-and-white, a change that he believed added “nothing to the picture.” However, Page held out some hope for Kate’s future as a photographer.
“But some of the jungle shots are good, and she definitely shows potential.”
Middleton is the first royal to take official portraits, but she isn’t the first to be closely involved with the RPS. According to ABC affiliate Kivitv, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were patrons to the society, which was founded during Queen Victoria’s reign in 1853. William’s five times great-grandmother “was the one who allowed the society to use the word “royal” in its title.
Kate Middleton‘s shot of Prince George’s first day at nursery school was used as an official portrait marking the important day in his life.
Prince George arrives for his first day at nursery in Norfolk earlier today pic.twitter.com/w4BPGNE1H0— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 6, 2016
A smiling pic of Princess Charlotte trying out her first steps is another of Middleton’s efforts that reached official status.
A photo posted by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on
That’s great news for Kate, who majored in Art History at university, but Middleton’s news comes at a troubling time for William and his wife.
Queen Elizabeth, who turned 90 this year, has been very ill over Christmas. For the “first time in 28 years” the Queen passed on attending church services on Christmas Day, and on New Year’s Day. If Queen Elizabeth’s health deteriorates any further, it could have a huge impact on Kate, William, and their children.
ABC News reports that “prolonged absence since has heightened speculation” about the state of the Queen’s health. She hasn’t been out since recording her Christmas message over two weeks ago. However, the outlet also reports that Princess Anne insists the Queen is “on the mend,” and the palace is simply being careful.
That doesn’t stop Middleton watchers from wondering “what will happen when” the long-reigning Queen passes away, or becomes too ill to fulfill her royal duties. The International Business Times reports that there are rumors swirling everywhere about who will be the “first king to hold the throne since 1952.”
Prince Charles is the Queen’s eldest son and the “longest-serving heir apparent in British history,” but at nearly 70, he may not want to take on the burden of becoming King. Charles may decide to abdicate like his Great-Uncle David did back in 1936 and pass on the throne to Prince William.
If that happens, everything will change immediately for Kate Middleton and Prince William., and Middleton won’t have much time for photography. Let’s hope that those difficult decision can be put off for a few more years, and that Queen Elizabeth regains her health quickly.
[Featured Image by Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images]