On April 29th, the eight-year anniversary of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding, the Queen appointed Kate to the Royal Victorian Order. This honor is significant in that this is bestowed at the Queen’s discretion, without intercession or recommendation from Downing Street. This follows her introduction into the Royal Family Order last year, which was seen as a (slightly delayed) coup after seven years of service.
As for the RVO, the Duchess of Cornwall was appointed in 2012, the same year as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – and, incidentally, about seven years after her marriage to the Prince of Wales, so the timing tracks.
I think the broader point here is that this is but one more proof point supporting a larger trend that is positioning Kate towards the traditional track of Windsor women. It’s obvious at this point that while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are carrying out traditional engagements, their split from Kensington Palace, their use of social media, and much of their strategy for handling the press and addressing their focal issues is going to be a bit more modern, and a bit less formal.
At the same time, we’ve definitely seen a shift towards the Royal Family highlighting the succession and including William and Kate within that as more senior royals. I think was on display as early as last summer when Kate rode to church with the Queen at Balmoral, and certainly again during the Remembrance Day ceremony in November when the Queen, Camilla and Kate all shared a balcony. Taken together with Kate’s joint engagement with the Queen in March, and I think there’s been enough subtle nods that we can go ahead and call this a larger strategy for how the younger generation is settling into place.