Signs Kate Middleton Is Ready To Be Queen

Catherine, Princess of Wales has been a member of the royal family since 2011, and after spending over a decade of her life serving the monarchy, she's displaying a plethora of signs that show she's ready to become the next queen of England. From increasing the number of official engagements she attends on her own and exuding confidence through her body language to implementing fashion choices once followed by Queen Elizabeth II in her own wardrobe, Catherine is not only living up to the expectations of a queen in waiting — she's absolutely crushing them. 

Though she was once believed to be nervous and insecure about her role in the royal family, the Princess of Wales now seems as poised and prepared as ever for the next stage of her life. She's made a name for herself as a proponent of child welfare and mental health and she's proven to be a valuable asset to Prince William and the entire institution. She's even become a fashion icon, and she's done it all while balancing three children. 

While her time as queen may still be a ways off, the princess has proven herself ready for the monumental role in the short time following Queen Elizabeth II's death and King Charles III's ascension to the throne. Catherine's grace under the pressure of the imminent title indicates she'll only be more self-assured when the time comes.

She's begun flying solo more often at official engagements and in interviews

In recent years — and especially since Queen Elizabeth II's death in September 2022 — Princess Catherine has fully stepped into her role as queen in waiting. The royal not only dutifully attends engagements with Prince William and the rest of the family, but she has also begun attending many events solo, always exuding confidence and poise. In 2023 alone, Catherine represented the royal family at the opening of The Young V&A and Hope Street in London, as well as the reopening of the National Portrait Gallery, among other engagements.

A source commented about this development, telling Us Weekly (per Marie Claire), "It used to be that you'd never see Kate at an event without William, but now she's attending many official functions on her own now — a sign that she's ready to be queen." Additionally, the source remarked about Catherine's presence on social media and her easy-going nature during both virtual and television interviews. "She's keen to continue that in the future as well," they added.

The princess has found confidence in her passion for helping others

Beyond her roles as Prince William's pillar of support and mother to their three children, Princess Catherine has pursued positions that allow her to help others who are, more often than not, children. After the princess married into the royal family in 2011, she took on four patronages, including East Anglia's Children's Hospices and the Art Room, a children's nonprofit organization. In the decade since, Catherine has ramped up her involvement in children's welfare, helping to lead groundbreaking research in early childhood development specifically where mental health and trauma are concerned.

Kate Stanley, director of strategy at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, described her experience working with the Princess of Wales. "The Duchess wouldn't just join us, she would stay for the whole meeting. She has a deep curiosity to really understand the issues," she told People. Two additional collaborators, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families CEO Peter Fonagy and chair of trustees Michael Samuel, praised Catherine's dedication, sharing in a statement: "Her commitment to children and family mental health is unflinching, and the interest she generates has encouraged many to talk openly about their experiences."

A source commented on Catherine's expanding leadership role, telling People, "She is an adoring mother, and she is contributing publicly in the way we would want her to. They added, "The young student has turned into our future queen."

Her wardrobe evolution points to her role as future queen

Like anyone, Princess Catherine's style has evolved since she's been a part of the royal family. However, her wardrobe has undergone a notable change since Queen Elizabeth II's passing, pointing to Catherine's preparation for becoming queen herself. The princess adheres to a tried and true formula when it comes to dressing, almost always sticking to ensembles featuring a fitted bodice, structured shoulders, and a cinched waist. Since stepping into her role as queen in waiting, the Princess of Wales has modified her looks to strictly follow a below-the-knee hemline. Catherine has also embraced wearing more color — a fashion choice she's almost certainly implemented due to her closer-than-ever position to the throne, taking a feather out of Queen Elizabeth's cap. Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, shed light on the late monarch's often bright and bold ensembles in the documentary "Our Queen at Ninety." "She needs to stand out for people to be able to say, 'I saw the Queen,'" Sophie shared.

