The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge along with Prince Harry seem to have blossomed into mature, fully functional royals for the modern era. Fortunately, the new generation have learned from the current monarch.
While at college William lived an unprecedented life that was as normal as anyone in his situation could ever hope to achieve. In the wake of his mother's death William had a protective distance between him and the everyone else. He was even allowed to live with roommates in complete privacy, one of which happened to be someone the media referred to as Kate Middleton.
Surprisingly, it has been the queen who initiates radical departure from traditional royal protocol. The queen would walk into stores on the outskirts of Windsor Castle in the 1970’s and 80’s waiting to be served with the rest of the public. Most failed to notice the non-descript lady, but every now and then an intrepid woman might casually mention to her how similar she looked to the monarch. The queen would smile and give a vague response.
Diana may have led the way for the royal family to integrate an informal air into official royal duties, but it has been the queen who picked up the proverbial baton and ran with it for over the past two decades. The photo op of a stiff queen being served tea by a simple cottage dweller was soon replaced by the head of state riding a public train to Sandringham, and other activities which highlight her accessibility without betraying her mystique.
Until William decided to propose to Katherine the young princes were allowed to live in private for the most part and what little information seeped into the public arena could be dismissed as youthful indiscretion. With an engagement announcement the last shreds of media self-control could be abandoned.
A new day had come for Prince William and Harry; they would have to establish a new agreement with the press, and to a lesser extent, the outside world.
Annual photo calls where questions were asked ended. In their place a gradual increase in official events were added to the lives of princes eager to continue their military careers.
After her marriage Katherine naturally fell into a life happily balancing a private life and royal duties, and never giving a single solo interview.
The more visible William, Katherine, and Harry have become the less verbal they are. This is a continuation of the ancient rule about preserving the mystery of the monarchy.
Harry’s transition by far has been the most difficult. He has had to live and try to find a mate outside the bubble naturally placed around William, and to slightly lesser extent Katherine. The discretion and secrecy shielding the next in line to the throne, and Harry’s missteps through the years have been on the cover of every major tabloid throughout the world while Williams questionable choices, like him at a costume party dressed as a “Bond girl” are suppressed. Harry has learned to control his exuberance until he is within the private world of his trusted friends, where he can be himself and no audio or visual evidence will see the light of day.
The next generation appear to know the path they want to travel and are willing to rewrite the rules to fit their needs.