For her next trick, Kate Middleton has perfected the tight-rope walk.
"Considering the circumstances she's in, it's almost impossible to understand how she's even done it," Endgame author Omid Scobie told E! News in an exclusive interview, "because most human beings would crumble under that kind of pressure."
The Princess of Wales, rather, has "yet to put a foot wrong" publicly, he said. "She has picked a cause to advocate for [early childhood development] that is totally appropriate for the role and she has been extremely dutiful to the heirs of the throne—and she's a great mother."
While no one would call Kate untouched by scandal, Prince William's wife has also become the poster princess for stiff upper lips, knowing full well what she signed up for the moment she swapped vows with the future king at Westminster Abbey in 2011. The mom of Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, has remained very much on brand ever since, mainly because that's the job but also because...well, what else would she do?
When it comes to the royal family, "it really is their way or the highway," Omid said, "and she is carrying out the role perfectly."
Not that being William's girlfriend and then his fiancée, and then Duchess of Cambridge and now Princess of Wales has shielded Kate from criticism. Quite the contrary, with every move she makes under the microscope (including the decision to stick it out with William in the first place because it took him a few, or eight, years to propose).
There have been relatively "minor flaws" along the way, Omid noted, as far as the big picture goes of what's expected of Kate, though much of that can be chalked up to the strict parameters of her role and the fact that she's prioritizing parenting over boosting her engagement numbers. (For the record, Princess Anne always wins, and in 2022 she made 214 official appearances to Kate's 90, according to the Royal Court Circular.)
"Sometimes over the years the work has been a little empty in places," Omid explained of the perceived marks against Kate. "It's a lot of kind of 'listening and learning' and not really doing. But there is very little spoken about the small number of engagements she does compared to the other working royals—including the queen when she was a working mother of four children."
Because, as Omid detailed in Endgame, she has done everything asked of her and that loyalty has been returned in kind. And that was not the case with the mother-in-law Kate never got to meet or the sister-in-law she wasn't a fan of, even before Harry and Meghan spilled so many royal beans.
To be able to fill her role so perfectly, Kate "successfully sublimated her authentic self," Omid wrote, "becoming an enigma to the public and perhaps even to herself. Unimpeachable, relatable Kate was also now an inscrutable queen in training—an institutional dream come true."
But Kate, for all her right moves, still serves at the discretion of the crown.
"She is in such a delicate position where she relies on the support of the institution around her and she gets the support," Omid told E!, "but if there was ever a moment in which she wavered or tried to steer the course herself, I think she would—just like any other woman that's married into that family—find herself up against a really tough challenge."
That being said, Omid added, "I don't think we're ever going to see that happen."
Read on for more revelations about how the royal family really operates from Omid Scobie's Endgame:
We independently selected these deals and products because we love them, and we think you might like them at these prices. E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a commission if you purchase something through our links. Items are sold by the retailer, not E!.