Catherine has always been stylish, but her outfits in recent years have consistently been absolute showstoppers. There was her brilliant pastel green Wimbledon look in 2023, her glamourous monochromatic Barbiecore power suit for her visit to London's Kinship Carers at Saint Pancras Community Association the same year, and the enchantingly festive red gown and sparkling tiara she wore to the 2022 Diplomatic Corps reception at Buckingham Palace. These are just a few of an endless list of jaw-dropping examples.

She's comfortable as a key player in the royal family

While Princess Catherine has faced criticism over the years regarding her willingness to fulfill her duties as a working member of the royal family, she's now one of the strongest leaders in the monarchy — and not just because of her proximity to the throne. During a conversation with Fox News Digital, Nick Bullen, co-founder of True Royalty TV, asserted that Catherine has transformed into a source of inspiration and guidance for many prominent members of the royal family, including Prince William. "I believe she is involved in making quite a lot of the decisions on how things move forward and how the family is portrayed," Bullen shared, citing her knack for making astute image and branding choices.

Bullen also described Catherine's unwavering poise developed in recent years. "She is a very strong character who has transitioned from being a young bride to being a key player within the royal family," he asserted. Bulled remarked on the princess' shift to the forefront of the royal family since Queen Elizabeth II's death, taking a centerstage position at official engagements and in photographs. "She's now every inch the princess," he shared, adding, "And I think at the coronation [of King Charles III], everyone agreed that she looked very much the next queen."

The princess conducted herself as a mentee of Queen Elizabeth's

During the time she spent with and around Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Catherine took it upon herself to act as a mentee of the monarch — even though experts believe the two women were unlikely to have a formal mentorship arrangement. During a conversation with People, Sarah Gristwood, historian and author of "Elizabeth: Queen and Crown," explained that it wasn't in the late sovereign's nature to give lessons or explicit direction. "The queen has always preferred to do rather than to say," Gristwood elucidated. She expounded on the dynamic between the princess and Her Majesty, likening their relationship to that of those between the queen and her prime ministers. "With her audiences with her prime ministers, if there has been actual advice, it would be a discreet 'I think that went rather well' rather than actual instruction," Gristwood shared.

Sally Bedell Smith, the queen's biographer, echoed Gristwood's sentiment. "Catherine has learned by observing," Smith told People. "She knows what resonates. She will have absorbed a lot from this queen." Additionally, royal author Phil Dampier commented on the princess applying her learnings from Queen Elizabeth to the ongoing rift between Prince William and Prince Harry. "She has learnt so much from the queen, the ultimate pragmatist and bringer together of peoples and nations," he told The Sun. "The queen always looks for the positives, not the negatives, and Kate is now doing the same."

She's more than committed to her role — she fully embraces it

Princess Catherine has always expressed interest in and dedication to her role as a working member of the royal family, but now that she's closer than ever to becoming the next queen consort, she's really hit her stride and found her groove within the monarchy. A source who is reportedly close to the princess explained Catherine's outlook on her role in the establishment. "She knows that being a member of the royal family is a bit like having a contract — you sign on the dotted line and you deliver," they told People. "Kate is in her element right now; she's really stuck at it and persevered with what she believes in."

Lady Violet Manners, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland, also expressed her confidence in Catherine's ability to deliver as the future queen, gushing to Fox News Digital about her admiration for both the Princess and Prince of Wales. "There's a serenity with the work that they do that's so admirable," Manners opined of Catherine and William's philanthropic endeavors. She added, "I think the work that they do and the charities that they're involved with are exactly what you would hope for the future king and queen of this country to be shining a light on."

She thinks of herself and Prince William as a team

For Princess Catherine, her marriage to Prince William is about more than love — it's also about teamwork. The future king has an enormous role to fill, as does the future queen consort. To prosper as the successors to the throne, it's vital for the Prince and Princess of Wales to support each other and navigate royal life as a team. During a touching moment in 2021, Catherine credited William as her most significant source of support during the coronavirus pandemic, and he's speculated to have leaned on her following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's departure from the royal family. Commenting on the fissure in William and Harry's relationship, a source told Us Weekly that Catherine has "been her husband's pillar of strength throughout this whole ordeal," adding: "They lean on each other for support during difficult times and will talk through their problems."

