The Kate Middleton Effect: How to Become a British Royal Princess

kate middleton
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Kate, Princess of Wales, pictured in November 2023.

Dec. 25 2023, Published 2:00 p.m. ET

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Do you think you’ve got what it takes to be a royal? It takes a special person to be a princess. Even in the short time since she married Prince William, Kate, Princess of Wales, a title so memorable thanks to Diana, has proved herself worthy of the title. After a series of royal divorces and one princess leaving the Firm for Hollywood with her prince, the former Kate Middleton is committed to the role.

"There's no question that Kate has helped revive both the image and public interest in the royal family," says royals expert Victoria Arbiter. "She brought with her a newfound optimism and excitement, while also injecting a freshness and glamor that people could identify with. In some respects, she feels accessible. She's the best friend you'd like to have, and it feels like she could be one of the girls."

Here is what Arbiter says it takes to be a perfect British princess in the modern age.

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kate middleton
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The Princess of Wales has been praised for both her style and commitment to her royal duties.

SMILE: "It helps to have the ability to keep an authentic smile plastered on your face at all times."

WARMTH: "You need to make someone feel instantly comfortable and at ease in your presence."

LANGUAGE SKILLS: "A gift for foreign languages is a major plus," Arbiter added.

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kate middleton
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The Prince and Princess of Wales at the Royal Variety Performance on November 30, 2023.

ROLE MODEL: "Live by the queen mother's mantra, 'Never complain, never explain.'"

ATTENTION: "You need the ability to stay awake through long drawn-out dinners and speeches."

WILLINGNESS: "Be a good sport and be prepared to give anything a go."

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kate middleton
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Kate, Princess of Wales, pictured in December 2022.

KINDNESS: "Be charitable, compassionate, and caring," says Arbiter.

ROYAL PURSUITS: "It's good to like horses, tweed, dogs, picnics, and Scotland in no particular order."

STYLE: "It really helps to look good in hats.”

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Three royal princesses and one Queen consort: Diana, Princess of Wales, Sarah Ferguson, Meghan Markle and Queen Camilla.

Above all else, it helps to be compatible with the prince whose attention you have caught. Throughout the 1,200-year history of the British monarchy, there have been countless royal mismatches. The most recent example is Diana, Princess of Wales, and the then-heir to the throne, Prince Charles' disastrous union that lasted from 1981 until their divorce in 1996.

Diana, Sarah Ferguson and Meghan Markle all decided that being a royal princess was not for them, which is why it is also important to know full well what you are getting into. The press attention on a British princess is always likely to be intense, and the Princess of Wales has shown that she has what it takes to become a Queen consort when the time comes. Kate always ignores negativity and shows that she is fully dedicated to her duties and not her star power.

These are the traits that served past consort princesses well. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Queen Mary and Queen Alexandra, and the current consort, Queen Camilla, are all examples worthy of study.

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kate middleton
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Kate Middleton pictured in 2017 when she was the Duchess of Cambridge during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

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