William’s intense side is balanced by Kate’s unwavering poise and calm, making her a strong partner.
“They look after each other but in different ways,” a friend tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “Some people might say it’s an old-fashioned marriage, but it seems to work.”
The friend adds, “They have different roles, but they come together as a team.”
The teamwork between William and Kate, both 37, was on full display during the couple’s tour of Pakistan in October.
“They are a great double act,” according to a senior royal source. “People make much of William giving the big speeches, but Kate is there too, asking questions of presidents and their wives. These things are easier when they are side-by-side.”
The Foreign Office, which decides where all royals should travel on behalf of the U.K., sees the couple as a “massive asset; the perception of them is strong,” an insider says, and at least two major overseas tours are already in the works for the duo next year.
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In many ways, William was given a stronger foundation than his father. Charles grew up distant from his mother and found himself in an unhappy marriage to Diana by the time he was William’s age. By contrast, even in the midst of his parents’ bitter split, William had a nurturing childhood, and years later gained the crucial support of Kate’s family, Carole and Michael Middleton.
“He is better set and better grounded than any predecessor one can remember,” says royal historian Robert Lacey.