The Queen Was "Surprised" by How Suddenly Kate Middleton and Prince William Announced Their Engagement, Expert Says

They moved really quickly.

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) shows Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, around the 'Back to Nature Garden' garden, that she designed along with Andree Davies and Adam White, during their visit to the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London
(Image credit: Getty/Geoff Pugh)

When Kate Middleton and Prince William got engaged in 2010, they kept it their private little secret for a while. Middleton even kept her iconic ring in a safe until they were ready to go public.

Apparently, the now-Duke of Cambridge didn't want the news leaking before he announced it himself, so he asked the Queen for her consent on the morning of the announcement—which, understandably, kinda blindsided the monarch.

She was "thrilled to receive William's call, albeit a little surprised at the suddenness of the announcement," Katie Nicholl claimed in Kate: The Future Queen (via the Mirror).

A source told Nicholl, "The Queen had no idea that there would be an announcement that morning. It was rather hurried, because William was apparently worried about it leaking out."

So on Nov. 16, Prince William had a little multitasking to do. After asking the Queen for her blessing, he told Prince Charles and his future parents-in-law. And when he told Prince Harry, he apparently got a reaction very worthy of the happy news from his younger brother. Nicholl says that the now-Duke of Sussex "turned the air blue with a string of expletives," then quipped that it "took long enough."

Prince William and his future wife then announced their engagement to the world, and the rest is history.

Nicholl added, "William enjoyed outfoxing the media, and this was one announcement he wanted to make himself. The last thing he wanted was a newspaper getting the scoop, as had happened with his father's engagement to Camilla." Fair enough!

Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.