A senior royal source sang the couple's praises during a conversation with People, averring, "They are a great double act. People make much of William giving the big speeches, but Kate is there too, asking questions of presidents and their wives. These things are easier when they are side-by-side." Additionally, a friend of the couple spoke of their harmonious dynamic, telling the outlet: "They have different roles, but they come together as a team."

The princess believes in herself, despite initially being intimidated by her future role

Despite her early (and completely understandable) nerves related to the pressure of joining the royal family, Princess Catherine has banished all doubts about her ability to deliver up to the institution's standards for a future queen. During a conversation with Us Weekly, a source explained that the Princess of Wales felt anxious around Queen Elizabeth II and apprehensive about the prying public eye for many years following her nuptials to Prince William. However, with time, self-assurance has taken the place of Catherine's early fears. "She's always up for a challenge, believes in herself, and feels that she has developed the wisdom, courage, and strength to be a success," the source said of the princess.

Body language expert Darren Stanton also commented on Catherine's self-confidence ahead of King Charles III's May 2023 coronation. "I believe at the coronation, we will see even more of an abundant, confident, and powerful version of Kate," he told Express UK. "I think Kate will perform admirably and continue to demonstrate what kind of monarch she will be with the eventual King William." Stanton also believed that "Kate is now the most confident member of the royal family," having fully eliminated body language that once gave away her discomfort in the spotlight.

She was eager to master her position in the royal family after marrying Prince William

After marrying Prince William in 2011, Princess Catherine put a lot of thought and effort into learning her role in the royal family and planning the foundation on which her legacy would be built. Rebecca Priestley, who served as Catherine's private secretary for seven years, recalled the beginnings of the princess' royal tenure and described the patient introspection displayed by the newlywed. "Catherine wanted to get under the skin of this new role and the challenges she was about to take on. She wanted to learn," Priestley told the Daily Mail. The former aide added, "There were a lot of under-the-radar visits and she saw people privately to help her understand the issues she wanted to put her name to. These were lifelong decisions she was taking. She wanted to have credibility when she spoke. And that actually takes huge strength of character."

Priestley also divulged William's easy-going encouragement, revealing the prince made it clear there was no rush for Catherine to make such major choices, despite harsh criticism from the public. Reflecting on the princess' success in the years following their time together, Priestley gushed, "It's been wonderful to see Catherine achieve what she wanted to, and it's all the more powerful because it is so genuine."

She's proven her ability to adapt quickly and (seemingly) effortlessly

Following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's exit from the monarchy in 2020, the deaths of both Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II in 2021 and 2022, respectively, and the restructuring of the institution under King Charles III's reign, Princess Catherine has proven her ability to adapt with grace and serenity. It's surely no small feat to undergo any changes as a member of the royal family, let alone so many monumental shifts within such a short period of time. However, the Princess of Wales has seamlessly transitioned into her role as queen in waiting without revealing any signs of stress, anxiety, or unease.

Royal historian Sarah Gristwood spoke to Vanity Fair about Catherine's place in the family following Charles' ascension to the throne, deeming the current era "one of the most important stages in Kate's life." She explained, "As a young mother Kate was allowed to raise her children away from the media spotlight, but now we are seeing a shift. She's working harder, being more visible, and we are also seeing more of the Cambridge children." Of the change in the royal family's dynamic post-Queen Elizabeth, Gristwood said, "Kate has been given a platform to take on a more prominent role. She's not just accompanying William to engagements, she is doing things independently and voicing new ideas."

The princess multi-tasks motherhood and monarchy while looking cool, calm, and collected

Princess Catherine's philanthropic work and prominent role in the royal family are even more impressive with her reputation as a hands-on mother — one who, despite being part of the most famous family in the world, reportedly puts a considerable amount of effort into giving her children a normal and grounded life. An alleged friend of the princess described the Wales household to People, explaining, "It's a normal, busy family home with kids running around and knocking things over." Of Catherine's parenting style, they revealed, "When you see her behind closed doors with the children, she's a very confident mom, and she's no pushover."

