Prince William and Kate mark 10th wedding anniversary, release new photos

(LONDON) — One decade ago, the eyes of the world were fixed on Westminster Abbey, where Prince William, the oldest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, wed Catherine Middleton, who grew up in Berkshire and met William at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

The couple, who became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they wed, marked their 10th anniversary on April 29 by releasing two new portraits.

The photographs, taken by London-based photographer Chris Floyd, were taken at Kensington Palace this week.

As they celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary, William and Kate are now the parents of three children and have established themselves as the next generation of the monarchy.

William, 39, will become king after the reigns of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, and his father, Prince Charles, end. William and Kate’s oldest child, 7-year-old Prince George, will become king following his father.

“I think the prospect of seeing King George, of having the royal family survive for at least two more generations, that really depends on if they’re willing to change,” Tiwa Adebayo, a London-based social commentator, said of the role William and Kate will play in determining the monarchy’s future. “They definitely need to connect with the younger generation if they want to survive.”

One decade into their marriage, the weight of the monarchy is on William and Kate more than ever.

The royal family this month gathered for the funeral of William’s grandfather, Prince Philip, the family patriarch who attended thousands of royal engagements on his own and was by Queen Elizabeth’s side through 73 years of marriage.

Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 95th birthday this month, a birthday that came as the royal family remains in turmoil after the departure of William’s brother, Prince Harry, and his wife Duchess Meghan.

When Harry and Meghan stepped down last year from their roles as senior, working members of the royal family, William and Kate were left to pick up the pieces and become the solo faces of the future of the monarchy.

Philip’s funeral was the first time in over a year that William and Kate had seen Harry in person. The brothers, who have been at odds for at least the past year, were seen speaking after Philip’s funeral, though it was reported that the differences between Harry and his family were not discussed at length while Harry was in the United Kingdom for the funeral.

“I think Prince Harry and Meghan leaving the royal family has created kind of a dichotomy and put them both at odds with each other, these two couples,” Adebayo said of William and Kate and Harry and Meghan, once known as the “royal fab four.” “I think a lot of people see Meghan representing the kind of progressive modern side and William and Kate being kind of old-fashioned right now, and that’s despite their relative youth.”

“So I think if they want to regain their positions as the modernizing force in the royal family, they’re going to have to prove it,” she said.

There are others who remain dedicated fans of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, believing the monarchy to be safe in their hands.

In addition to raising their three children — George, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 3 — William and Kate have attended thousands of royal engagements since their wedding 10 years ago.

They have been the face of the monarchy in overseas trips, from India to the United States over the past decade.

The Cambridges have also taken on special causes that they will continue to advocate for as their influence in the monarchy continues to grow. Kate, for example, has taken on the issue of early childhood development and, as a photographer herself, been a staunch proponent for the arts.

William has continued his advocacy for environmental causes and, along with Kate, become a champion for destigmatizing mental health.

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