Why the royal family popularity? People are drawn to happy endings
David Gray, ASSOCIATED PRESS
For the past three weeks, Britain's Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, have been touring with their 9-month-old son, Prince George, and droves of adoring fans are eager to follow the family's outings.
The trip to New Zealand and Australia is nothing new for the royal family. In fact, the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles and Diana, also made the trip 31 years ago with 9-month-old William.
It was 1983, and although the couple had only been married 20 months, the relationship already appeared to be rocky.
But attitudes are much different this time around. From comments from Prince William regarding his wife's yellow dress looking like a banana, to Kate's comment regarding her husband's need for a toupee, the royal couple has continued to break the mold of royal behavior.
Not only have William and Kate paved the way as a modern couple, having announced the birth of their son on Twitter, and taking turns in caring for young Prince George while on tour, but they also actually appear to be in love.
In an article on the National Post, Telegraph reporter Gordon Rayner points out how William and Kate are different from Prince Charles and Diana.
"Every royal marriage is a combination of the personal and the professional. Not only do a royal couple have to love each other, but they have to be a successful public double act, and if there are any cracks in the personal side, it will soon show in the public one," Rayner wrote.
"Not so [with] William and Kate. Their popularity Down Under has been built as much on the vicarious pleasure of seeing a young couple in love as it has been on the endless fascination with the Duchess’s clothes, hair and makeup."
Helen McCabe, editor-in-chief of Australian Women’s Weekly, shared a similar opinion on the young royal family's popularity.
“You feel immense joy for William because you watched him as a boy go through the misery of his parents’ marital break down,” McCabe told TODAY.com.
“Famously, there is the story of him pushing tissues under the bathroom door because he heard his mother crying. And then he had to bury her in front of the eyes of the world. He has had great sorrow in his life. To see William turn into a handsome, thoughtful, considerate man with a beautiful wife and a baby is a fairy tale.”
All eyes did turn to the couple during a rare awkward moment on the tour as they visited the Uluru, a national park in Australia. It had been planned that the Duke and Duchess would recreate a photograph that William's parents took 31 years ago, in which Prince Charles and Diana stood at an akward distance from one another.
Rayner explained that William was "fully aware that 31 years ago his mother and father stood in a similar place, going through a similar ritual in front of the lenses, though in their case there was awkwardness because of tensions in their relationship."
But as the couple stood in front of dozens of photographers, William took the opportunity to lighten the mood.
“So, what shall we talk about?” the prince joked to his wife.
Beyond the adoration of the couple's affection, many have also expressed appreciation for the "unstuffy" way in which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have approached the tour, even granting requests for selfies with those who came to see them.
"The result has been that this is without doubt the most relaxed major royal tour there has ever been," Rayner reported.
"Having followed the couple on all three of their foreign tours, I have been struck on a daily basis by just how unstuffy the Duke and Duchess have been here. They have posed for endless pictures, competed at cricket and publicly poked fun at each other throughout their time in New Zealand and Australia."
But William and Kate's love for each other is nothing new, as photographer Mario Testino explained this past January. Testino, who captured engagement photographs of the couple almost three years ago, recently opened up about his experience capturing one spontaneous image.
"(The couple) were about to leave and they suddenly hugged in front of a radiator," Testino said in an interview with the Telegraph.
"I took my camera and that was the picture that ran everywhere — it was spontaneous emotion. You could see they were completely in love."
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