Queen Elizabeth II Believed Kate Middleton Was A ‘Safe Pair Of Hands’ To Help Rule One Day

The entire world watched on Apr. 29, 2011, when Prince William and Catherine Middleton wed in a beautiful ceremony at Westminster Abbey, London. The heavily publicized wedding prompted all kinds of celebrations, including street parties across England, William and Kate merchandise and plenty of speculation about how the royal couple would navigate their roles as the Prince and Princess of Wales.

The couple is particularly prominent in the royal family, given that William is next in line to the throne after his father, King Charles III, who ascended on Sept. 8, 2022, after his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, passed. At the time of their marriage, the couple had been together for eight years after they started dating when they were both students at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where the two completed their undergraduate degrees.

A lot has happened since those days, including the couple’s official engagement announcement on Nov. 16, 2010, followed by their wedding. Since then, the Prince and Princess of Wales have been busy building a family, which includes the future king, Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4.

Before Queen Elizabeth II passed away, she made a note to tell royal officials that Kate had grown to be a part of the family over the last decade. She also believed that Kate was a very trusted source to one day help lead the country. Before the couple got married, the queen was uneasy about the pair and their relationship. However, she grew to look at her granddaughter-in-law as a “safe pair of hands.”

As the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton has kept her step along with her husband, Prince William, and has also begun to make changes to her image. She remains true to herself while she makes way for the possibility that she may become the Queen Consort in the next decade or two.

Anthony McGrath, a celebrity stylist and lecturer at the Fashion Retail Academy in London, explained to Harper’s Bazaar how Kate’s style has changed over the years and how she’s expertly integrated her personal style with the fashion rules she’s expected to follow as a member of the royal family.

On her pre-royal style, McGrath said:

“Since Kate has been in the limelight she has always been somewhat of a conservative dresser, whether that was because she wanted to prove herself to the Royal Family or was her own personal style, who knows, but she was rarely seen in anything too risqué. However, since marrying Prince William and officially becoming a member of the Royal Family, her outfits have certainly become more modest… She had to leave behind the flirty and floaty dress, thigh-skimming minis and low-cut evening gowns.”

For her signature look, which is the look she is most known for, he said that skirt suits and coat dresses had become staples and go-to items for public engagements. “She also introduced an array of A-lines dresses in various different colors, decorative hats for formal events and closed-toe shoes,” he shared. McGrath also emphasized that she should be given credit for staying true to who she has and not molding herself into something else entirely.

He said, “Slowly, but surely, she has finessed her style over the years and her style is without a doubt, suitable for a future queen.”

By now, the story of how the couple met is no secret. William first met Kate when they were both students at the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland, where the two enrolled in 2001. In one of the most famous stories from their university days, the prince famously watched a charity fashion show that featured none other than Kate herself.

The relationship moved fairly quickly, and the two moved in together in a shared apartment; however, it wasn’t until 2004 that their relationship was out in the open. It was then that someone from the press snapped a photo of the two together while they were on a ski trip, which led to widespread knowledge of their once-private relationship.

Furthermore, their relationship wasn’t all smooth sailing. It might seem hard to imagine now, but there was a time when the couple actually separated for a brief period in 2007, as reported by Town & Country. Kate opened up about the split in a television interview, as reported by The Guardian. She said:

“At the time I wasn’t very happy about it, but it made me a stronger person … You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realized, I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you are younger and I really valued that time for me (the months apart) although I didn’t think it at the time.”

Years later, William was asked point-blank by royal photographer Arthur Edwards from The Sun: “Why did you split up?” And his answer was actually rather sweet. He said:

“Well, Arthur, I had to be sure this was the right woman for me because I want this marriage to last for ever.”

The couple, who are clearly meant to be, reconciled and haven’t looked back since.

However, although they knew they wanted to be together, some members of William’s family apparently had reservations in the lead-up to their engagement, including the late Queen Elizabeth. Author Katie Nicholl, who wrote “The Making of a Royal Romance,” revealed that although the queen and Kate had met on a few occasions during formal events, they’d never met one-on-one before. In fact, the queen didn’t seem to know too much about Kate, as Nicholl wrote at the time:

“The queen is interested in Kate,” disclosed one source close to Her Majesty. ‘She was having a conversation with a friend and asked, ‘What is it exactly that Kate does?’ It was a fair enough question.”

This was around the time that Kate had already graduated from St. Andrews and had left her job as an accessories buyer at the fashion label Jigsaw. Following this period, it became publicly known that Kate was actually employed full-time at her family’s business, Party Pieces. Nevertheless, the queen, who was unaware that Kate worked, had “grave concerns” as she “believed that Kate needed to have a job and an identity in her own right before an engagement was announced.”

After they reconciled, William and Kate were spotted on another ski trip one year after their breakup, and just two years later, they announced their engagement. By that point, Kate had shown off more of her independence, and the couple looked incredibly happy when they announced their exciting news to the world. In a bittersweet touch, the engagement ring that William proposed to Kate with was his late mother, Princess Diana’s ring.

