In a marked contrast to the experience of Diana, Princess of Wales, who complained of being thrown into a life of royal duty with no advice at all, the Duchess of Cambridge is being given a series of private briefings on the workings of Britain”s national institutions.
Prince William”s late mother told friends that no thought had been given to her future role when she married Prince Charles, and that Palace staff “basically thought I could adapt to being Princess of Wales overnight”.
On announcing his engagement last November, the Duke of Cambridge insisted that Kate would be given support as she was gradually introduced to the unique demands placed on members of the royal family.
During the couple”s first interview together, the Prince said one of the main reasons why he waited seven years before proposing was out of a desire “to learn lessons from the past”.
In recent weeks, experts have been visiting St James’s Palace to give the Duchess one-to-one tutorials about government, the arts and the media.
A royal source told the Daily Telegraph: “The Duchess is being briefed on how the State works, getting to know our national institutions better and learning more about the arts, the media and the government.
“It is a process that will carry on for several months but is being done privately.
“As well as meetings at St James”s Palace, the Duchess is spending time carrying out private research of her own.”
William is determined that his bride should not feel isolated, in the way that his mother was.
In particular he has gone out of his way to welcome the Middleton family into the fold.
The Queen has made an effort too, inviting William”s delighted mother-in-law Carole to join her carriage procession at Ascot.
Meanwhile, her new grandaughter-in-law Kate will carry out around one engagement per month until the end of the year in order to give her time to get used to her new life.
She is understood to be dividing her time between the couple’s main home in Anglesey and London, where she is also meeting representatives of good causes to decide which of them she would like to support.
Next week, the royal newlyweds will open a new childrens’ centre at the Royal Marsden cancer hospital in Sutton, Surrey, of which the Duke is president.