Kate Middleton shares support for Children’s Mental Health Week
Last night, Channel 5 aired the documentary ‘When the Middletons Met the Monarchy’, which followed the journey of Kate’s family as they joined the royals through marriage. It was unusual for a future King to marry someone from a normal, middle-class family and so it was quite an adjustment, but the Palace were eager not to repeat the heartbreaking Diana saga, and so accepted her family with open arms. The Princess of Wales revealed that she felt incredibly lonely in her marriage to Charles and struggled with mental health issues for years.
This, compounded with their 13-year age gap and Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, their marriage ended up breaking down entirely and ended in divorce.
This was hugely damaging both to the monarchy itself and to those involved personally.
One royal expert has suggested that Diana felt detached from her family and unsupported, so when it came to Kate the royals learned their lesson.
Another royal expert commentator added that royal brides are often consumed by the Royal Family and lose their sense of identity as a result.
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Kate’s family were welcomed because the royals did not want a repeat of the Princess Diana crisis
Kate’s parents Michael and Carole Middleton
Katie Nicholl explained in the ITV documentary ‘Kate: The Making of a Modern Queen’, that Diana was cut off from her family.
However, the Duchess of Cambridge has maintained strong connections with her own family ‒ her parents Michael and Carole, and her siblings Pippa and James ‒ who were warmly welcomed into the fold.
Now, Kate is a confident public figure, wife to Prince William ‒ a marriage that has helped strengthen the monarchy ‒ and a mother of three, securing the royal lineage.
Ms Nicholl said: “I think very much there is a feeling in the Palace that they want to learn from the mistakes of the past and didn’t want a royal bride who felt isolated and lonely and cut off from her family and miserable.
Princess Diana felt lonely in her marriage and struggled with depression and bulimia
“Because that has happened before and they didn’t want a repeat of Diana.
“So I definitely think courtiers were determined that Kate should marry into the family feeling as comfortable as possible.
“And I just don’t think William was going to take any changes ‒ I mean, he adores the Middletons.
“He has a very close relationship with Michael and Carole, so he also did not want them to be sidelined as soon as Kate married into the family.”
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Kate’s parents on the balcony with Prince Charles and Camilla
Social historian and author Ferdinand Mount explained in the 2017 documentary how, previous to Kate, most people marrying into the Royal Family appeared to be entirely consumed by the court and estranged from their own families.
He emphasised how this marriage has been different in that Kate has maintained a strong bond with her parents and siblings.
He compared this to Prince Philip when he married the Queen ‒ the Duke began to feel like he was “a mere appendage” of his wife, in part because he had no other family.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s family had been ousted from Greece by an anti-monarchist movement when he was just a baby and lived in exile, before being scattered across Europe.
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Diana, too, came from the broken home ‒ her parents split when she was just seven years old and was so swept up in Palace life that she reportedly did not keep a strong connection with them.
She had a difficult relationship with her mother, who she felt had abandoned her when she was young, and for a long time hated her step-mother Raine.
However, later in life, the princess realised everything Raine did for her father and the two became friendly.
Meanwhile, Kate had a happy, stable upbringing in a normal family away from the limelight.
What’s more, courtiers were actively working to make sure Kate could spend time with her family.
William is also close to the Middletons, having known them for many years before his marriage, and enjoyed flopping down on their sofa and embracing the normalcy of it.
Emily Nash, the royal correspondent for Hello magazine, said she believed the current state of things would continue.
She said: “I don’t think there will be any need for her to distance herself from her family.
“They are obviously very important to both William and Kate and they’ve really been accepted into the fold, if you like.”
She pointed out that the Queen has been seen driving Carole Middleton around Balmoral and that the family have enjoyed lunches at Sandringham and stayed at Charles’ Birkhall Home.