How Kate Middleton and Prince William Are Stepping Up in the Wake of Queen Elizabeth's Death

The couple's transition to being Prince and Princess of Wales has been "seamless," says biographer Katie Nicholl

Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales during a visit to Carrickfergus
Kate Middleton and Prince William. Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage

The transition of Kate Middleton and Prince William to their public roles as the new Prince and Princess of Wales has been "seamless" — while they've stayed true to the causes and interests they've always held.

Author Katie Nicholl says the royal couple has "stepped up to the plate" despite the difficult circumstances of Queen Elizabeth's death that led to those new roles.

Kate and Prince William, both 40, are only five weeks into this new royal era.

"William's years of being mentored by his grandmother and his father have really paid off because the transition to Prince of Wales has been seamless," says Nicholl, author of The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth's Legacy and the Future of the Crown. "Kate has also effortlessly moved into a role with so much weight and history and is already making it her own."

Prince William, Prince of Wales leaves St Thomas Church, which has been has been redeveloped to provide support to vulnerable people, during their visit to Wales on September 27, 2022 in Swansea, Wales.
Karwai Tang/WireImage

Their first trip to Wales in their new roles came on the day after royal mourning ended, underlining the importance they and their staff have placed in both the roles and the respect they want to pay to the Welsh people.

"Making their first visit to Wales was a significant move, and we saw them very warmly welcomed," Nicholl says. "He and Kate want to forge a close relationship with Wales and its people, and they put that into action immediately. I think that's quite telling about who they are and the image of royalty they want to project."

But their key interests — like Princess Kate's work with families and children's early years as well as William's support for the homeless and his Earthshot Prize project — will continue too. On Thursday, they continued to support young people getting trained to be sports coaches.

Nicholl adds, "While they have both taken on new titles and more senior roles within the royal hierarchy, they have done so while staying very true to who they are and the causes they have championed. It's no coincidence that one of Kate's first engagements was to a maternity unit in Surrey, and as Princess of Wales, she's going to bring even more attention to her Early Years foundation."

Catherine, Princess of Wales and Prince William, Prince of Wales visit Copper Box Arena to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Coach Core
Kate Middleton and Prince William. Samir Hussein/WireImage

Meanwhile, William and his father, King Charles III, are in a better place than they have been for a while as they have been working more closely in the last couple of years.

Working on her new book, Nicholl says she discovered that they "speak on the phone most days. They are very aligned in their vision of the future of the monarchy and united over the notion of sovereignty, as one of my contacts told me."

King Charles III and Britain's Prince William, Prince of Wales walk behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, adorned with a Royal Standard and the Imperial State Crown
King Charles and Prince William. DANIEL LEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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In this week's cover story of PEOPLE, a source who knows both royals says, "Talking about the future of the country and their future roles has strengthened their bond."

Nicholl notes that Prince William has been at his father's side for some very important moments — notably as Charles was proclaimed King.

"He is going to continue being by his father's side, I suspect, at key constitutional events such as the State Opening of Parliament and state dinners," she tells PEOPLE. "That image of the King and Queen Consort and the Prince and Princess of Wales issued recently by the palace was a very important image of what the modern monarchy and reign of King Charles will look like."

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