Harry and Meghan’s shock decision to step down from the royal frontline left William and Kate more at the forefront of the Royal Family than ever before.
The sudden move reportedly “blindsided” the Firm and the Queen quickly called a summit at Sandringham to find a solution. Despite the severity of the crisis which has left the Queen deeply “saddened”, William and Kate have managed to uphold royal values throughout.
By upping their royal engagements, the two have shone in the spotlight since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departure.
According to a BBC Radio 4 programme, broadcast in 2007, the royals may have learned how to respond to such dilemmas from past events.
Speaking to journalist Matthew d’Ancona in the broadcast, royal biographer Penny Junor said: “The times when monarchy has been most endangered has been when the monarch has sunk below the parapet.
“When Queen Victoria went into mourning and wasn’t seen, the monarchy went into a really really rough patch when Diana died and the Queen – and the rest of the Royal Family – were invisible up in Balmoral.
“Again, real problems – the monarchy must be visible.”
Following Diana’s devastating death in 1997, rumbles of republicanism began to emerge as the nation descended into mourning.
The Queen was heavily criticised for her absence in London and was perceived as being uncaring.
In reality, she and Philip had decided to take Harry and William up to Balmoral in Scotland to help them with their grief.
Yet, the public’s anger increased, so the monarch decided to take the unprecedented action of broadcasting a speech on the evening before Diana’s funeral.
Acknowledging the horror of Diana’s death, the Queen also explained how “there were lessons to be drawn from her life, and the extraordinary and moving reaction to her death” in her address to the nation.
Host Mr d’Ancona argued in the prgramme that this speech helped ease the tension within the crowds, emphasising how the monarch’s presence is key to upholding the monarchy at times when it is at risk.
Indeed Katie Nicholl wrote in Vanity Fair last week that “William, Kate and other members of the family have become more visible and picked up more responsibilities since the Sussex departure”.
However, this strikes a real contrast with the Sussexes themselves, who have increasingly sought out privacy.
The royal couple will return to the UK for a handful of engagements before their official 12-month transition period begins after March 31.
Harry and Meghan however have been steadily reducing their visibility ever since their marriage.
They asked for privacy surrounding their son Archie’s birth and subsequent christening, and also refusing to give their son a title.
They also set up their own foundation separate from the Royal Foundation which they previously shared with William and Kate, and have gradually pulled away from the Kensington Palace estate.
The couples’ decision to spend six weeks away in Canada the Autumn and skip Christmas with the rest of the Royal Family marked a significant departure from their royal relatives.
On the other hand, William and Kate chose that same Christmas church service to bring along their eldest two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, for the first time, making their family more centre-stage than before.
It has also emerged that William has held secret talks in Kensington Palace in preparation for replacing Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.
William, Kate, Charles and Camilla went out of a rare joint engagement the other week too, leading them to be dubbed ‘the new Fab Four’.
Camilla Tominey told ITV’s This Morning earlier this month: “This is a picture of the monarchy moving forward, but the pressure is really on the Duchess of Cambridge to make royals move into the future.
“Yes, Prince William is a star but it’s all about Kate lately and she’s considerably raised her game.”
A source even told Closer Weekly that Harry and Meghan’s split has actually pulled the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge closer together.