The “future” of the royal family rests on the shoulders of Kate Middleton, Princess Diana’s former butler has said in a new interview.
Paul Burrell, who worked for Diana for more than a decade until her tragic death in 1997, told The Mirror that the family would simply “collapse” if the new Princess of Wales were to ever leave her marriage.
“Kate is in such an incredible position because it all rests on her really,” Burrell said.
“The future rests on Kate, and that’s an enormous responsibility because if she decided that she didn’t want to be a part of her marriage any more, then I think the royal family would collapse.
“Everything is pinned up by Kate, the future is underpinned by Catherine Middleton and that’s incredible.”
Burrell added it is “not an enviable position to be in” – comparing Kate’s new-found burden to the one shouldered by her late mother-in-law.
“Back in my day, the future seemed to be pinned on Diana Spencer, our future queen,” he said.
“Now we’re looking at another Princess of Wales who is in the same role that Diana had, married to a Prince of Wales and the future of the monarchy is down to her.”
He said the Prince and Princess of Wales “are trying to portray a very positive image”, calling it “good for the royal family”.
“I want to believe that they are as in love in private as they appear to be in public. Those little gestures are lovely to see from the public’s point of view because it reassures us something is good, something is being done right because Diana wouldn’t have done that,” Burrell said.
“In the later years [of Charles and Diana’s marriage] you saw her do the opposite of that. You saw her turn her cheek against the Prince of Wales when he came to kiss her. You saw her looking the other way out of the car when she wanted to portray a different message.”
Burrell is not the first former royal staffer to declare the family’s future is up to Kate.
Last January, Patrick Jephson, who was once Diana’s chief of staff, singled out the mother-of-three as the key figure in shaping the royal’s next chapter.
“As the Prince Andrew scandal shows, the monarchy is in desperate need of reassuringly conventional royal performers,” Jephson told Page Six.
“Catherine is just what these troubled royal times need – it’s no exaggeration that the Windsors’ future lies in her hands.”
Jephson said that Kate had “mastered” the “ultimate long game” of the monarchy.
“It helps that Catherine, like Diana, has that indefinable but essential royal quality: presence. She has the bearing, the gravitas, the regal factor that already sets her apart from other royal women as a future queen,” he added.
Not everyone agrees, however, that the Princess of Wales’ “success” is because she’s followed in the footsteps of her beloved predecessor.
Speaking to 9Honey in August, royal expert Katie Nicholl – the author of Kate: The Future Queen – said that “one of the great strengths of Kate” was actually that she hadn’t.
“I don’t think she seeks to emulate Diana. I think she was so aware of the comparison right from the outset, but despite the weight of that engagement ring on her finger, and the significance that that holds and the comparisons it inevitably draws, she is actually a very different woman,” Nicholl said.
“Her success has been in carving her own identity in the Royal Family as the Duchess of Cambridge and making that role herself.”
While Kate has emulated Diana “when she wears her jewellery and some of the outfits” and in that “she’s sort of trying to raise the children in an ordinary way”, Nicholl said, “for the most part, Kate really strives and works very hard to be her own royal”.
“To be her own person, to be a totally unique Duchess of Cambridge, and I think she succeeded in that.”
– with the New York Post
Story Credit: news.com.au