Kate Middleton ‘to take over’ Harry’s patronages says pundit
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Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge have become increasingly central figures in the Royal Family, having taken on more royal duties since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to leave royal duties last year. Kate will reportedly take over two of Harry’s responsibilities as patron of both the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Rugby Football League (RFL). The new position will be in addition to her roles as royal patron of the All England Lawn and Tennis Croquet Club, the Lawn Tennis Association, SportsAid and the 1851 Trust.
The RFU and RFL roles were held by Prince Harry for five years, who took over the position from the Queen in 2016.
Kate, who is a one of the more popular figures in the Royal Family, has been considered “wise” in not mimicking Princess Diana’s public persona, according to a former BBC reporter.
Kevin Connolly told Express.co.uk: “Diana set the bar impossibly high for anyone to be compared to her directly.
“I think the Duchess of Cambridge has very wisely decided and been very wisely guided towards establishing a very different type of public persona.
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“There is no sense about Kate Middleton that she aspires to the headline making glamour of Diana – dancing with Wayne Sleep, dancing at the White House or wearing those extraordinary ball gowns that made global front pages.
“The Duchess of Cambridge is clearly being shaped into a role and is herself shaping a role which is about being the consort to the future King, being the Queen, being the mother of the boy born to be king.
“She has found a role which I think the British people are extremely attached to.”
Mr Connolly added: “I don’t think anyone else is going to combine that radiant character, that sense of glamour, that sense of compassion with that sense of playfulness that Diana brought to all of these things.
“I’m sure people in the royal family will still find themselves being compared to her for a very long time to come, certainly after my generation is long gone.”
As BBC Paris correspondent in the 1990s, Kevin Connolly covered the immediate aftermath of Princess Diana’s death in a car crash in the French capital.
When asked why the death still resonated with the British public today, he spoke of the Princess of Wales’ unique ‘star quality’.
Mr Connolly said: “I think people couldn’t make sense of the idea that a life so large a part of the lives of other people, could be snuffed out so suddenly, so shockingly and in the end in what are such banal circumstances – a car crash.
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“I think it was clear even before it was really established that she was dead that Diana was simply the most captivating, most loved figure of our lifetime.
“People couldn’t make sense of the idea that someone so touched with a star quality, someone so loved, someone so familiar, someone who combined glamour and compassion [had died].
“So, all of those circumstances taken together mean the event burned itself into the collective memory.
“I’m still asked about more often than any other event in my working lifetime.”
Kevin spoke about his experiences as an on-the-sport reporter in Paris in an episode of the podcast ‘We Interrupt This Broadcast’, in which he and other broadcasters discussed what it was like to report on one of the biggest stories of the decade.
Diana biopic, Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart, will premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September.
The film will be focused on the breakdown of Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles over a three-day period in the ’90s, during one of her final holidays at Sandringham.
Listen to ‘We Interrupt this Broadcast’ here
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