How Queen Elizabeth II Prepared Kate Middleton to Be Queen Catherine

Queen Elizabeth II lived a life of public service for 70 years as the British monarch. And during that time, she also prepared many of the senior royals for their new roles when she passed. One of those royals was Kate Middleton, who the queen prepared to eventually be Queen Catherine.

Queen Elizabeth ll and Kate Middleton — then the Duchess of Cambridge — visit Vernon Park during a Diamond Jubilee visit to Nottingham on June 13, 2012 in Nottingham, England
Kate Middleton and Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 | Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Queen Elizabeth II gave Kate Middleton the Duchess of Cambridge title

When Kate married Prince William in April 2011, the queen bestowed the hereditary Duchess of Cambridge title upon her new granddaughter-in-law. The queen also gave Kate the Countess of Strathearn title in Scotland and the title of Lady Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland. And, her occupation officially became Princess of the United Kingdom. 

This was the beginning of Kate’s life as a senior working royal. And right away, her importance in the family was recognized. Not only was Kate the wife of a future king, but she would also be the mother of a future monarch. And, she herself would one day be queen consort. 

After Queen Elizabeth’s death, Kate became the Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall and the Princess of Wales, per King Charles III. She’s officially one step closer to the title that Queen Elizabeth started preparing her for.

How Her Majesty prepared Kate Middleton to be Queen Catherine

The Independent UK reported years ago that a Buckingham Palace statement has already made it clear that when Prince William becomes king, Kate will drop her duchess (and now princess) title and become queen consort. 

She will receive her own coronation within Prince William’s. And, she will become even more of a central figure in the royal family than she already is. In the last years of her life, Queen Elizabeth started preparing Kate more and more for her future role as Queen Catherine. 

The late monarch gave Kate instructions on how to dress during public engagements starting back in 2014. And Her Majesty directed her curator Angela Kelly to prepare Kate’s wardrobe for her royal tour of Australia. 

Kate was also placed in prime positioning on the Buckingham Palace balcony during major events with the queen. She’s produced a number of heirs, knows how to act like a graceful royal in public, and she’s taken on a number of Queen Elizabeth’s patronages. 

Queen Elizabeth wasn’t running ‘princess school’

Royal expert Victoria Arbiter explained to The New York Post that people loved to say Queen Elizabeth was “running princess school” and she had “Kate in a classroom with a blackboard and telling her how to do things.” But, that’s not what really happened.

“[Elizabeth] is very keen on members of her family finding their own way, and I will be paraphrasing, but Prince William said a few years ago, she doesn’t tell you what to do or how to do it. She lets you know if she doesn’t like how you did it,” Arbiter explained.

One example that showed just how satisfied Queen Elizabeth was with Kate and her future role in The Firm was during the duchess’ 2020 “Hold Still” photography project. The queen wrote a letter praising Kate’s efforts for capturing “the resilience of the British people at such a challenging time.”

“It was putting support behind the initiative and showing praise for Kate without saying, ‘Great job’. She does things in a very subtle fashion,” Arbiter noted.

Kate has also displayed a similar “steadiness” and stoicism, with a bit of a modern twist. She has followed the queen’s keep calm and carry on cadence, with more of a smile. And, that’s likely because she was a natural student.

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