For most Americans, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is irrelevant - just a pretty face, a new member of the British monarchy, which itself is seen as no more than a relic of days long gone. But that may simply be a knee-jerk reaction. Truth is Kate Middleton is HUGE! She is the unprecedented middle-class addition to a long-standing, “aristocratic” institution which by joining, she has just revitalized and made incredibly relevant. Because of her, the British royal family is guaranteed to last for at least another century, maybe much longer. And if that is the case, Kate is more important than ever.
She is married to the second in line to the British throne, which means someday her husband will be head of state of what is still perhaps the most influential, western European country. True, he will be a figure-head, but one significantly more well known, and well-liked than any elected British prime minister will ever be. Likewise, the Duchess, already one of the most recognizable faces in Britain, will someday be queen. Unlike say a Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama, both highly accomplished, supremely remarkable women, Kate’s role does not have a term limit. She is here to stay.
Kate’s already proven herself to be intelligent, calm, practical, patient, engaging and a woman of the people, not at all like so many of our political leaders (or those in Britain for that matter).She’s going to be around for another 50/60 years at the very least, and given her prominence can probably have more impact on world politics than any other woman this century. Sure for now, she’s setting fashion trends, causing dresses to sell out, and getting her husband to do the wave at Wimbledon, but my hunch is that she’s not going to stop there. Like her remarkable mother-in-law, the late, great Princess Diana, Kate Middleton can very well become a huge force for good.
The world is smaller than ever and heading further in that direction, yet divisiveness is rampant and conflicts continue to rage. What we need are global figures who can bring peoples together. We need individuals who can inspire us to reach across boundaries and find our commonalities. The British monarchy may indeed be a relic of the past, but if they’re going to stick around, and if enough people really like them - as it seems people do - then maybe Prince William and his exceptional wife, Catherine, can be a part of helping create real change in a world that desperately needs it.