“She has an inner calm”: New documentary reveals how confident Kate charmed America – and royal insiders – on her first tour with William
The Duchess of Cambridge charmed the world on her wedding day, from smiling at the world”s cameras as she arrived at Westminster Abbey, to her confident “I will” during the vows.
But even so, one can understand why royal insiders might have been concerned about how she would cope with the pressures of a ten-day tour of Canada and the U.S.
A new documentary, which aired on NBC last night shows why they needn”t have worried.
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Charming the world: An NBC documentary, which aired last night, has revealed how a poised Duchess of Cambridge won over Royal insiders on her first tour to Canada and the U.S. with William
William And Kate: Inside The Royal Marriage takes a close look at the couple”s first six months of marriage.
The film includes interviews with those closest to the couple, including William”s friend Ben Fogle, the Queen”s cousin, Lady Elizabeth Anson, and photographer Hugo Burnand, who was chosen to take their official wedding portraits.
Lady Elizabeth, also a party planner,recalls the hectic build up to the tour – and how the Duchess” behaviour reassured her aides.
“When everyone was worrying about how difficult Canada would be, they realised she had this inner calm, and yet was completely alert to the moment.”
“Inner calm”: The documentary described how Catherine”s ease with the public, and poise under pressure, proved she has what it takes to represent the Royals
Star-struck: At a BAFTA event, even Hollywood”s A-list were in awe of the Royal couple – especially Catherine
Getty Royal photographer Chris Jackson, who has long worked alongside the couple, added: “I was really immediately struck by how confident she was.”
“A top Hollywood celebrity, such as Reese Witherspoon, a bit nervous and very excited to meet Catherine… [they were all] really excited to meet the Duchess”
He revealed that she was a joy to shoot,and that her behaviour in front of the camera was different from other members of the Royal family.
“She looked towards the cameras, but not in the same way as the Duchess of Cornwall, for example, constantly aware of where the media are – she”s always flashing a smile,” he said.
“Catherinedid it more occasionally, and you almost felt, as a photographer, more rewardedby that, because you had to really concentrate and wait till it came.”
Royal insiders: Lady Elizabeth Anson (left) and Getty photographer Chris Jackson (right) talked of their experiences with William and Catherine in last night”s documentary
During the ten-day trip, The Duchess charmed people all over Canada and California with her sartorial choices and ability to interact with every person she met.
The documentary includes a rare example of Kate”s voice. Talking to a war veteran, she is heard saying in a cut-glass accent: “You”ve got a very impressive selection of medals.”
Even Hollywood”s A-list, all desperate to meet the Royal couple, were put at ease by William and Catherine”s down-to-earth manner.
Trendsetter: The Duchess does not follow what magazines tell people to wear, says James Sherwood, Royal fashion historian. She carves her own fashion path, and others are desperate to follow it
Nigel Lythgoe, who organised the BAFTA Brits To Watch gala at the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles told how “everybody rushed towards them” when they arrived”.
A ROYAL STYLE ICON: CATHERINE, FASHION AND THE QUEEN
James Sherwood, Royal fashion historian says: “Whatever she wears sells out in seconds. We haven”t seen this for a long time – even Madonna, whatever Madonna wore didn”t sell out in seconds.
Stewart Parvin, dress designer to the Queen, added: “I think she is probably more stylish and sophisticated at this stage than perhaps Diana was…
“It”ll be interesting to see what she looks like in ten, 15, 20 years time when she has had that experience of choosing her clothes.
Mr Sherwood believes the Queen has had some influence over Catherine”s style.
“She is not following what the magazines are telling people to wear,” he said. “She will not change her style every six months because a designer tells her a hemline is going up or down… She has her own rules because she is a member of the Royal Family.
“I would imagine that the Queen would have had… certain pieces of advice to give to the Duchess of Cambridge on how she should be dressing for a formal occasion… For example, you have to weight hems – you would never see the Queen”s skirt flying up like Marilyn Monroe, because the hems are weighted.”
Mr Jackson, one of the few to attend the Tusk Trust reception the following day, added: “For me it really summed up how royalty transcends celebrity.
“A top Hollywood celebrity, such as Reese Witherspoon a bit nervous and very excited to meet Catherine… All these guys were really excited to meet the Duchess.”
With such attention following them wherever they go, what better respite than the remote cottage in Anglesey, Wales, where they have made their home.
Lady Elizabeth believes they successfully live under the radar of the media spotlight there.
“I think they”ve proved a Royal can lead a normal life by the little publicity that”s been in Anglesey,” she said. “I mean, bar the fact they photographed her at Waitrose… I mean, she must go to Waitrose hundreds of times and not be photographed.”
Mr Jackson continued: “They really do enjoy what could be considered a normal life. You hear stories about Catherine and William going off to see The Inbetweeners atthe cinema and visiting restaurants… I think that”s an agreement between the Press and Clarence House that they will be left alone.”
And in any case, as Ben Fogle points out, “paparazzi photographers have to really go out of their way to get to Anglesey… It definitely suits someone that likes the great outdoors, or that wants that kind of isolation or seclusion.”
But such a rural escape will be short-lived, given that the couple are due to move to an apartment at Kensington Palace in 2013.
Remote: The couple will not be able to enjoy their Anglesey hideaway for much longer – in 2013, they will move to an apartment at Kensington Palace – a sign that the Queen expects to step up their Royal duties
Ken Wharfe, former protection officer to Diana explained that the move is indicative of a growing role for the couple.
“To live in Anglesey, to plan Royal tours from there, to plan everyday events as a member of the Royal Family, would logistically be difficult, geographically almost impossible,” he said. “And of course it would pose tremendous cost on the taxpayer in transport and providing security.
“So Ithink that the fact that Kensington Palace is soon to become their London home is a clear sign that the Queen herself is expecting William and Kate to play a major role in Royal duties.”