Today's columnist, royal watcher, James Taylor: William is far from workshy

It's difficult to believe it is five years since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge married at Westminster Abbey.

Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 12:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 1:16 pm

Although the traditional home for royal weddings in the 20th century, it was the first royal wedding there in 25 years and the largest royal event in a generation with monarchs and their representatives attending from across Europe.

In the years since the wedding in April 2011, the couple have welcomed two children with Prince George of Cambridge born in July 2013 and his sister, Princess Charlotte, in May 2015.

The couple have represented the Queen on high- profile tours abroad beginning with Canada a few months after their wedding, the South Pacific and South East Asia in 2012, Australia and New Zealand in 2014 and India this year.

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It’s fair to say that their popularity has seen a level of coverage for the tours on television and in newspapers not seen for years.

This popularity has, though, taken a knock this year with suggestions that the two were not working hard enough – the Duke acquiring the tag ‘Workshy William’.

Since leaving the RAF, he has worked as an East Anglia Air Ambulance pilot and carried out royal engagements.

It’s not an easy situation. If members of the Royal Family choose to work, they are accused of cashing in on their connections.

Prince William has avoided this by working in the public sector but is still accused of not pulling his weight.

I think, though, their way of life and workload must have been approved by the Queen, possibly from her own experience.

Her Majesty became Queen in 1952 on the death of her father, George VI.

At the time, her elder two children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, were three and 18 months.

This meant the end of her private life, having to spend more time away on engagements and royal tours.

It is understandable that the couple want to spend quality time with their young children but it’s difficult to explain this to working parents who don’t have the option to choose.

Despite this, in the last couple of years the Duke of Cambridge has stepped up preparations for his future role.

He has regularly carried out investitures on behalf of the Queen and attended audiences with Her Majesty.

Although the Queen and Prince Philip remain incredibly active, the next few years will, inevitably, see them hand over functions and responsibilities. I am sure the Cambridges will take on an increased public role.