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Why Kate Middleton's Relationship With the Queen Is "Stronger Than Ever"

Having taken cues from Her Majesty, the duchess has "all the qualities necessary for a future queen."

Prince William and Kate Middleton's upcoming wedding anniversary in April will mark 10 years since the duchess joined the Royal Family. During that last decade, she has quietly and gracefully settled into the role of Queen-in-Waiting and the way she's handled the past year in particular has brought her closer to the most important royal of all: Queen Elizabeth. According to one royal source, "Their relationship is stronger than ever." Read on to find out why, and for an update on another pair of royals, check out The Real Reason Harry and Meghan Are Quitting Social Media, Insiders Say.

Read the original article on Best Life.

Kate proved herself to the Queen amid Megxit and the pandemic.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talk with medical staff during a visit to St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London, to mark the launch of the Hold Still photography project.
PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

In 2020, Duchess Kate became the family's secret weapon during some difficult times. Last January, a Palace insider told Best Life, "The Duchess of Cambridge has become one of [the Royal Family's] greatest assets for her ability to be both an accessible and aspirational figure." That was certainly true in amid Megxit, and later during the countrywide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kate and William became the representatives for the Royal Family, doubling up on their duties as surrogates for the Queen and Prince Charles, who were both sheltering-in-place due to the virus.

None of this has been lost on the Queen. "Her Majesty has always been fond of Catherine, but the Queen was very pleased to see how the duchess rose to the occasion so brilliantly during lockdown and took on some wonderful initiatives," she said. And for more on the royal family, check out The Surprising Christmas Tradition the Queen Insists the Royals Follow.

One of Kate's initiatives in particular really impressed Her Majesty.

William and Kate visit Cleeve Court Residential Care, Cleeve Green, Twerton, Bath,The Duke and Duchess will pay tribute to the efforts of care home staff throughout the COVID-19 pandemic
Paul Grover – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Last year, one indication that the Queen was clearly proud of her granddaughter-in-law was when she issued a letter praising the "Hold Still" contest and exhibit that Kate did in conjunction with the National Gallery. After the duchess gave her a preview of the winning images, Her Majesty wrote: "The Duchess of Cambridge and I were inspired to see how the photographs have captured the resilience of the British people at such a challenging time, whether that is through celebrating frontline workers, recognising [sic] community spirit or showing the efforts of individuals supporting those in need." And for more on the Duchess of Cambridge's past year, check out The Secret Behind Kate Middleton's Best Looks of 2020.

Kate's confidence has come a long way, largely from emulating Diana and the Queen.

The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the 12th Northolt Scout Group in Northolt, west London, to thank local cubs and beaver scouts for supporting young people and their families during lockdown.
PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

When Kate first joined the family, she was largely seen and not heard at events, always ceding the limelight to William. Whenever she was required to do any public speaking in those early years, she often appeared nervous and somewhat stiff. Last October, when she appeared in a video shot at the Natural History Museum in London to talk about another photography contest, she stunned royal watchers with her newfound confidence and decidedly regal presence.

Kate sounded and looked every inch a modern Queen-in-Waiting in a chic black trouser suit by Alexander McQueen. The duchess, with help of her stylist, Natasha Archer, chooses her look for every event very carefully, sometimes signaling subtle tributes to the Queen or Princess Diana. On this occasion, it's worth noting that the duchess selected the newest version of the "power suit," emulating Diana's '90s style while maintaining a poised and regal presence evocative of the Queen.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Kate never received "lessons" on being a royal or future queen. Royal biographer Ingrid Seward, who noted the the duchess and the Queen enjoyed a "warm" relationship, told Hello, "Kate has had to learn on the hoof, just as the Queen did, and while she might pick up some of the nuts and bolts, such as noticing how the Queen remembers things and when she reads her notes, Kate doesn't need any help at the meet-and-greet side of things because she's very good at that already." And for more regular royals updates, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Kate and the Queen share one very important thing in common.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Bath Spa train station and take time to meet and chat with Jasmine Warner, 5, centre, who's brother Otto, 8, left, has today come out of cancer treatment and was by chance hoping to meet the royal couple with his family, including sister Poppy, 10, right, and mum Georgie, ahead of a visit of the Duke and Duchess to a care home in the city to pay tribute to the efforts of care home staff throughout the COVID-19 pandemic on December 08, 2020 in Bath, England. The Duke and Duchess are undertaking a short tour of the UK ahead of the Christmas holidays to pay tribute to the inspiring work of individuals, organizations and initiatives across the country that have gone above and beyond to support their local communities this year.
Ben Birchall – Pool / Getty Images

In addition to their shared devotion to family and their royal duties, both the Duchess of Cambridge and the Queen are masters of small talk whenever the situation arises. The Queen is said to enjoy a good joke at events, while Kate often shares charming anecdotes about Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

Last January, while chatting with the crowd at a community center outside London, Kate didn't hesitate to answer when a young man asked about the possibility of another royal baby. She said, "I don't think William wants any more." Then in February, she gave a revealing interview on the podcast Happy Mum, Happy Baby about her difficult pregnancies and the challenges of parenthood, even admitting she struggled with "mum guilt." Any mother who hasn't, she said, "is lying."

"Catherine, like the Queen, has her own way connecting with people with warmth and sincerity. That has gone a long way in modernizing the image of the Royal Family. The duchess's efforts are a big part that," said a royal insider. "Nothing means more to Her Majesty than family and securing the future of the Crown. She believes its future will very much be decided by how William and Catherine convey a strong sense of stability and empathy for the British people. The pressure can be enormous at times, and Catherine, having taken cues from the Queen over these last 10 years, has proven she possesses all the qualities necessary for a future queen." And for more on just how much Kate's won people over, check out This British Royal Is Now More Popular Than the Queen, New Poll Shows.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.

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