The Duchess of Cambridge is 40 on Sunday. And, frankly, aren’t we lucky to have her? In a world going increasingly mad on its own wokeness, and a royal family coming apart at the seams (thanks Harry and Andrew), Kate is a beacon of stability and decency.
She’s a throwback to a better age where life wasn’t just about what I can get but what I can give, where service, responsibility and yes fortitude still meant something.
And the fact she made FHM’s top 10 of the world’s most beautiful women is neither here nor there. Keep it down in the cheap seats.
The contrast between the Princes’ choice of wives could barely be more stark.
Meghan showy, self-aggrandising, crass, and clearly desperate to be the power in that particular royal power couple. Kate quietly confident, supportive and genuine, and because of that a woman who so obviously holds true control over every situation she finds herself in.
She once confessed to finding meeting foreign heads of state intimidating yet she has them all falling over themselves the moment she enters the room such is her presence and warmth. She even had Macron drooling like a smitten schoolboy.
In truth she betrays a strength and both an intellectual and emotional intelligence which seems screamingly absent from most of our national ambassadors. Be honest who would you rather go in to bat for Britain on the world stage… Kate? Meghan? Boris? Prince Andrew? Or, god forbid, an MP like Angela Rayner? It’d be Kate every time wouldn’t it?
‘Course it would. Us hacks are supposed to critique and analyse and, yes, spot failings, hypocrisy and weakness in the great and the good. Such is life. But it’s genuinely hard to find any in Kate, she’s just a good person and deeply easy to like. It’s enough to make an American actress green with envy.
But it’s all the more disarming because while Meghan has made a big show of her “good work for charidee” Kate has just quietly got on with it.
And we Brits like that. A lot.
It’s not PR either. Kate getting stuck into charity work massively pre-dates her royal status. At St Andrews’ University she was one of the 12-strong Lumsden Club which helps womens’ and childrens’ charities – not much royal spotlight there. And even after graduating while working at fashion chain Jigsaw (a proper job you’ll note) she found time to raise funds for UNICEF and a massive £100,000 for a local hospital. She also volunteered at a local childrens’ hospice.
There was no PR spin-off here, she was just being an incredibly selfless young woman.
We like that too.
And it does take selflessness to be a royal. Yes membership brings with it trappings of huge wealth and fame (though Kate was not exactly skint before) but it does come with serious rules and restrictions. Remember celebrating your 40th down the pub with friends and family? Kate, for obvious reasons, won’t be doing that.
Yet she has never flinched from her role for a second, let alone thought of running away to another country.
Try this scary thought experiment – imagine a world in which the royal partners were switched and Kate married Harry and Meghan married Wills. Sends shudders down the spine doesn’t it?
Doesn’t take a huge mental leap to imagine it could have been the death knell for the British Royal Family as they became a laughing stock across the world – and of course on Oprah’s global TV show.
So thank God the job is in the safe hands of a woman rapidly becoming our favourite royal. And it is no surprise the Queen favours Kate as her key support in the coming years.
The Duchess of Cambridge is pretty much everything you could want of a royal, and along with the husband she grounds so well, she might well be the Windsors’ saving grace.
Happy birthday Kate.