Windsor’s new wives – Kate Middleton, Camilla, Sophie Countess of Wessex and Princess Anne – take center stage

The British royal family has lost its matriarch but has rediscovered the impressive strength of a matriarchy that will prove crucial to King Charles’ reign.

The Windsor wives may have been excluded from the wandering aspects of yesterday’s state funeral procession, but the events of the last 10 days have left Camilla, Kate and Sophie alive like never before.

Along with Princess Anne, who reaffirmed her status as a royal troupe by once again accompanying Queen Elizabeth’s coffin, this quartet has proved central to the future prosperity of the House of Windsor.

From Anne’s steely work ethic to Camilla’s role as King’s Rock, and with Sophie and Kate both bringing a welcome dose of normality to this 1,000+ year old institution, the newly slimmed down ‘company’ seems to be in safe hands.

Prince William and Kate as well as Prince Harry and Meghan were once considered the “fab four”. However, with Harry and Meghan now out of the picture – and the disgraced Prince Andrew stepping down from royal seniority – the crown is more reliant on girl power than ever.

It might not be quite a case of Charlie’s Angels, but it’s definitely close.

For as these leading royal ladies performed their respective roles in the austere surroundings of Westminster Abbey and St George’s Chapel, we were reminded that even in the absence of the late Queen, the monarchy retains a feminine touch. That matters when Britain has not only lost its grandmother but is also faced with the prospect of three male monarchs.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with an apparent alpha succession – but history, from Nefertiti to Grace Kelly, suggests that it’s princesses who keep the passionate interest in the royals and make them appear accessible to the public.

As the wife and mother of a future king, Kate, 40, is now the Diana figure Britain has been missing since the title of Princess of Wales was pushed aside with her death 25 years ago: highly photogenic, deeply maternal and with a sympathy that speaks to People from all areas of life. Unlike Diana, however, she has the confidence that comes with a stable family background – and 10 years of experience as a royal girlfriend before even marrying William, 40.

Camilla (75) is undoubtedly a calming influence on a king who can become frustrated with the demands placed on him. Anyone who regards the Queen’s consort as a kind of cheerful “plus one” misunderstands her influence not only on the monarch (73), but also on his court.

As a royal insider explained, “I think there’s a sense that behind the scenes, for the most part, it’s the Queen consort running the show. She makes a lot more decisions than people think.”

After spending most of the week winning the hearts of well-wishers with her down-to-earth and tactile manner, Prince Andrew’s wife Sophie, 57, once again endeared herself to the public at the funeral by tenderly kissing her Arm held up around Prince George (9). As a king who performs more engagements than anyone but the king, Anne (72) will continue to provide invaluable sibling support.

Dedicated to her duty and known as a no-nonsense smuggler, the seafaring princess provides much-needed ballast for a royal ship sailing in troubled waters.

The women of the Second Elizabethan Age are quick to demonstrate that they bring not only femininity to monarchy but a similar degree of steadfastness.

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022] Windsor’s new wives – Kate Middleton, Camilla, Sophie Countess of Wessex and Princess Anne – take center stage

Fry Electronics Team

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