The Princess of Wales has “not always been comfortable” with royal engagements but is now an “impressive communicator”, claimed a royal expert.
Speaking in the latest episode of the Mail+ series ‘Palace Confidential’, Rebecca English, editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail, said it was clear that 41-year-old Kate had ‘come to herself’ lately.
Earlier this week, the mother-of-three visited Maidenhead Rugby Club to take part in a training session as part of their ongoing Shaping Us campaign.
After showing off her skills on the pitch, the princess sat down to discuss how sport can play an important role in shaping children’s lives.
As Rebecca watched Kate lead the discussion with a mostly male group, she underscored how far the princess has come since her first marriage to the royal family in 2011.
The Princess of Wales – Patron of the Rugby Football Union – meets local and national male players at Maidenhead Rugby Club on Wednesday
The Daily Mail’s royal editor, Rebecca English, said she was “really impressed” by Kate’s communication skills on her recent engagement
The expert said: “It was a discussion about fatherhood and what their experiences as fathers were like and what better support they could get.” […]
“I’ve always said about the Princess of Wales that I don’t think she was always the strongest communicator.”
“It was a learning curve for her, I don’t think she was necessarily always comfortable with that.”
“But she was the only woman sitting there at this table of very successful athletes, and she really kept her word – she asked the right questions, put them to different people and listened to their answers.”
Though Rebecca said it was clear Kate was “very comfortable” speaking about her area of expertise, the expert added, “I could really see her coming into her own area of expertise.”
“I was really impressed with her.
In addition, Kate shared an emotional moment with a grieving mother on the pitch on Wednesday.
As the workout drew to a close, Kate was approached by Sarah Renton – whose 17-year-old daughter Issy Phipps sadly died of depression just a few weeks ago.
During her visit to Maidenhead RFC as part of her work on the Shaping Us campaign, which focuses on early childhood, the Princess of Wales comforted Sarah Renton, a manager at the club who lost her daughter Issy to suicide in late April, when she was only 17 at the age of 14
The grieving mother-of-three gave Kate a pair of shoes her cousin made in memory of Issy.
Kate was visibly touched by her interaction with Ms Renton, who coaches the under-14s at the club, and put her arm around the mum before giving her a warm hug.
Ms Renton later said the princess had promised to wear the jewelery – which will raise money for a mental health charity – in Issy’s memory at a later date.
A keen rugby player herself, Issy Phipps played for Maidenhead RFC from the age of four before moving to Reading RFC as she aged.
Graham Butland, former chief executive of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, previously described how “so nervous” the Princess of Wales was before delivering her first speech in her role as patron in 2012.
The Princess gave her first public speech at Treehouse Hospice in Ipswich in 2012 (pictured during the visit).
Confident Kate: The princess, pictured at the opening of the Nook Children’s Hospice in Norfolk in 2019, has been comfortable in the spotlight but hasn’t lost their ‘together touch’.
Speak with People MagazineHe explained, “I remember in the very early days she would walk into a room with her head slightly bowed and her long hair sideways.” Now she comes in with her head held high.
He added that the Queen has “arguably grown into her new position” but has never lost her common ground or ability to connect with people in a “natural” way.
“This is not someone who is struggling to stay in character. That’s her character,” he said, explaining that the Queen has a great ability to empathize with patients and their loved ones.
He added that there is always “tremendous feedback” from children and their families when the princess comes to a hospice for a private visit.