Prince William and Kate Middleton have been married for nearly 13 years. The Prince and Princess of Wales, whose royal titles changed over from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after King Charles took the throne, have both worked hard to build up their reputations with the public . And Kate, who now holds the same title that Princess Diana once held, has in some ways become the face of the royal family — just like William’s mother.
Still, despite the similarities between the two women in that sense, William said before he and Kate even wed that he never wanted her to feel like she had to “fill” his mother’s “shoes.”
Prince William never expected anyone to ‘fill’ Princess Diana’s shoes
When William and Kate first met at the University of St. Andrews in 2001, he could see there was something special about her. However, the two knew each other for at least a year before they started dating, and while they hit a couple of bumps in the road during their eight-year dating relationship, they ultimately always came back to each other.
In William and Kate’s engagement interview back in 2010, William made it clear that he had no expectations for Kate to fill his mother’s shoes but rather wanted her to be her own person. “No one is trying to fill my mother’s shoes,” William said in the interview. “It’s about carving your own future and your own destiny, and Kate will do a very good job at that.”
Of course, William’s words have seemingly rung true. More than a dozen years later, Kate has one of the highest approval ratings of any royal family member and has certainly built a memorable reputation for herself.
Kate Middleton keeps Princess Diana close to her
Although Kate never met William’s mother, the Prince of Wales proposed with Diana’s engagement ring and called it a way of “keeping her close” to it all. Kate has since found other ways to honor Diana, often looking to her past outfits for fashion inspiration and even wearing her jewelry.
Kate has taken her role as the Princess of Wales seriously, but she has never lost sight of who she is. One of Diana’s biggest roles as a royal was actually just being a mother to her two children, which she considered her biggest joy. Kate seems to have become the same way, always choosing to put her own children ahead of her royal duties. And while some people think Kate’s work ethic is lacking , others think she is just doing her best to be a hands-on mother while also being one of the most famous women in the world.