Does This Image Show That The Duchess Of Cambridge Has Taken A Leaf Out Of Meghan’s Book?

Kate and Meghan have a different relationship with the camera.

Kate Funeral

by Guy Pewsey |
Published on

In a crowded field of hundreds of striking images from Sunday's funeral of the late Duke of Edinburgh, this one really stands out as one of the most impactful. Taken by Getty's Chris Jackson, it shows Kate, Duchess of Cambridge in a car, on her way to the service at St George's Chapel in Windsor. She looks elegant, even in a mask, as she heads to a sombre event that she knows will be watched by millions.

It is an image of composure at a stressful time, much like many of the other shots from the day, but something sets it apart. For one moment, just enough time to be captured by a click, her eyes lock with the camera's lens in what feels like a moment of rare connection between our future queen and those observing from afar. Accidental or otherwise, the photograph speaks to Kate's status as a senior royal preparing to take her place as a real figurehead for the people of this country and the commonwealth. To me, it feels like a Meghan moment.

A deep dive into images of the Duchess of Cambridge shows how rare it is for her to look directly at the camera, unless she is specifically posing for an official image or social media post. Usually, she is an expert at being truly in the moment while she embarks on her duties. It is crucial to her image - that of a woman concerned with her future subjects - that she engages completely with the people she is meeting, rather than worrying about how she appears in the resulting photos. The late Princess of Wales was an expert in this. But this new image also speaks to something that the Duchess of Sussex has shown: sometimes, being aware of the camera is the perfect way to be present in people's living rooms from thousands of miles away. Look through images of Meghan and you'll notice that she looks at the camera far more frequently.


It could be misconstrued. Most of Meghan's behaviour is wilfully misconstrued, after all. Her trolls seem to consider her camera-ready approach as suggestive of a preoccupation with her looks. Indeed, on Sunday, Meghan was trending with the term 'narcissism' while Kate trended with the phrase 'her finest hour', even though Meghan wasn't even there. But of course she is aware of every camera click: she has spent years posing on red carpets, or finding her light on the sets of films and TV programmes. To me, her awareness of the cameras is powerful, and indicative of her approach to privacy. It says 'I see you. I am aware that you are photographing me, and I am a willing participant in that due to the nature of my work and position. But when I withdraw that permission, when I am unaware of your presence, you rob me of my agency in this symbiotic process.' Some might think I'm delving too deep into this, but this difference between the way Kate and Meghan interact with the cameras truly seems significant to me.

I'm not the only one to note the contrast. In 2018, body language expert Judi James noted the opposing methods of being captured on film to Cosmopolitan. 'Kate's relationship with the cameras is much more passive,' Judi said. 'The fact she has even got behind the camera herself to snap some of her children's' official photos suggests a slightly more introverted personality than the very camera-confident Meghan. William has always seemed keen to keep the full glare of the press spotlight away from his wife and her lack of direct contact could be a symptom of that. She poses beautifully but there is no regular direct communication from her.'

Has Kate studied images of her sister-in-law and come up with a brand new strategy in positioning herself as a royal in control? Doubtful. But the reach and popularity of this new image shows that the public are ready and willing to make a connection with her. Perhaps Meghan's ways have rubbed on on Kate, just a little.

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