Why One Expert Says The Queen Will Now Lean On Kate Middleton More Than Ever

Kate Middleton has been excelling in her duties as a royal — and now, it looks like her role will be expanding even further. The Duchess of Cambridge, who turns 40 on January 9, has taken on a more prominent role within the royal family over the past few years. In December, she hosted the "Royal Carols: Together at Christmas" — a special Christmas carol service that would go on to be televised amidst the holidays.

Royal expert Dickie Arbiter told the Daily Mail, "The carol service was Kate's idea" and noted that "it's one way for other members of the royal family, who have all been involved in one way or another on the COVID front, to come together and say [thank you]." As the event served to honor COVID-19 frontline workers, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's thanks extended "through their own charities, individuals, Zoom calls with nurses or health workers etc."

Kate has even taken on a special (yet informal) role within the royal family as their designated photographer! Noted for taking her family's official birthday portraits, the mother-of-three has also snapped candid moments of the extended royal family, including that of William's cousin-in-law Mike Tindall and daughter Mia, per Hello!. But now, Kate is set to take on one of the biggest challenges of her royal tenure to date.

Queen Elizabeth will lean on Kate Middleton amidst a hectic year

It's going to be a big year for Queen Elizabeth. With 2022 upon us, the queen will soon celebrate her Platinum Jubilee to mark her 70th year on the throne — a feat accomplished by no other royal. But in spite of her achievements, the 95-year-old monarch — who has dealt with recent health setbacks — faces a challenging year ahead with mounting PR issues marring the royal family.

Queen Elizabeth's youngest son, Prince Andrew, is currently embattled with allegations of sexual assault from Virginia Giuffre — an alleged victim of not only Andrew but also his close friend, Jeffrey Epstein. On top of that, the estranged Prince Harry is set to release his memoir this year, which has reportedly left the royal family "quaking in their boots," a royal biographer revealed to Newsweek. As a result, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth will reportedly be seeking out the assistance of Kate Middleton.

The Duchess of Cambridge, who has taken on a bigger role within the family in recent memory, will most likely "come into her own even more, especially as it'll be a tough year for the royals," royal author Katie Nicholl tells Closer. Noting that "Harry and Meghan's interviews ... have caused chaos," the Duke of Sussex's "new memoir ... will likely reveal even more intimate details about the royal family, and cause further issues." The source added that "Andrew's court case will too," though "Kate will step up and I know the queen hugely values her support, and will rely on her more than ever."