Never has a member of the Royal Family visited Israel or Palestine in an official capacity. So, when the time eventually came, the visit would make news worldwide, for such is the task of navigating the tightrope that is the continuing conflict and unrest within the region. That task fell to HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and so far, it has been a resounding success.
When the trip was announced through Kensington Palace, the details within the press briefing instantly garnered anger from Jerusalem Affairs Minister, Ze’ev Elkin after suggesting the brief stated that Jerusalem’s Old City is in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. If anything, this showed the diplomatic mountain the Prince would be faced with.
Touching down in Jordan, a peaceful haven amongst the conflicting countries, William demonstrated that he was more equipped for the job ahead. Descending the steps, he was greeted by Crown Prince Al-Hussein bin Abdullah II and it must’ve have dawned on the 36-year-old Prince the importance of the duty ahead. William would be the first Royal to embark on a trip in this region and ultimately the outcome of this visit rests on his shoulders.
The outcome is still to be determined as there are a few more days left of the visit but so far, he’s knocking it out of the park. If this trip has determined anything besides the need of diplomatic peace in the region, it is that The Duke of Cambridge has proved, besides his Grandmother the Queen, that he is the only Royal man for the job.
William has always seemed a competent professional when faced with Royal events or tours. He has the handshake, the planting of trees and the art of small conversation down to a tee and with the addition of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge they are a formidable team. However, this time the young royal is facing an altogether different ‘tour.’ There is no Catherine by his side, this is a one man show. He is stepping into a tempestuous and fraught political situation that weeks before his arrival, descended into violent bloodshed and if he slips up, will face criticism like never before. The government has placed a huge ask of Prince William and perhaps this is why the visit is becoming such a resounding triumph.
There was something different this time about the Duke. He seemed to stand taller and hold court in a similar manner to the Queen, it’s as if perhaps he has accepted the future that has always been written out for him. This is a young man who one day will be crowned King and for the first time it was hard not to realise it. Without his wife standing beside him we have been forced to avert our attention away from the fashion choices of the Duchess of Cambridge and pay stark consideration to the words and actions of her husband.
It is in watching William that you see the success, not only of royal tours like this one, but the continuing future of the Monarchy. William has a balance that so many within the ‘firm’ don’t and he is displaying it in a way that he has always shied from doing before. In Palestine, where large crowds greeted the Prince, one Palestinian confirmed it stating she wasn’t a ‘fan of the Royal Family.’ Asked why she had come to see William, a member of said family, she responded: “Well he’s more than a royal, he’s Diana’s son.”
It is these two sides of William, future Monarch and the son of the ‘People’s Princess’ that are the foundation of his impending Kingship and he’s ensured it is on constant show through his Middle Eastern tour. We have seen him shake-hands with leaders of both Israel and Palestine demonstrating his diplomatic prowess. At the same time, he has visited a UN health clinic based in the West Bank, the most dangerous part of the region, exhibiting the same humanitarian touch of his late mother with the emerging pictures strikingly similar to her own charitable conquests.
It is almost certain that William will continue to willingly continue in this manner long after he lands back in the UK and the Queen and her Monarchy will reap the benefits. Though we must question, where has this change stemmed from? We saw a similar transformation with Catherine at Trooping the Colour. It was impossible not to observe the Duchess of Cambridge and see a confident young woman declaring all the credentials and qualities of a Queen-in-waiting. The same can be said for William.
Many would say that fatherhood and a happy family-life could be the winning concoction however some disagree. Perhaps with the marriage of his younger brother and, what seems to be the never-ending drama emitting from the Markle clan, along with the rumblings of criticism that have inevitably followed, it has given William and by extension, Catherine a new sense that they are doing it right.
With this newfound confidence that will very likely increase after this tour ends, William’s position and popularity amongst the British public will continue to increase. For a long time, it felt as if the Duke of Cambridge was overshadowed by his brother Prince Harry, who had always been more open and ‘media friendly.’ Now, however the tables seem to have turned and it is the future King who seems more relaxed than the new Duke of Sussex. William’s mega-watt star seems to be brightening with every royal appearance whereas Harry’s seems to be slightly waning. This is due to the feeling that he has nothing to prove.
With William undertaking this controversial royal tour he has given us all an insight into a UK and Commonwealth under his reign, and though it will follow in the same careful and dignified footsteps as his grandmother, this is Diana’s boy and William is most certainly his mother’s son. This means that whilst tradition continues, William, along with Catherine will lead a monarchy into a new fresh future, one that will bring the beloved qualities of his mother but reach beyond her magma-hot superstardom and cement Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge as a King and royal not even his brother and new wife can contend with.