William makes his move at 40
As the prince hits his landmark birthday, he has a new home and vision for the monarchy's future
As Prince William turns 40 this week, he is moving, not only into his middle years, but the next stage of his royal role. Kerry wrote an in-depth look at what we can expect from the future king, for the Saturday Telegraph. Here’s an extract:
William is marking his milestone birthday on Tuesday, by making a big change. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are moving to a house on the Windsor Estate. They will take Prince George and Princess Charlotte out of their Battersea school at the end of the school year and enrol them in a school in Berkshire, where Prince Louis will join them in September.
They will retain their Kensington Palace home and Anmer Hall in Norfolk, but make their permanent base in the modest four-bedroomed Adelaide Cottage on the Windsor estate. It is thought the Cambridges will move into Windsor Castle itself when Charles becomes king. “There is a sense of the future accelerating towards him,” an aide told The Sunday Times, saying he is aware of the “added pressures on his father and his family being under even more scrutiny.”
He’s lived his whole life in front of the cameras – but behind the steely persona, who is the real William and what can we expect from the future? He previously told the BBC, “Well, I think the Royal Family has to modernise and develop as it goes along and it has to stay relevant. And that’s the challenge for me.”
Whatever his decisions, he will enjoy more support than his father – according to a recent YouGov poll, 77 per cent of the British public think William will do a good job as king, compared to 57 per cent for Charles.
Charles has been vocal about his desire to modernise the monarchy and once he takes the throne, it is believed he will waste no time in slimming down the palace “machine”, moving from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace and possibly turning Balmoral Castle into a museum. Running multiple palaces whilst campaigning for environmental issues isn’t sustainable, so it is expected William would further slim down the properties and open some more to the public.
He’s determined to make a difference with his philanthropy, including a project on homelessness. He was spotted selling The Big Issue in London recently and aides say he plans to use the Duchy of Cornwall, when he inherits it, to help with the homeless. Its vast estates currently bring Charles an income of £21 million a year and raise £100 million for his charitable causes. William, who is patron of homeless charities Centrepoint and The Passage, said Diana taking him to shelters as a child, “had a profound impact” on him. “She realised that it was very important when you grow up – especially in the life that we grew up – that you realise that life happens beyond palace walls, and that you see real people struggling with real issues,” he said.
The big issue for him, is what he does with that insight.
Hats off to the Queen at Royal Ascot
We all know Her Majesty is struggling with ongoing mobility issues and unfortunately this meant she was unable to attend her beloved Royal Ascot. No doubt, the Queen was glued to a TV at Windsor watching all the action but it didn’t help Ascot bookies and the long-held tradition of betting on the colour of her hat.
With the Queen’s presence at the five-day meet (which ended on Saturday) no longer guaranteed, bookies fear this popular punt is over. Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes told The Telegraph: “It really will be the end of an era if we don’t open that book again. We’ll no doubt start taking bets on Kate or Camilla’s hats but it won’t be the same.” With the exception of 2020 when the pandemic forced it to be held without spectators, Her Majesty had previously never missed attending these races since 1952.
Despite her no show, the Royal Family was out in force. Charles and Camilla led the way in the carriage procession on the first day. Other royals making an appearance, over the course of the event, were William and Catherine (in a polka dot Alessandra Rich dress reminding eagle-eyed fashion editors of Diana, Princess of Wales at Ascot in 1988), Princess Beatrice and husband Edoardo (who kept calm when one of their carriage horses was spooked), plus Anne, Zara and Mike Tindall and Edward and Sophie Wessex. For a photo finish, Carole Middleton was spotted in a Me + Em pink frock, exactly like the one worn by Catherine on a royal tour of Scotland in 2021. Hats off to Carole for a (could-be) wardrobe raid. We demand a steward’s inquiry!
Kate and William pay their respects at Grenfell
On Tuesday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a memorial service at the Grenfell Tower site, to mark five years since the terrible tragedy. The fire in the London tower block on June 14, 2017, took 72 lives, including 18 children.
The couple attended a service to remember those lost and Catherine laid a white wreath, with the message, ‘In remembrance of all those we have lost. Our thoughts and prayers are with you always.’ They spoke to bereaved family members and survivors and 18 green balloons were then released in memory of each child lost there.
“Today during a memorial service, we joined survivors in remembering those lost. It was an honour to meet the people of Grenfell United who organised the service and play a vital role providing pastoral care for those affected and advocating for families to ensure that such a tragic event is never repeated,” the couple posted on Instagram.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, also left a voice message for members of the Hubb Community Kitchen, with whom she previously collaborated on a cookbook. “Today we received a lovely voice message from the Duchess… asking how we are, about our children and families and giving us news of hers. Just being her beautiful kind self,” the team wrote on their Facebook page.
Camilla’s debut in Vogue
It’s fair to say the Duchess of Cornwall has had a pretty busy week. Invested as a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter on Monday, two days in a row at Royal Ascot, then on Saturday her debut interview and glamorous photoshoot in the July issue of British Vogue was released.
As Camilla prepares to celebrate her 75th birthday next month, she let the cameras into Clarence House and talked candidly about family, Charles and issues close to her heart. She also spoke about how she coped with the intense media scrutiny in the 1990s, saying that members of ‘the firm’ needed to try and rise above public criticism of their role. The Wordle-loving duchess also keeps a wedding photograph of Harry and Meghan on her desk.
Special teapot delivery at the Palace
We know she enjoys afternoon tea (with Paddington), so what better gift to send the Queen than her own tea set? That’s what ceramicist Katie Roberton of Outlandish Creations did and was thrilled to get a reply. “I have loads of famous clients, so I thought why not just try to get my ceramics to one of the most famous people in the world? I am a fan of the Queen,” Katie tells The Royal List.
She was thrilled when she spotted a Buckingham Palace crested envelope on her doormat. “I was so excited, I decided to video the whole thing,” she says. “The letter is now in pride of place on my Welsh dresser beside my card from Elton John!”
See Katie’s range of royal products here.