All the Ways Kate Middleton Followed the Royal Rules to Respect the Queen During Their Joint Appearance

Kate Middleton made her first solo outing with Queen Elizabeth and those watching closely noticed all of the royal rules that Middleton observed out of respect for the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton visit Kings College, to open Bush House.
Queen Elizabeth II and Kate Middleton | NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/Getty Images

Middleton and Queen Elizabeth visited King’s College

Kate Middleton and Queen Elizabeth attended the opening of Bush House at King’s College London’s Strand Campus for their first joint outing together. All eyes were on the pair, as Middleton wore a gray Catherine Walker coat dress while the Queen opted for a more vibrant light pink outfit.

Middleton and the Queen arrived to the event, sitting side by side in a car underneath a blanket.

Middleton and the Queen did step out together in 2012 for a visit to Leicester, but they were joined by the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip. By comparison, Meghan Markle stepped out solo with the Queen for the first time less than a month after marrying Prince Harry in 2018, during a visit to Chesire.

Middleton followed many respectful royal rules

Since was making an appearance with Queen Elizabeth, Middleton was observed following many royal rules that would point to her respect for the Queen.

For informal day events, Middleton typically doesn’t wear a hat, but for this occasion she did, with etiquette expert William Hanson telling the Daily Mail: “Formal day dress always requires a hat and the Queen is rarely seen in public during daytime events without one. Catherine will undoubtedly have known that a hat was required if she wished to keep in the royal good books.”

Later in the day, when Middleton visited The Foundling Museum without the Queen, she removed her hat.

Other ways Middleton showed the Queen respect

Middleton’s fashion choice for the day also likely was selected as a respectful option. The Duchess of Cambridge opted for black tights rather than sheer tights, as she will typically wear, with many believing this was a showing of modesty in the Queen’s presence.

Hanson believes the color choice was intentional, noting: “It’s interesting to see that The Duchess of Cambridge wore a more muted mid-grey dress, that at times blended in to the surroundings, allowing The Queen to stand out and take the main focus.”

The Duchess was also seen letting the Queen exit the car first, as would be expected, though Middleton was closest to the vehicle’s exit.

Hanson noted the rule here, sharing: “It is standard practice that The Queen exits the car first, although strict protocol actually dictates that the most important person arrives last — but with only 2 seconds difference here there is no breach of protocol of note. I am sure both ladies worked out what was going to happen before it did.”

Hanson also shared: “As a future queen, she completely understands the role and her current place in the royal pecking order. At today’s engagement in London she followed the royal rule book, as usual, to the letter.”

The etiquette expert further shared that some royal rules can be “adapted on occasion, when appropriate,” but that being in the Queen’s presence is definitely a time to stick to the rulebook, noting: “working alongside the monarch is not one of these occasions and I am glad to see that Catherine chose to play it safe.”