|Prince of Wales with Kate and William in December of 2011|
Thursday marked 1,000 days as a Duchess for Kate Cambridge. I immediately thought of that movie, Anne of the 1,000 Days, about Anne Boleyn's short and ill-fated reign as Henry VIII's 2nd queen. Dark, I know. Certainly not a good comparison to our Duchess who is happily married and has produced a male heir. Eeck. Today is actually the anniversary of Anne and Henry's marriage, too, but enough with distant history.
Already making waves this week, is the news that Prince Charles is merging his press office with the Queen's at Buckingham Palace, signaling what many claim is further proof Her Majesty is making way for Charles. This isn't all that exciting. After all, everyone knows that the Queen must begin to slow down given her age, and naturally Charles will step up his game to aid his mother. No one thinks the Queen will ever step down for him unless she goes entirely batty and that doesn't seem to be likely.
Far more interesting is that the younger royals will also be consolidated into the same press office. The Daily Beast is claiming this is a move on the part of Charles to hold the reigns of control a little tighter as he attempts to shift the focus from frivolous things like fashion and personal lives, to the more weighty topics that he wants the royals to be highlighting.
|The Six Senior Members of the BRF.|
Obviously, it is hard to say for certain what all the reasons for this consolidation are, or what is going through his head. It has been reported over the years that Charles worries about the viability of the monarchy in the modern age and he believes that to survive, it must be pared down. It was rumored, although not confirmed, that Prince Andrew and Prince Charles argued about this topic when Charles wanted the York girls to search for real world careers rather than expect to take on duties as working members of the royal family. Since that time, it has been a bit 50/50. Beatrice and Eugenie both appear to be working on finding their place in regular career paths, but they also have undertaken public engagements when they can. Whether this is because the initial rumors are untrue or because Andrew is a pretty forceful individual when he wants his way is not entirely apparent. Frankly, my money is on Andrew pushing for his way. Remember, at the root, this is still a family like any other. Charles is just Andrew's older brother, but from his perspective I am sure he wants his girls to have a greater role than Charles is willing to allow. That being said, the cards are stacked against Andrew and any royal not in direct succession, because ultimately, Charles is right. The monarchy has to keep the focus on the relevant. The energy and resources need to be directed toward the members of the royal family who keep the brand fresh and exciting, and those are the members of the family closest to the throne. Indeed, when the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, only the 6 most senior royals were present on the balcony appearance. Those royals were the Queen, (the DoE, was absent for health reasons) Charles and Camilla, William and Kate, and Prince Harry.
If Charles is attempting to continue this consolidation of power to highlight and stress which members of the royal family are more royal than others, it isn't an entirely unwise move. If he is hoping to quash the royal-mania over Kate, William, and the new Cambridge family, and the interest in the Middletons, or indeed the whole industry of royal watchers drawn in by Kate's ever increasing fame, he is making quite a large mistake. I hope that he is savvy enough to see that Kate makes the monarchy cool and this mania that has swept the globe, although not directly focused on the causes he may want to remain front and center, does generate a certain spinoff of interest in those causes that would otherwise not exist at all. Better to take what you can get. Remember, Charles, never look a gift horse in the mouth... If his aim is refocus attention to drier topics, his attempts will be futile, no one is going to tire of this any time soon:
|Royals Flirting? Kate and William at Vernon Park in June 2012|
Steve Finn/Splash News
Thankfully for Charles and the monarchy, our interest can only strengthen the family firm.