Prince William and Kate Middleton Broke Royal Protocol When Queen Elizabeth Was Not the First to Know This Major News

It has been nearly ten years since Kate Middleton and Prince William tied the knot, yet the two may have broken a royal protocol right before their wedding. The couple, who now share three children, dated for several years before Prince William proposed in 2010. But after Middleton accepted his proposal, Queen Elizabeth was supposed to be the first person to find out about the engagement — which she surprisingly wasn’t.

William Kate Royal Protocol
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Photo by Chris Jackson / Getty Images for St James’s Palace

Prince William and Middleton broke this royal protocol

Middleton and Prince William became friends while attending the University of St. Andrews in Scotland in the early 2000s. Their friendship turned romantic after their first year together, though Prince William did not propose until 2010.

Despite a few hiccups in their relationship, William got on bended knee when the two were visiting Lake Rutunda in Kenya. Middleton gladly accepted the proposal and the two were supposed to inform Queen Elizabeth before anyone else.

According to Express, William and Middleton were alone at the lake that day, though there was one couple who learned about the engagement before Her Majesty.

Prince William and Middleton visited Ian and Jane Craig’s home in Lewa Downs after they left the lake. Royal expert Katie Nicholl says that the Craigs — who are parents to one of Prince William’s former lovers — were the first people to find out about the engagement as the pair could not contain their excitement.

“The Craigs had been the first to hear about the engagement when William and Kate returned to Lewa Downs,” Nicholls shared. “But William swore them to secrecy.”

Middleton consistently breaks this one rule

Not telling Queen Elizabeth about their engagement right away is not the only royal protocol the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have broken over the years.

One of the biggest rules the couple often ignores is when they travel with their three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Direct heirs to the crown are not supposed to travel together in airplanes just in case there is an accident.

The rule goes way back to when airplanes were first invented and is supposed to protect the line from being wiped out in one fell swoop. Air travel, of course, has gotten a lot better since back in the day, though there is still risk involved.

Middleton and Prince William first broke this role in 2014. At the time, Prince George flew with Prince William and Middleton to Australia and New Zealand. The family flew across the ocean in one plane, though the rules dictate that they should have taken separate flights.

The Cambridges have broken this rule several times since then. This includes a recent trip to Scotland to visit Her Majesty at her Balmoral estate. Although they are clearly unafraid to travel together, that could change once Prince William becomes the King of the United Kingdom.

How else have Prince William and Middleton broken royal protocols?

Speaking of their children, Prince William and Middleton have gone against royal tradition when it comes to raising them. The couple has been very vocal about giving their kids normal lives and have opted against having a team of nannies behind closed doors.

They also perform a lot of the day-to-day activities with their kiddos, including cooking them meals and taking them to school in the mornings — much like Princess Diana did with William and his brother, Prince Harry.

Apart from their children, another rule the Cambridges break is living outside of the royal palaces in London. While they have a place inside Kensington Palace, Prince William and Middleton actually live inside Anmer Hall, which is located in Norfolk.

There are lots of other royal protocols Middleton and her husband have ignored over the years — like wearing the same clothes more than once — and that probably won’t change once he takes the throne.

Prince William prepares for a solo trip

With Middleton determined to be a hands-on parent, she will be skipping out on William’s next trip abroad.

The Duke of Cambridge is scheduled to fly to Oman and Kuwait next month while the rest of his family stays behind in England.

Kensington Palace has yet to reveal details about Prince William’s visit, though palace officials are expected to release more information in the coming weeks.