Kate Middleton Got Secret “Princess Lessons” from the Queen Before She Married Prince William

Camilla also offered advice on how to “hang on to a prince.”

Kate Middleton Queen Elizabeth
(Image credit: Getty Images)


Before marrying Prince William in 2011, the Mirror reports that Kate Middleton was given secret princess lessons by someone who knows a thing or two about how to be royal: Her Majesty the Queen.

Life in the royal family comes with a hefty list of protocols, rules, and best practices, and it seems the Queen took Kate under her wing in the run up to her wedding. According to the 2017 Amazon Prime documentary Kate Middleton: Working Class to Windsor, Kate took private lessons on “how to be a royal wife” and met with the Queen, where Her Majesty, among other things, helped Kate decide what her official royal title would be. Their decision? Catherine, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge.

“From the beginning, Kate Middleton had a great deal of support from the royal family, which was really instructed by the Queen,” journalist Ashley Pearson says in the documentary. “This was to make sure she knew as much as she could possibly know and what to do in every situation–bearing in mind, of course, that she didn’t grow up in this world.”

One of the top tips from the Queen’s princess lessons? How to preserve her modesty, Pearson says.

“There were things like learning how to get out of a carriage without exposing your modesty and learning how to bend down to get flowers from a young girl without exposing your modesty. Things that you would never think you’d have to learn but, of course, a woman in her position would certainly need to know.”

Also included in the lessons were etiquette tips–“how to sit, who to curtsy to, who not to curtsy to, what fork to use, and whatever else they felt she needed to know,” Pearson says. “She was actually given lessons on how to be a royal wife.”

For her part, Camilla chimed in, too, giving Kate words of wisdom on how to “hang on to a prince,” according to royal author Robert Lacey in his book Battle of Brothers. “Camilla had confided to Kate the secret of hanging on to a busy prince: Fit your timetable–well, basically your whole life–around his.”   

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.