Prince William and Kate Middleton reportedly seek an avenue to alter how they are referred to by others, part of the fallout from their difficult Caribbean tour. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge want to be addressed by name instead of title and get rid of the curtsies and bows, sources told The Sunday Mirror over the weekend. William, who will one day become king of the U.K., reportedly wants to lead the British monarchy into the modern era to survive.
"They want to be more approachable, less formal, less stuffy, and breakaway with a lot of the tradition," the source told the Mirror. William allegedly wants to scrap parts of the rule book to "move with the times" and hopes that a streamlined monarchy will help it continue into the 21st Century. The negative reception they faced from residents of the Caribbean countries once colonized by the U.K. reportedly inspired William to make changes.
"When the team arrived back in London the couple had a debrief with aides," the source explained. "They went over everything and pinpointed specific things that went wrong and how to improve moving forward." The "general consensus" from the Caribbean tour was that William and Kate appeared "out of date, out of touch, too formal, and stuffy."
Since they arrived home, William and Kate have asked people to call them by their first names instead of Duke or Duchess. "They want to try to avoid the bows and curtsies in public, be more approachable, less formal, less stuffy, and breakaway with a lot of the tradition and focus on a modern monarchy," the source said.
The Duke and Duchess are also reportedly aware of the positive reception William's brother Prince Harry and Meghan Markle received when they went to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games in April. Harry and Meghan were seen as "down-to-earth, normal people" during their trip, according to the source, while William and Kate's trip to the Caribbean only reminded people of the past.
"If they could wave a magic wand and go back in time, they would change almost everything about the Caribbean tour," the Mirror's source said. "William and Kate are now both very aware that to certain parts of the world, and to the younger generations, the monarchy is a symbol of colonialism and a time gone by. Now, it seems silly to have celebrated that and push royal traditions during the tour."
The Royal Family was also caught off-guard by the negative response to the Caribbean tour. According to the source, Queen Elizabeth II hoped that the younger members of the family would help strengthen their position internationally and among Commonwealth nations. Instead, it just made them look like outdated relics. "It was a shock to them all. A real eye-opener. This is what prompted institutional change within the monarchy," the source said. "Otherwise, they just wouldn't survive."
Queen Elizabeth will mark 70 years on the throne with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations beginning in June. Harry and Meghan are expected to attend some of the events, but they will not be at the Trooping the Colour event because they are no longer active members of the family. The health of Queen Elizabeth, 96, has been a reason for concern lately, and she will miss the State Opening of Parliament Tuesday. Prince Charles and William will attend in her place to represent the royal family.