In the few days since, William and Kate have already proved the their worth as de facto king and queen of England – positions they’ve been eagerly awaiting for some time.
“Obviously Kate and William have a very important role to play,” royals expert Phil Dampier tells New Idea. “They are going to be the only visible royals – the face of the royal family.”
Kate and William’s ascension to the throne comes at a time when they’re already held in high regard across Britain and the world, particularly given Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s recent departure from the royal family.
Off the back of a tour of Ireland, the royals have embarked on an extensive coronavirus outreach program. As an early indication of the plan for William to take over, on March 20, the Kensington Royal Instagram account posted a video of him speaking about COVID-19.
The same day, Kate and William visited the London Ambulance Service 111 Control Room and the NHS service in Croydon, thanking those on the front line for their dedication.
“They hopefully appeal more than the Queen to a younger generation, a lot of whom possibly aren’t taking in how serious coronavirus is,” Phil says. “People look up to them and they’ll bring strength and support.”
With Britain now in lockdown, it’s unclear exactly how Kate and William will continue their public duties and obligations given the couple are believed to be relocating from London to their home in Norfolk with the children as UK schools shut.
“William has already done one video message and I think that’s possibly the way forward,” Phil says. “They’re not going to take any unnecessary risks but will do as much as they can.”
It’s long been speculated that Charles could abdicate for his son, which appears to be even more likely after these next few months with Kate and William at the helm.
“For years people have kind of been forgetting about Prince Charles,” Phil says.
“A lot of people think we should just bypass him and go straight to William, so I’m sure they might well see this as an opportunity for them to [take over]. So I’m sure some people regard William and Kate as the king and queen in waiting.”
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