Yesterday was Prince William and Catherine’s eighth wedding anniversary and the best gift they received came from the Queen herself: Princess Kate was appointed Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. It’s the highest rank in the Order and the honour is decided by the Queen herself, “for services to the Sovereign”. In other words, it’s a big ass deal – the Queen is pleased with Kate and they all want us to know how pleased Her Majesty is with Kate. 

And it’s not just because of the wedding anniversary that the announcement of the award was timed this way. 

So Kate will proudly be wearing her new sash with her badge on Friday, along with any other bells and whistles that accompany the designation. It’s going to be a great moment for her, a recognition of what she’s contributed to the family – first and foremost continuity: three children in eight years, mother to the future king, as retrograde as it is (and it’s not like these people are radical), that was the first priority. The next priority is to raise those children so that they can carry on the line, while getting out there and putting on the public face as patron to her causes and charities. 

Her Majesty is telling Kate that she sees her, and that she appreciates it. She is getting all the hardware fit for a Queen – which is what she will be, when Prince William eventually becomes King. Because that is his birthright. And nobody is saying it isn’t. For the royals, much more than for civilians, their spouses are assets. Kate is a very, very valuable asset to Will. She is his most effective ally and partner. She has the Queen’s enthusiastic approval. So can he now stop being so insecure?