Prince William and his wife Kate, Princess of Wales, have carried out multiple official engagements in the last few weeks. Most recently, the Prince and Princess of Wales attended her first St Patrick's Day Parade at Mons Barracks. On Friday, Kate joined the Irish Guards in Aldershot for the first time as Colonel of the regiment. The parade saw William officially pass on his title of Colonel of the Irish Guards to his wife, a move brought on by King Charles III's reassigning a number of royal patronages late last year. William and Kate have played central roles in the months since Charles ascended the throne, and some commentators have pointed out differences in their approach to recent royal service, with one highlighting a turning point for the couple.
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Pauline Maclaran, a professor of Marketing & Consumer Research at Royal Holloway University, described Kate and William as "change-makers" who are taking a "much more humble approach" to royal duty.
She told Express.co.uk: "I think what we see with William and Kate is offering to serve and be much more humble in their approach. And, of course, they need that to get through this period of transition from the Queen to Charles - who is known to be quite a privileged individual.
"The whole focus on diversity and woke issues are making the topic of white privilege really quite an uncomfortable one, so the royals have to deal with that as well. And we see Kate and William much more willing to show this other side of service and were taking commands from the public, rather than commanding the public. I think that's how they dealt with the Caribbean trip that was deemed a bit of a PR disaster."
She added: "I think William was very shocked at the mistakes made and the reactions; he then realised that he had to take more control of how things were managed. And again putting the emphasis on service: 'We're not going to try to be the head of any state that doesn't want us, but tell us if we can be of service to you,' is the approach I understand he took as the outcome of the tour."
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The Princess and Princess of Wales embarked on their official tour of the Caribbean in March 2022. They visited Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas during an eight-day trip to mark the late Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee.
Almost immediately, the royal visit became shrouded in controversy, with protests and calls for reparations often overshadowing the couple's outings, and, as Professor Maclaran noted, the tour was largely deemed as a "PR disaster".
Their trip marked the first time William and Kate had faced significant backlash on an official tour. It also pulled the focus to republican sentiment bubbling in the Commonwealth realms, with some expected to break ties with the monarchy in the near future.
In an unprecedented address to mark the end of the tour, the Prince of Wales reflected on the future governance of the Caribbean countries. "I know that this tour has brought into even sharper focus questions about the past and the future. In Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas, that future is for the people to decide upon," he said.
"Catherine and I are committed to service. For us, that's not telling people what to do. It is about serving and supporting them in whatever way they think best, by using the platform we are lucky to have."
Following their return to the UK, it was reported that the Prince and Princess intended to do things the "Cambridge way" and, in the process, "rip up the royal rule book".
Now, it appears that the couple have put their plans in action, with both William and Kate undertaking engagements they may have skipped in the past.
Russell Myers, associate editor at the Daily Mirror and co-host of Pod Save The King, referred to the Princess's recent visit to Salisbury Plain.
Kate joined members of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards in a drill exercise at the Salisbury Plain Training Area in Wiltshire earlier this month.
She visited the troops and was taken on a tour of the training area by Major General Christopher Ghika, commander of the Army in London and the Household Division, and Lieutenant Colonel James Aldridge, commander of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards.
Donning camo and braving the snow to take part in a battlefield exercise, Kate helped administer first aid to a wounded soldier in the scenario.
Lieutenant Colonel Aldridge said his battalion was delighted to welcome the Princess for her first visit as Royal Colonel. He said: "It is particularly fitting on International Women's Day that a few of our female soldiers met such an inspiring female role model.
"It is a real honour for all the guardsmen to meet their Royal Colonel in the field here on Salisbury Plain and demonstrate a few of our basic operational skills."
Mr Myers noted Kate's willingness to get "properly stuck in" during her visit, telling the most recent episode of the Pod Save The King podcast that both she and William "are doing a bit more of late".
He said: "It does seem to me they're getting out there. They're not reinventing the wheel but it was great to see her [Kate] out and about taking it seriously, not just turning up in a chauffeur-driven car but actually getting amongst it."
"This is something that I've always trumpeted, saying the royals really need to get out and be out and about," the commentator continued.
"We know what they look like in sashes, tiaras, crowns and all the white tie gear, but this is totally different. It shows a different light to them. It shows they're taking it seriously."2023-03-20T09:39:25Z dg43tfdfdgfd