Kate Middleton has earned Her Majesty’s respect for many reasons, but, perhaps most notably, because the Duchess of Cambridge loves Prince William as just William, not as the Duke of Cambridge.
That’s according to renowned royal author Andrew Morton in his new book, The Queen (opens in new tab). William and Kate met as freshmen at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland in 2001, even lived together as roommates at one point, and dated for over eight years before marrying in 2011. The couple now share children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, and, in addition to their three children, they hold the future of the monarchy in their hands.
“The thing about Kate is the Queen was impressed she adored and loved William for himself, not for his title,” Morton told OK!. “She spends a lot more time supporting and nurturing the relationship between William and Catherine than she did with Charles and Diana. It’s pretty clear she wasn’t going to make that mistake again.”
Yet, Morton said, the relationship between William and Kate—who met as teenagers—wasn’t initially expected to last.
“Everything that happened in [Kate and William’s] relationship was quite strategic, quite thought through, after a period of time,” Morton told OK!, per The Mirror. “In the beginning, nobody in the royal household expected for a second that the university romance with Catherine and William would continue for any time after they graduated, like most college romances which disintegrate under the intense scrutiny of jobs and geography.”
Of course, the relationship did go the distance, and the Queen was thrilled on William and Kate’s wedding day, “‘practically skipping’ according to one observer, absolutely thrilled at the way the public had reacted to the royal newlyweds,” Morton writes. “She had a sense that the future of the royal family, her family, was now secure. The monarchy was once again held in admiration and affection by the masses.”
William and Kate have been taking on more senior royal duties than ever recently, with the Queen primarily unable to do so because of physical mobility issues. William attended his first State Opening of Parliament this month, as well as traveled to the United Arab Emirates for his first state funeral representing Her Majesty; Kate, for her part, represented the Queen at a garden party this month.
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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