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
Rachel Burchfield

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 weekend 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.