Princess Diana's Former Butler Says Kate Middleton Holds Royal Family's Future In Her Hands

Queen Elizabeth II was on the throne for 70 years, and she was the longest reigning monarch in the UK. As such, there are plenty in Britain who have never seen anyone else on their money and on their stamps — the first coins featuring the face of King Charles III have already entered circulation in the UK, according to the Royal Mint. Queen Elizabeth also had impressively high approval ratings at the end of her reign with an IPSOS poll in May 2022 showing 86% of Britons were "satisfied with the way The Queen is doing her job." Prince William was ranked at 81% followed by now-King Charles III at 65%.

With the passing of the queen, who the Dean of Exeter told BBC was "the mother of the nation," there have been some who are questioning the role of the monarchy. Uncertainty about the British monarchy's future within the Commonwealth was highlighted during some of the royal visits to the Caribbean in 2022. There were protests in Jamaica and Belize when William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales visited. And while King Charles may be the head of the royal family now, barring any huge shakeups, we know that Prince William will be next, followed by Prince George. But Paul Burrell, former butler to Princess Diana, thinks the royal family's future isn't in the hands of those in line for the throne, but instead it lies with Kate.

While not born into the royal family, Kate Middleton is now a key part of its future

Paul Burrell, who worked as a footman to Queen Elizabeth II and as a butler for Princess Diana, commented on the role that Catherine, Princess of Wales has on keeping the royal family together. "Kate is in such an incredible position because it all rests on her really, the future rests on Kate and that's an enormous responsibility because if she decided that she didn't want to be a part of her marriage any more then I think the royal family would collapse," he said, as reported by Mirror.

As the wife to William, Prince of Wales, Kate is in line to be the country's next queen as well as someday becoming the Queen Mother when their son Prince George becomes king. So while she wasn't born into the royal family, Kate's clearly a part of it now.

Burrell compared Kate to the last woman who was Princess of Wales: "Back in my day, the future seemed to be pinned on Diana Spencer, our future queen. ... It's not an enviable position to be in."  But if her recent public appearances are any indication, Kate seems to be handling the pressure, and the marriage between the Prince and Princess of Wales seems strong.

The Prince and Princess of Wales are popular in the UK

Catherine, Princess of Wales has high approval ratings within the UK. In a YouGov poll from January 2023, 68% of those polled had a positive opinion of Kate. The top spot went to Princess Anne with 72% approval who was followed by William, Prince of Wales with 70%. King Charles III was rated at 62%.

Kate's public royal role is expanding as Princess of Wales. For example, on St. Patrick's Day, she was named the honorary colonel of the Irish Guards, a role her husband had previously held, according to People. She has continued her work in support of early childhood education, and she's used her platform as Princess of Wales to bring attention to charitable causes, which is something Diana, Princess of Wales did as well.

There had been some speculation before the queen's death that William and Kate could leapfrog over Charles and become the next king and queen, but as People pointed out, that would go against the royal succession rules laid out in the 1701 Act of Settlement.