London — Whenlast week, her son Charles, 73, immediately got the job he’s been waiting for his whole life, though recent displays of regal irritation, including over a leaky pen, have led some wonder whether he possesses the grace his mother brought to the regal role.
Among the other members of Britain’s royal family who got new titles last week were King Charles III’s first son and his daughter-in-law, Prince William and Kate, whom he
William, the Prince of Wales, is now theto inherit the British throne. The last person to hold his wife’s title, Princess of Wales, was Princess Diana.
As CBS News senior foreign correspondent Holly Williams reports, Kate — or Catherine, as she’s formally called by the royal family — is a tall, elegant woman, much like her husband’s late mother. Also like Princess Diana, Kate is shy, but has been thrust into public view through her marriage to a future king.
had held the Prince of Wales title — traditionally reserved for monarchs-in-waiting — since his investiture in 1969, which was a typical display of British pomp and circumstance.
More than 50 years later, Kate and William find themselves living in a very different age. Polling shows that a majority of British people still support the monarchy, and the centuries-old dynasty is a lucrative tourist attraction. It arguably even helps maintain political stability in the U.K.
But a lot of taxpayer cash is spent on the royals and, these days, the British public expects value for its money.
Hugo Vickers, a royal commentator who knew the queen for over five decades, says the jobs that Prince William and Kate have just been given are important ones, focused on the day-to-day, bread-and-butter work carried out by the royal family.
While Vickers said that could, perhaps, seem to be the “more boring aspects” of their roles, it should not be undervalued.
“The fact that they take seriously an enterprise, a school, a hospital, a dying person, or they talk to the NHS staff — this is a really important role,” Vickers said. “The queen obviously had this extraordinary sort of atmosphere around her, because if she went toafter that terrible conflagration … she wasn’t doing it for political reasons at all. She was doing it to comfort her people. And I mean, I know people who were there during her visit, and the effect was profound.”
Kate and William are much better liked than the king, according to polls, just as Diana was more popular than her husband in her time. Many royal observers believe Diana’s huge popularity frustrated Charles. So, could his son and Kate’s star power present a problem in the years ahead?
“It shouldn’t be. I hope it isn’t. It should be a benefit. But he may not see it like that,” Vickers said of King Charles. “He’s been through this before.”
Charles announced William’s new title on Friday, in hisas the king, saying he was “proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty.”
Charles said William and Kate would “continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the center ground, where vital help can be given.”
A poll last week found that 40% of Britons felt Charles should step aside and allow William to take the throne. That seems unlikely.
When he spoke to nation the day after his mother died, Charles vowed to serve “throughout the remaining time God grants me.”