The source also detailed the princess' daily look while on mom duty, sharing it's a far — yet totally relatable — cry from her glamourous, refined ensembles for official engagements. "There are no blow-dries — it's always hair up in a ponytail," the friend explained. "She's either in her gym clothes or a dress and sneakers, very little makeup, apologizing as she's late for the school run before dashing off. It's the life of a working mom with three young children, just a different sort of day job to most," the source reported.

The Princess of Wales is known to escort her children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — to and from school and bake them homemade cakes for their birthdays, among other "normal" mom duties. She just happens to be the future queen of England.

People believe in her ability to be an excellent queen

Strangers, friends, and experts all believe in Princess Catherine's ability to lead as future queen. "She is ready to step into those shoes with ease and is perfect for the job," a friend of the princess told People. But it isn't just loved ones who have faith in Catherine. Former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond compared the Princess of Wales to Queen Elizabeth II's mother, opining that the two royals share several traits that make them strong leaders within the monarchy. "People always used to describe the Queen Mother as 'steel in a velvet glove,'" Bond told OK! Magazine, per Express UK. "She was always charming, gentle, and much admired. But she was also the strength behind her husband, George Vl, and at the palace, her opinion counted. I think Kate has some of those same qualities." She added, "We look at her now not just as William's wife, but as our future queen."

Catherine is also one of the most popular royals when it comes to public ratings. In July 2023, she became the most popular member of the royal family in the United States. Newsweek reported YouGov data showing Catherine had achieved a net approval rating of +35, with Prince Harry following at +24 and Prince William behind him at +22. YouGov also found the Princess of Wales to be the fourth most popular royal in the UK, following the late Queen Elizabeth, Prince William, and Princess Anne.

She's stayed grounded amid her soaring fame

Another commendable trait of Princess Catherine is her down-to-earth demeanor, despite her title as queen in waiting, her global fame, and her soaring popularity. While the princess' late mother-in-law was undoubtedly beloved — and still is to this day — royal biographer Christopher Wilson believes that Catherine has remained grounded in a way that Princess Diana did not. "What Kate has managed to achieve — and I think in a better way than Princess Diana did — is to combine magic with retaining a sense of the ordinary," Wilson told The Telegraph. "Kate has kept her feet on the ground, coming from this determinedly middle-class family, which has in turn helped to ground William too. Their marriage is strong because of that."

Wilson also complemented Catherine's ability to remain calm and collected while navigating a much more volatile social fabric than that of the one Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip traversed within the first decade of their marriage. Making his own comparison about Catherine's propensity for falling in line with expectations, royal author Phil Dampier told The Sun, "Grounded in a happy middle-class background, Kate has none of the hang-ups we have heard so much about in the royal family" — a subtle dig at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's concerns with the Windsor institution.

The princess inherited patronages that once belonged to Queen Elizabeth II

Before her death, Queen Elizabeth II charged Princess Catherine with continuing her work as royal patron of the Royal Photographic Society in 2019. Her Majesty served the organization for 67 years, having begun her patronage in 1952. The queen's decision to pass the position on to the Princess of Wales was especially moving considering Catherine's well-known passion for photography.

The same year, Queen Elizabeth bestowed Catherine with another of her most beloved patronages. The late monarch named the princess her successor as royal patron of the Family Action charity, an organization the longest-reigning sovereign was dedicated to for 65 years. Before she took over in 1953, her grandmother Queen Mary headed the patronage, making the transition to Catherine even more significant and meaningful.

Royal expert Katie Nicholl discussed the additional patronages being given to the Princess of Wales in "True Royalty's Kate: The Making of a Modern Queen." She explained (per Good to Know), "This is all very deliberate — it's very much part of the palace machine bringing her from the shadows of Anmer and into the forefront, into the spotlight, because they are very clever."