The rest of the couple’s story we know all too well — from their fairytale wedding to the birth of their three children, the Prince and Princess of Wales have opened their lives up to the public and, in the process, become well-loved members of the royal family.

Later on, Kate even received a seal of approval from the queen. In 2021, amid a tumultuous time for the royal family and following the death of Prince Philip, it appeared that the queen had given her a “seal of regal approval,” according to royal commentator Daniela Elsner writing for news.com.au. The approval came from a pearl necklace that Kate wore for Prince Philip’s funeral, which was lent to her from the queen’s own personal collection.

Lending a piece of jewelry to Kate, and especially considering the occasion at which she wore it, says a lot about the queen’s approval of the Princess of Wales. But it’s not the first time she wore the iconic pearl choker with matching diamond and pearl drop earrings — Kate wore it several years ago in 2017 to commemorate the queen and Prince Philip’s 70th wedding anniversary, which further adds to the meaning of her wearing it again for his funeral.

Writing for news.com.au, Daniela Elsner said:

“If there was any doubt about the Queen’s feelings about her granddaughter-in-law, then the four-strand diamond-clasped pearl choker and diamond earrings which were worn by Kate and lent to her by Her Majesty, served as a priceless seal of regal approval.”

She added:

“The choker was commissioned by the Queen in the ’70s and in 1982 Diana, Princess of Wales, donned the piece for a banquet for the Dutch royal family.”

The pearls were a gift from the Japanese government. It’s said that pearls are part of a historical royal tradition that spans thousands of years. Speaking with People, Leslie Field, who wrote the book “The Queen’s Jewels,” explained:

“Pearls are traditional for Queens going back one thousand years- there has never been a Queen who didn’t wear pearls. They were rare, beautiful and lustrous and the more you wear them, the more lustrous they become.”

Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II’s great-great-grandmother, was well-known for wearing pearls. In fact, pearls became known as “mourning jewelry” due to Queen Victoria’s wearing of them. Following the death of her husband, Prince Albert, when she was just 42 years old, she famously wore black for 40 years until her death. Alongside black clothing, she wore strands of pearls from that day on, which are thought to symbolize tears, as well as either colorless or black jewelry to complete her somber looks.

Since both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were both related to Queen Victoria — she was both of their great-great-grandmothers — it adds even more meaning to Her Majesty lending Kate Middleton her pearls.

According to Express, Joe Little, editor of Majesty Magazine, shared, “It’s speculation and conjecture, but you would think the Queen very much regarded Kate as a safe pair of hands, she’s been a member of the Royal Family for 10 years now.”

However, he also added that the relationship between Kate and Queen Elizabeth II was not always that way. “But she was very much on the scene for quite a few years prior to that because, as well documented, Kate and William were living together, which in itself was quite revolutionary,” he said. He went on to say, “I think given all that’s gone on in the Royal Family over the past few years; the supposed fall outs, the Duke of York and the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen had great trust in Kate.”

Little also shared that not all royal family members, especially women in the family, have been seen as helpful to the queen. “(It was) only a few years ago, she gave her the Royal Family Order – it’s something that’s only given to the female members of the Royal Family who have been around for quite some time and are deemed to be of great support to the Queen. So not every female member of the Royal Family has got it, but Kate has,” he added.

Queen Elizabeth II believed that the royal couple would be a great asset to the world when they became king and queen one day. “I would say the Queen had great trust in the Prince and Princess of Wales, and in the future, King William V and Queen Catherine,” Little shared.

The editor acknowledged that when Princess Diana married King Charles III, she entered royal duties too quickly without structure. “In the past, certainly when Diana came on the scene, she threw herself and was thrown into royal duties almost immediately with mixed success, there was no real template, things went well and sometimes things went really badly,” Little revealed.

Little shared that Kate watched from afar before stepping up and into her role as the “Children’s Princess.” “Kate was very gradual, she appeared very occasionally, for the first few years, she was really William’s wife rather than a working member of the Royal Family,” he said.

“She was then selective in the duties she took on and the charities she was associated with, and we now see her performing to a very high standard with the charities that mean so much to her,” he went on to share.

Compared to her late mother-in-law, the late queen believed that the Prince and Princess of Wales were looked at as leaders by Queen Elizabeth II. “It seems safe to assume the Queen regarded this couple the future of the British monarchy in the 21st century,” Little revealed.

Being part of the royal family for over a decade, the Princess of Wales has found a healthy and helpful spot within the royal family. “Kate has found her own niche within the Royal Family, she focused on things that mean a great deal to her and she feels she can give something to the charities, rather than just cover lots of charities but not in a great way,” he added.

What do you think of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s thoughts on Kate Middleton? We believe that she loved her! If you found this article informative and interesting — pass this article on to others who will be interested too!