Although almost all attention will be focused on Queen Elizabeth next week as she celebrates her 70th anniversary on the throne this year, attention is shifting to her grandson Prince William for those who have an eye on the future of the British monarchy.
Elizabeth’s son Andrew, William’s younger brother Prince Harry, has resigned from the U.S. in 2020 and is being held accountable for several years by the British royal family in a case of sexual harassment against Prince Harry, Elizabeth’s son Done. And heir Prince Charles.
A growing source of public concern for the popular 96-year-old queen, forcing her to move away from public engagement, her platinum jubilee will mark a time to look forward, not just to reflect on her past.
Most polls show that the majority of the British people support the monarchy, and while his 73-year-old father is less popular, William – second in line to the throne – and his wife Kate is the second most beloved member of the royal family.
However, surveys also suggest that people under the age of 50 are much more skeptical about the organization.
“The future depends on Prince William,” said Matthew Dennison, the Queen’s biographer. “And we all know that public opinion can be ruthless.”
A decade ago, during Elizabeth’s then Diamond Jubilee celebrations, there was a significant moment when she welcomed the crowd from the porch of Buckingham Palace with Charles, his wife Camilla, William and his wife Kate and Harry.
This reflects Charles’s long-understood plan to effectively reduce the monarchy in his immediate family after he became king.
But the shock departure of Harry and his wife Megan to the United States paid off, putting even more pressure on 39-year-old William and his young family to maintain the organization’s long-term effectiveness and popularity while navigating a rapidly changing society.
‘The Last of the Mohicans’
“William is the main person because William is going to be king one day,” said Charles Ray, a former royal correspondent for the Sun. “He’s basically the last of the Mohicans. I think William has a terrible thing on his shoulders for the future of the monarchy.”
William and Kate, 40, have enjoyed extremely positive media coverage over the past five years as one of the most glamorous couples in the world with Hollywood star appeal. The prince has dropped the nickname “Work-Shy Wills” given to him by British tabloids over the past decade when they advised the couple to be lazy.
“Honestly I’m going to get a lot of criticism in my lifetime and this is something I don’t completely ignore but it’s not something I totally think about,” he said in a 2016 interview marking the Queen’s 90th birthday.
William has also been praised for his work on mental health, homelessness and the environment, but the couple’s recent trip to the Caribbean was a wake-up call after some protests over Britain’s imperialist past and had some repercussions. A colonial cast
“I know this visit raises sharp questions about the past and the future,” William said in a highly unusual statement issued at the end of the tour.
According to the Sunday Mirror, the visit prompted William and Kate to reconsider what the monarchy should look like, with the couple saying they wanted to be known by their names, not their titles – Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
“They want to try to avoid bows and courtesies in public, be more accessible, less formal, less crowded and focus on a modern monarchy by breaking many traditions,” a source told the paper on condition of anonymity.
Miguel Head, who was the prince’s chief aide for a decade until 2018, said William did not like the ceremony, he understood its importance.
“When he comes to the top, he won’t end it all,” the head told the Sunday Times. “He is aware that monarchy represents something that is above all of us, and many people like its magic and theater.”
William acknowledged the need for the monarchy to move with the times in order to remain relevant, for which the Queen has been praised. In 2016, Prince called her his best role model for the job.
“The challenge for me is how can I make the royal family relevant in the next 20 years, and it could be 40 years, it could be 60 years … I hope this is something I can do.”
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)