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When Kate Middleton and Prince William first met at college almost two decades ago, no one was thinking about marriage at that point for the young couple. They were barely out of their teens, so basically, everyone was just beyond excited to see that Prince William had met someone who made him so happy.  

A few years into the relationship, people around the world were waiting to see Middleton step out with a ring on her finger. Years passed, and the couple even went through a very public breakup in 2007. After they had gotten back together, and there was still no proposal.

Middleton was given the nickname “Waity Katie” since she, too, was waiting for Prince William to ask for her hand in marriage. Finally, in November of 2010, it was announced that the couple was engaged to be married.

Suddenly, everyone wanted to know the details of the engagement, which happened in Kenya. While Prince William and Middleton kept most of the intimate details to themselves, there is one thing that we do know. Prince William proposed to Middleton in a sneaky way to ensure he wouldn’t upset the queen.

Kate Middleton went from commoner to the future queen

Prince William and Kate Middleton visit Pakistan's Army Canine Centre.
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

When Middleton was growing up in the Village of Bucklebury, Berkshire, England, chances are she had no idea that she would one day be married to the future king. There is no doubt that as a resident of the U.K., Middleton knew all about Prince William and the entire royal family.

Even when she began attending the University of Saint Andrews, the now duchess was in a relationship with someone else and wasn’t anticipating falling in love with Prince William. According to The Telegraph, Middleton knew that she had to work a little harder in order to ensure a solid marriage, given that she didn’t have an aristocratic upbringing.

Luckily, all worked out for the best, and despite the fact that her life is drastically different than it once was, we have to say that Middleton makes the perfect future queen.

Royals must follow a certain protocol when getting married

When most people get engaged to be married, they can pretty much go about it however they choose to. Whether they plan a quiet proposal, or if one partner decides to pop the question in front of friends and family, it is a personal decision that is all up to them.

For members of the royal family, especially those who are in the direct line of succession, it is somewhat of a different story. MentalFloss reports that Prince William had to seek approval from his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, before asking Middleton’s father, Michael Middleton, for permission to propose to his daughter.

In keeping with royal protocol, the queen is always the first to know about important events, such as an engagement. If she gives permission, a formal statement is released, making the engagement “official.”

The sneaky way that Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton without upsetting the queen

We can only imagine that when Prince William finally decided to ask Kate Middleton to be his wife, he knew exactly how he wanted to go about doing it. However, there were some things that he needed to check off of his list before actually getting down on one knee and presenting his future wife with the iconic diamond and sapphire ring.

The prince knew that he wanted to be “traditional,” and ask for Michael Middleton’s permission first. But this would mean that the queen was not first to know.

According to Express, the Middleton family was spending time at Balmoral when Prince William took Kate Middleton’s father aside and asked for his blessing to marry his daughter. He then made swore Middleton to secrecy until he could also approach his grandmother with the same question. Looks like the proposal went off without a hitch, and no one got upset in the process.