There's a Special Meaning Behind All of Kate Middleton's Photography

A royal expert says it makes her more "relatable."

Kate Middleton Curled Hair Lilac Dress
Photo: Getty Images

There is purpose and intention behind everything Kate Middleton does — as one would presume of any royal's actions, given their highly publicized life. So, it's no surprise that the family also uses photographs and social media to craft that public image to their liking.

According to Kensington Palace curator Claudia Acott Williams, once photography and social media became readily available, the royal family utilized those mediums to put out what they wanted the world to see, like many of your favorite celebs do (Looking at you, Kardashians).

"Really their power is vested in their image, and photography became a really important way of democratizing the royal image and making it much more ... it created a really important bond between monarchy and subjects and at a time when monarchies around Europe were starting to go into decline and to crumble, in the 19th and early 20th century," the expert told Marie Claire. "Photography gave them a more democratic tool to show themselves to the public."

She adds that relatability is very important to the royal family and their image. "That is quite an important part of royal branding, this image of the family and of a strong, stable family in solidarity with the nation — which I think has always historically been an important part of royal image-making, historically to show the continuation of the family line successfully, and today more as something that's a kind of relatable unit we all invest in," she said. "We watch those children grow up through photographs and we become invested emotionally in their lives and their progression, those very relatable milestones."

Another way the Duchess of Cambridge is taking control of her own narrative is by putting her stunning 40th birthday portraits, taken by fashion photographer Paolo Roversi, on display. The special images will make appearances at venues across the U.K. that have special meaning to Kate, including Bucklebury, Berkshire (her hometown); University of St. Andrews (where she met and fell in love with Prince William); Anglesey, Wales (where she and William first lived as newlyweds); and the National Portrait Gallery (one of Kate's patronages), where they will remain permanently. The gallery will re-open in 2023, and the striking images will be a part of its Coming Home initiative, according to People.

"The Duchess of Cambridge has been a very committed Patron of the National Portrait Gallery since 2012, reflecting a great interest in photography and portraiture," Nicholas Cullinan, director of the gallery, said in a statement. "As one of her first and earliest patronages, we are delighted to be sharing Paolo Roversi's wonderful portraits, taking each to a place of resonance across the United Kingdom for Her Royal Highness as part of our Coming Home project."

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