Monday, May 2, 2011

The Disappearing Duchess: I’m going to be a housewife for now, says Kate

By Rebecca English

Just wed: Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, wants to savour being an ordinary RAF wife to her new husband Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge

The new Duchess of Cambridge will not become a full-time working royal for up to two years – because she wants to concentrate on being a housewife.

Despite a surge of public interest in the Royal Family following Friday’s wedding, Kate is refusing to conduct any public engagements without her husband for the foreseeable future.

There are only two or three joint events pencilled in over the next couple of months and aides admit the new bride intends to spend most of her time with her husband on Anglesey.

Well-placed sources have told the Mail that Kate wants to model herself on the Duchess of Cornwall, who insisted on only a ‘supporting role’ following her 2005 marriage to Prince Charles.

The new duchess has told friends she wants to enjoy life for as long as she can as an ‘ordinary RAF wife’ in the rented farmhouse the couple share in North Wales.

Her approach has the support of her husband who is keen not to throw Kate into the ‘bear-pit’ of public life and has cautioned aides to keep her commitments to a minimum.

The only definite dates in her diary following her return from honeymoon are watching Prince William play in a couple of polo matches and key-note events next month including Trooping The Colour and the Duke of Edinburgh’s 90th birthday.

There are no plans for her to attend Royal Ascot with the Queen or join the rest of the royals at this summer’s palace garden parties.

Commitments: Aides insist Kate 'will not be idle' and say that when William is on duty she will be 'pursuing other interests'

Aides insist she ‘will not be idle’ and say that when William, who works as a search and rescue pilot at RAF Valley on Anglesey, is on duty she will be ‘pursuing other interests’. They also stressed that she has a two-week inaugural tour of Canada coming up at the beginning of July.

But her approach is likely to disappoint those who were hoping to use the couple’s post-wedding popularity to boost the Royal Family’s profile. It also provides ammunition for critics who have already accused her of being ‘work-shy’.

Other than working for her family’s party supplies business, Kate has had only one part-time job since she graduated from university in 2005, as an accessories buyer for the High Street firm Jigsaw.

Last year the Queen conducted 444 engagements while Prince Charles carried out 585 and Camilla 243. Prince William undertook 73.

Approval: Kate is said to have the support of the Queen who, as a newly-wed, lived in Malta for two years when Prince Philip was based there with the Navy

The source said: ‘The couple will do things as a pair after their marriage and for the foreseeable future. Catherine will not be conducting any solo engagements. The number of engagements she does with William will remain pretty level.

‘Prince William has a full-time job he has to work round and that is his priority. He is committed to it for at least another two years so nothing much will change in the immediate future, apart from the fact that he and Catherine will take part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations next year.

‘He is already committed to a number of charitable patronages and Catherine will, initially at least, support him in that as his wife.

‘She will, in time, become associated with her own charities but this won’t happen immediately as she wants to explore the fields that interest her first.’

Kate is said to have the support of the Queen who, as a newly-wed, lived in Malta for two years when Prince Philip was based there with the Navy. The monarch considers it one of her happiest periods.

‘Catherine wants to enjoy her time with William as an RAF wife,’ said a friend. ‘It’s so rare that someone in her position gets the chance to live as a normal wife and she intends to make the most of it.’


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