Prince William and Kate Middleton don’t view themselves as celebrities, royal expert says: ‘Duty comes first’

“The joy of royalty and British royalty especially is [that] none of the royals see themselves as a-listers,” Nick Bullen, co-founder and editor-in-chief of True Royalty TELEVISION, told Fox News. “They’re born into this job.”

“Most celebrities crave the fame,” that he continued. “Most celebrities have worked to get that fame, whether it’s with talent or, in the case of sometimes these reality stars, maybe lack of talent, but it’s there for the royals from day one. And it’s something you can never escape.”

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In this April 29, 2011, file photo, Britain’s Prince William and his bride Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, leave Westminster Abbey, London, following their wedding. 
(AP Photo/Tom Hevezi)

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The executive producer has been making programs about the royal family for pretty much 20 years and did closely with William’s father, Prince Charles, for eight. Bullen noticed that, unlike Hollywood stars, royals are worldwide celebrities as soon as they’re born. But when it comes to William and Middleton, 38, “duty comes first.”

“They are [one of] probably the most famous people on the planet and they can’t escape it,” he said. “I think they choose not to consider the celebrity world because they literally don’t see themselves as part of it. They haven’t sought fame… They’ve got a duty and they do the best that they can with their duty. And you know, we’ve seen when royalty and celebrity come together — it can sometimes not work.”

Bullen pointed out that among the secrets behind the couple’s lasting marriage is their quest to take pleasure from a sense of normalcy when cameras don’t track down their every royal engagement.

At the start of Middleton’s courtship to William, the British press was quick to indicate her middle-class background. Her father is just a former British Airways officer and her mother a former flight attendant — a far cry from her husband’s upbringing in Kensington Palace.

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits SOS Children’s Village, a charitable organization in the heart of the city, on October 18, 2019, in Lahore, Pakistan. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits SOS Children’s Village, a charity in one’s heart of the town, on October 18, 2019, in Lahore, Pakistan. 
(Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty)

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William and Middleton met at the University of St. Andrews where they first became friends. After a few ups and downs within their relationship, the couple tied the knot in 2011.

Bullen shared that, as the near future king, William was given the freedom to choose his future queen consort — and he find the woman that he loved.

“There’s genuine love,” that he explained. “I think Kate and William are genuinely in love and have a really great partnership. If you look at those photographs that we’ve got in the documentary of these in the first years up in Anglesey, this very remote area of the U.K. — these were walking on the beach and laughing a lot. They are [simply] a young married couple.”

“The queen was very clever in suggesting that they go to Anglesey because it reflected the life she had in the early years of her marriage with Prince Philip when they went to Malta… They were able to live as a normal husband and wife in Malta where Philip was doing his Naval duty. I think the queen has said they were some of the happiest years of her life.”

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Bullen pointed out that Middleton was never shy in introducing her world to William — a far cry from his Kensington Palace upbringing.

“They were clearly friends before they were in a relationship,” Bullen said. “That foundation was set in the first part of the marriage… And I believe Kate’s family, the Middleton family, gave William a support network that is notably different [than] the monarchy.”

William, who grew up in the public eye, lost his mother Princess Diana in 1997 when he was just 15 years old. But as his relationship with Middleton blossomed early on within their romance, that he was given an alternative perspective on family — one that he’s now sharing with the couple’s three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

“Clearly he loves his father,” Bullen continued. “He loves his grandparents. But it’s a more formal role within that family. When you go to the Middletons, he was having kitchen suppers on a Friday night in a very informal way… For all of us, that seems very normal. But for him, it wasn’t.”

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Bullen revealed that over the years, William has had a complex relationship with the press, particularly after his mother’s death. However, he’s aware of the media’s power in raising awareness on his causes and is set to be a “21st century monarch.”

“I think you see him controlling his story much more than other royals have done in the past,” that he said. “Kensington Palace’s Instagram is very detailed. His social media feeds are very detailed. He’s embracing technology and how it allows him to present the story in his own way. Once it’s out and available to the public, it can be dissected in any number of ways. But it’s his story to tell. And that’s what’s most important to him — not fame.”

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