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
Contributing Royal Editor

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.