Queen Elizabeth Reportedly Criticized Kate Middleton for "Not Doing Enough" While She Was Dating Prince William

Back when Kate Middleton and Prince William were just dating, Queen Elizabeth reportedly didn't think Kate did enough. A royal expert suggests that Will actually kept Kate out of the public eye as a result of what happened to his mother.

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Today, it's hard to imagine the royal family without Kate Middleton (opens in new tab). The Duchess of Cambridge might only be a royal by marriage (opens in new tab), but she's as poised and regal as anyone else who's ever worn a tiara. Kate won the public over quickly (opens in new tab), but apparently it took a little longer for her to win over (opens in new tab) her future in-laws—specifically, the most important in-law of all, Queen Elizabeth II herself.

According to a report by Express (opens in new tab), the Queen was pretty critical of Kate back when she was still just a royal girlfriend (opens in new tab) and not yet a Duchess. The reason is pretty shocking: The Queen apparently didn't think Kate did enough. Phil Dampier, an expert who has been reporting on the royal family for more than 20 years, explained (opens in new tab):

"Kate was William’s girlfriend for eight or nine years before they got engaged and got married. The Queen once remarked Kate doesn’t do very much so I think she had a fairly long entrance to the Royal family."

That's hard to believe now, since Kate is one of the busiest, hardest working (opens in new tab) people on the planet. She attends countless royal engagements, works with several important (and seemingly time-consuming) charities, and finds time to be a doting mom to her three kids, Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and little baby Prince Louis, 8 months. The Queen seems happy with Kate's full schedule now, but, back in the day, she didn't think Kate was doing all that much.

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Don’t worry: Kate and Elizabeth are now best buds.

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Dampier, for one, doesn't think that Kate's light load of royal appearances (opens in new tab) while dating Prince William (opens in new tab) was because she was lazy or standoffish or anything like that, though. He's of the opinion that Will was actually behind Kate's "not doing much."

“William, because of what happened to his mother, was very protective of her and always has been since then," he said (opens in new tab). "She only does what she wants to do and is comfortable with and isn’t put under too much pressure and scrutiny. His family’s been his number one priority."

Fair, Will. Very fair (opens in new tab).

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Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.