The Silent Way Kate Middleton Honored the Queen This Week

It’s the ultimate sign of respect for Her Majesty.

Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It was a “blink and you might miss it” moment—but an enormous sign of respect, nonetheless.

As Her Majesty made her way to her seat at Westminster Abbey for late husband Prince Philip’s Service of Thanksgiving last Tuesday, eagle-eyed viewers of the memorial caught the Duchess of Cambridge dip into a low curtsy for the Queen as the monarch passed Kate on her left side.

Kate, seated with husband Prince William and two of their three children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, turned heads as she entered the Abbey in a polka dot Alessandra Rich dress (the second time she’d worn the designer in a matter of days). But many missed Kate’s gesture, which is the expected protocol for royal ladies who are seeing Her Majesty in public for the first time that day. (For royal men, the proper greeting is a neck bow, Hello! reports.)

On the other side of the aisle, the Queen’s daughter-in-law Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Prince Edward and Sophie’s daughter Lady Louise also curtsied. (If you’re wondering why other royal ladies didn’t drop into a curtsy as Her Majesty passed, it’s likely because they’d already seen the Queen earlier in the day.)

In addition to the Cambridges and the Wessexes, other members of the royal family in attendance were Prince Charles and wife Camilla, Princesses Anne, Beatrice, and Eugenie, and, perhaps infamously, Prince Andrew, who escorted his mother to her seat in the Abbey.

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.