As the British Royal Family deals with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to ‘step back’ from their duties, Kate Middleton looked like she didn’t have a care in the world.
If the chaos caused by Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle’s decision to give up their royal family duties was affecting Kate Middleton, she certainly didn’t look like it on Jan. 15. The 38-year-old Duchess of Cambridge was seen with a broad smile on her face while touring Bradford with her husband, Prince William, 37. Kate, dressed in a fetching forest green coat, seemed happy during her and William’s first public engagement together in two months, and the first following Harry and Meghan’s announcement. While in Bradford, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with young people and employers, before visiting a community project that aims to strengthen bonds between grandparents and their young children.
The last time Kate and William had a public engagement like this was a Nov. 12 charity event in London. Since then, a lot has changed within the House of Windsor. Harry and Meghan announced that they would “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.” The decision (unfairly dubbed “Megxit,” as if Meghan was the impetus behind this change and not something else, like the well-documented unfair treatment she has suffered at the hands of the British press) will see Harry, Meghan, and Prince Archie “balance [their] time between the United Kingdom and North America.”
At first, Queen Elizabeth II seemed a bit annoyed by the announcement. “Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” the official Royal Communications office said in a statement. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that we will take time to work through.” However, it seemed those “complicated issues” were quickly resolved, because a few days later, after the initial statement, the Queen seemed happy with Harry and Meghan’s move. “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.”
“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family,” the Queen’s statement added. As for Kate and William, while she hasn’t spoken about her in-laws’ decision, Prince William (in a joint statement with his brother) denied rumors that his relationship with Harry was “strained.”