Why Did It Take Kate Middleton so Long to Step out on a Solo Trip with Queen Elizabeth II?

Kate Middleton stepped out with Queen Elizabeth II today. The pair visited Bush House at King’s College. King’s College is the fourth oldest college in London and has been directly linked to several significant advancements in technology. The trip is the first solo trip that Kate Middleton has been on with Queen Elizabeth II since joining the family in 2011; a marked difference from her sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, who stepped out with the Queen on a solo trip just months after marrying Prince Harry. So, what took so long for Kate Middleton to spend one-on-one time with Queen Elizabeth II?

Queen Elizabeth II wasn’t always so sure about Kate Middleton

While Kate and the Queen seem to have come to an understanding in recent years, Queen Elizabeth II wasn’t so sure about Kate’s place in the family. According to Marie Claire, she was originally concerned that Kate Middleton failed to procure a full-time job following college. According to biographers, the hardest working royal found Kate’s lack of ambition to be of grave concern, especially since she was courting the future king.

Queens Elizabeth II and Kate Middleton
Queen Elizabeth II and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
(Photo by Paul Grover – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen didn’t just dislike Kate’s unemployment; allegedly she was also concerned about the future Duchess’ displays of wealth. While Middleton wasn’t born into royalty, her family is not poor by any stretch of the imagination. Middleton’s parents, Michael and Carole, made millions with a party planning business they founded in the 1980s. According to Town and Country, the British couple has a net worth of around $67 million. The queen felt as if Middleton flaunted her family’s money, something unbecoming for a royal or future royal.

The relationship has since warmed, though

While Queen Elizabeth II had early reservations about Kate Middleton, the relationship seems to have warmed in recent years, especially following the arrival of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. While the queen was concerned about Middleton’s ability to act in a royal capacity, it likely has nothing to do with Kate personally. She probably would have been concerned about anyone joining the family in such an important position.

Kate Middleton and Prince Charles
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (Photo by Danny Martindale/WireImage)

While her relationship with the queen was rocky in the beginning, Middleton is rumored to have a warm relationship with several royals. Prince Charles has always been a champion for the Duchess, according to Hello! Magazine. It Is rumored that Prince Charles insisted his sons would marry whoever they like, regardless of status. The insistence came after the failure of his own marriage to the late Princess Diana, a woman who was seen as more suitable for the royal family than Charles’ longtime love, Camila. Middleton also enjoys a strong relationship with the Duchess of Cornwall. 

Does the Queen like Meghan Markle better than Kate Middleton?

While the Queen enjoyed her first solo trip with Kate Middleton today, she was seen out and about with Meghan Markle shortly after the royal wedding. The difference in duties has led some to believe that the royal matriarch warmed to Meghan far quicker than she did to Kate.

Meghan Markle and Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan Markle
(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Markle received several patronages following her marriage to Prince Harry, and they were deeply bonded to the actress’ theatrical past. Middleton, on the other hand, received one patronage, shared with both William and Harry, following her marriage, according to The International Business Times.

While rumors persist that the queen has a soft spot for Markle, it’s possible that the royal family is simply acknowledging how much Markle’s life has changed now that she is a royal. Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family seem invested in making Markle feel comfortable.