Kate’s rapport with public renews connectivity - GulfToday

Kate’s rapport with public renews connectivity

Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton

There was a palpable sense of happiness in the air when Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, made her first public appearance after six months. She was there for the Trooping the Colour ceremony to mark the birthday of King Charles III on Saturday. The Royal family appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch the fly past. Kate Middleton had undergone an abdominal surgery in January, and it was announced in March that she is undergoing preventative chemotherapy. In the early weeks when she dropped out of public engagements, there was intense speculation about her, and when the Buckingham Palace released a picture of her with the children it was found to have been doctored, and there was intense public criticism, especially from the social media. She had apologized for the faux pas. But the controversy and the ruckus surrounding it has, which had died down, and there was concern about her health. King Charles was also diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the royal family was under intense stress, both private and public. But Kate’s appearance on Saturday in her now quietly playful fashion sense, reminding the public of Kate’s mother-in-law, Princess Diana. While Diana was flamboyant and glamorous, Kate has created a niche of her own, an understated sense of fashion and glamour, and grace and affability. And it is this facet of her public persona that has captivated the British public, who are hopelessly in love with the royal family. With the exit of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his American consort, Meghan Markle, the responsibility of projecting the image of the royal family fell on the shoulders of Kate.

The buzz that her return to public engagement on Saturday revealed much about the British public and the royal family, and more particularly Kate. She has begun to symbolize the royal family more than the others. She is the public face of the family and she fulfils her role with dignity and warmth. It is not an easy role especially after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who had established a personal connect with the people over the seven decades she had been on the British throne. What Kate has managed to do after the queen’s death was this assured sense of responsibility and image that she conveyed, redefining the role of the royal family in the 21st century. The Wales’ present a happy middle class British family, and Kate is the one who seems to lead the way.

And she has established a rapport with the people which shows warmth and easy familiarity without losing the sense that people look to her. She wrote in a message on Friday, a day before she emerged for her first public engagement: “I have been blown away by all the kind messages of support and engagement over the last couple of months. It really has made the world of difference to William and me and has helped us both through some of the harder times.” And she was not afraid of showing the sense of vulnerability that her health condition has created, and she shares it with the people: “I am learning how to be patient, especially with uncertainty. Taking each day as it comes, listening to my body, and allowing myself to take this much-needed time to heal.”

This reciprocative affection and understanding between the public and Kate marks a high point for the royal family at a time when it seemed that monarchy is only too ready to wither away. But the times are stressful and confusing, and it seems that the royal family is a reassuring reference point for the people. There are no role models among political and social leaders. Kate has played a big role in her own quiet and graceful manner in putting the royal family in the centre of the national life.

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