Prince William and Kate Middleton marked 13 years of marriage by sharing a previously unseen photo from their wedding day taken for their private album – and one expert believes the choice of image sends a very telling message

The Prince and Princess of Waleses’ choice of photo to mark their wedding anniversary sends a ‘bittersweet’ message to fans, according to a royal expert.

William and Kate marked 13 years of marriage by releasing a previously unseen portrait taken at their wedding in April 2011. The black and white shot, taken by photographer Millie Pilkington, shows the newlyweds looking relaxed and smiling at Buckingham Palace after their ceremony, with Kate in her Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen bridal gown and veil and William standing with his hand on his wife’s waist.

Kate, who is undergoing chemotherapy after a cancer diagnosis, married future king William after eight years of dating. The couple are facing their most difficult challenge so far amid the princess’s diagnosis, with Kate appealing for time, space and privacy as she continues her treatment.

A never-before-seen picture of William and Kate on their wedding day 13 years ago (
Image:
@KensingtonRoyal)

Kate underwent abdominal surgery earlier this year (
Image:


Getty Images)
And according to royal expert and historian Dr Tessa Dunlop, the choice of photo that was released on social media sent a very telling message. She told the Mirror: “They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and the photograph that the Prince and Princess of Wales released today, marking their 13th wedding anniversary, is certainly doing a lot of talking.

“First and foremost, this previously unseen portrait is a reminder of the couple’s deep bond; their young love minutely captured in Kate’s winsome smile, standing as she was on the threshold of both married and royal life. Next to her, William’s body language is shot-through with loving thoughtfulness, his pose a protective one, two hands gently resting on his wife’s hips. The picture, taken by Millie Pilkington, has until now remained private.

“By sharing this moment with the public the couple are deliberately recalling their journey from carefree youngsters (the prince told the press: ‘obviously we both have a very fun time together, both have a very good sense of humour about things’), to seasoned married players.

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“When Kate’s cancer diagnosis was revealed, the Princess of Wales put her husband front and centre of her recovery. ‘Having William by my side is a great source of comfort and reassurance too.’ The clever selection of this one portrait re-establishes the couple’s enduring, romantic connection.”

But despite the picture showing the couple’s deep bond, Tessa believes it also hits a bittersweet note. She explained: “But there is something deeper at play than marital love in the release of this picture. Beyond the nostalgia hit from another glimpse of Kate’s intricate ivory gown and their glowing good looks, this private image is a ‘thank you’ to patiently waiting royal fans.

“The photograph is doing the work Kate is currently unable to. It is filling the gap she has left behind, or at least trying to. William, soldiering on alone, is doing his best but the pair have always been stronger (and much more eye-catching) together.

“It is a lovely picture, but there’s a bittersweet note beneath its black and white facade. In the week we hear King Charles will return to some (carefully selected) public duties, it serves as a reminder that the Royal Family’s most colourful member is still out of action. At the moment it looks unlikely Kate will play the princess at Trooping the Colour or hob-knob with Hollywood at Wimbledon. First and foremost she must prioritise her health, but after 13 years of public duties, royal life doesn’t look the same without her.”