Royal expert Duncan Larcombe discusses all things royal in his new column The Royal Report.
The monthly column, exclusive to woman&home, features Duncan's expert insight on royal news as well as insider information from his palace sources.
Harry and Meghan's royal Christmas
Palace sources insist Harry and Meghan will not be added to the guest list this Christmas. It had been thought that, had the Queen been alive, she would extend a festive olive branch, but my insider says that now she has passed, any get-together is ‘extremely unlikely’.
Most families try to put differences to one side at Christmas; surely the royals could muster up something for the season of goodwill?
William and Kate's transformation
William and Kate have undergone an astonishing transformation since the day they walked down the aisle. After more than a decade waiting in the wings, the Duke and Duchess are now the jewel in the crown of the British monarchy. And as the second Elizabethan era comes to an end, the couple will soon hold the future of the institution itself in their hands.
William knows the job of winning the public hearts and minds started the day he was born.
When they celebrated their 10th anniversary on April 29 last year, William and Kate’s prominence within the Royal family started to explode.
Less than two years on and the couple seem to have been everywhere, from the red carpets of film premiers to those that greet them in far-flung corners of the Commonwealth. Their once shielded children don the front pages of newspapers and there is a sense the public is starting to feel they know what makes them tick.
But it wasn’t always this way. In their early years as husband and wife they kept a low profile, living in a remote cottage on Anglesey far away from the bounds of Royal duty. William became a rescue helicopter pilot and they bought a secluded mansion in one of England’s quietest counties.
The day they became parents, the Cambridges embarked on a battle to protect their children’s privacy. And there was a sense the family were almost frightened to expose themselves to the limelight. But those days now seem long ago. The signs are that the inevitable has started to happen – William is realizing his destiny.
From my seat in Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey, I watched as the then Bishop of London stood in the pulpit to bless the breath-taking wedding of him to Kate Middleton. As a Royal correspondent, it was my job to build a relationship with the younger royals as well as report on their every move.
I was lucky enough to have got to know the couple and when their big day arrived I was one of six journalists invited in for what turned out to be a ringside seat. Neither bride nor groom took their eyes off the the Right Rev Richard Chartres as he stared back and told them, "Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire."
It may have taken a decade, but the twist and turns of recent events have forced them to significantly up their game. Meghan and Harry’s departure from official Royal life was a huge shock at first, but William and Kate soon realized the opportunity it presented. No longer part of a ‘Fab Four’, the days they feared being ‘out-sparkled’ by the Sussexes have all but disappeared.
The Queen’s ill health did much to accelerate the inevitable need for William to take on more Royal jobs. It also meant he and Kate had little option but to accept. William’s father is acting as Prince Regent in all but name, while they have started looking every bit like the Prince and Princess of Wales-in-waiting.
Once George turned eight, William and Kate felt he was ready to make more public appearances, and within months he and his siblings have become a familiar sight. And then the Jubilee threw the focus on the three direct heirs to the throne and the continuity of the family itself. William’s carefully staged speech spelling out his priority is the challenging task of saving the planet.
The bishop’s wedding day challenge may yet have been accomplished, but it won’t be too long before the Duke and Duchess sit front and center of the institution they will one day lead.
Duncan Larcombe is an award-winning journalist and former Royal Editor of The Sun. As well as this prestigious role, he also worked as the paper’s Defence Editor, which saw him reporting from the front line with British and American troops in Afghanistan.
Throughout his career, Duncan has become a leading expert on the Royal Family, in particular Prince Harry, having written the best-selling biography Prince Harry: The Inside Story.
On top of his successful career as a writer, Duncan is regarded as a leading royal commentator and is a regular fixture with US TV network, ABC.
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