What Do British People Think of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge?

Kate Middleton seemed like the most popular member of the British royal family — at least until Meghan Markle came along. Now, it’s difficult to tell what people really think of the Duchess of Cambridge, who doesn’t seem as exciting as the Duchess of Sussex (even though Kate is actually younger than Meghan). So what do British people think of Kate Middleton?

Ahead, discover some interesting insights into how people relate — or don’t — to the Duchess of Cambridge.

People want Prince William and Kate Middleton to be the next king and queen

Kate Middleton and Prince William

Kate Middleton and Prince William | Mark Large-Pool/Getty Images

Newsweek reports that according to a recent poll, more than half of Britons think that Prince William should be the next king. (Prince Charles is pretty unpopular in that regard.) The same poll showed that 63% of respondents want Kate Midleton to be the next queen, versus just 8% who prefer Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, or the 3% who would like to see Meghan Markle on the throne.

However, that doesn’t quite predict the royals’ likability. Newsweek reports that all of the royals except for Prince Charles and Camilla get a positive approval rating. Prince Harry and Prince William both got 81% approval ratings, followed by Queen Elizabeth II at 80%. Only then comes Kate Middleton, who got a 77% approval rating — not as low as Prince Philip’s 65% or Meghan Markle, who got 49% positive ratings and 37% unsure.

But they think Meghan Markle is more relatable than Kate Middleton

The Express reported in March 2018 — just a few months before Meghan Markle’s wedding to Prince Harry — that British people consider Meghan “the royal woman most people can relate to.” Meghan got 29% of the votes, behind only Prince Harry, who got 32%.

Kate, on the other hand, landed in fifth place with only 13% of the votes. In fact, 49% of the poll’s respondents believed that Kate has “become less relatable since marrying the Duke of Cambridge, and been molded into someone else since her wedding.” Plus, it’s been widely discussed that Meghan is becoming a bigger fashion influence than Kate, with “the Meghan effect” eclipsing “the Kate effect.”

Some feel anxious about Kate Middleton as the ‘ideal woman’

Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Louis leaving the hospital

Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Louis leaving the hospital | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Tara Isabella Burton reports for Vox that most of us will never know what Kate Middleton is like in real life. “But as a cultural phenomenon, Kate Middleton the character — narrated in the tabloids, reproduced on magazine covers, performed at ribbon-cuttings and charity events — embodied a vision of ideal womanhood that filled (and if I’m honest, still fills) me with deep anxiety,” Burton confesses.

Burton characterizes the “steely ambition combined with self-denial” that Kate needed to achieve her long-awaited marriage to Prince William as terrifying. “She puts in the work — and gets results. But she does so quietly, without the embarrassing appearance of effort.” And as Burton concludes, that may be why Meghan Markle seems so much more relatable. “If Middleton represented, however briefly, the pinnacle of feminine attainment in spring 2011, Markle represents a widening of the possibilities of feminine attainment in spring 2018.”

The British media can’t decide what it wants from Kate

The New Republic reported in 2012 that the British press couldn’t decide what it wanted from Kate Middleton. A French magazine had just printed photos of Kate sunbathing topless at a villa in Provence. While “public opinion overwhelming supported British papers’ decision not to publish the topless photos,” The New Republic noted that “most of the country has looked them up online.”

Things have undoubtedly changed since then, with the arrival of William and Kate’s three children, plus Meghan Markle’s appearance on the scene. But at least one line from the piece still rings true: “The Brits want to be able to treat their first family like celebrities, but they don’t want its members to act that way — and it’s hard to look like the moral center of a nation when the paparazzi catch you topless.”

Read more: Why Is Kate Not Called a Princes, But Princess Diana Was?

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