Kate Middleton ‘stung’ by Queen criticism before Duchess’ 39th birthday

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Kate will spend her birthday with her family at Anmer Hall in Norfolk after they abandoned plans to return to Kensington Palace after the holidays. Another national lockdown means she and William will once again be homeschooling their three children Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two. Meanwhile, the couple are likely to pop up doing video calls again soon to make up for a lack of in-person engagements.

Kate is now one of the most senior royals, shouldering a lot of responsibility, especially after the departure of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry last year.

However, at one point the Queen had “grave concerns” about Kate as a match for William, because she did not have a job.

At the time, she had met Kate several times at formal occasions, but knew “little of the girl who had enchanted her grandson”.

Royal biographer Katie Nicholl wrote in her book ‘The Making of a Royal Romance’ how the Queen thought it was “unacceptable” for a future member of the Royal Family to not have a job.

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Being a full-time royal is hard-work, with long days of attending engagements, along with all their other responsibilities, and she wanted to make sure Kate was prepared for that.

What’s more, she also thought Kate needed to have a job for her own sense of identity beyond being Prince William’s girlfriend or wife.

For this reason, she saw it as essential that Kate worked for a while before William proposed.

What’s more, she felt the couple’s many luxurious holidays during a recession was not the best image to be displaying.

Kate was reportedly “stung” by the criticism.

She soon started working, firstly at the fashion house Jigsaw and then for her parents’ business Party Pieces.

The Duchess of Cambridge also started volunteer work with the charity Starlight, an organisation for terminally ill children.

Ms Nicholl wrote: “[Privately [the Queen] had grave concerns and believed that Kate needed to have a job and an identity in her own right before an engagement was announced.”

She continued: “If she was not with William at Balmoral then the couple were skiing or holidaying in Mustique.

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“Kate was there so often the press dubbed her ‘Queen of Mustique’, a title that had previously belonged to Princess Margaret.

“Britain was now in recession and such frivolous displays of wealth were unpalatable to the Queen.

“She was one of the hardest working royals, despite her age, and that a future member of the family was without a full-time job was unacceptable to her.

“While the rest of the world speculated that an engagement was on the horizon for William and Kate, the Queen believed an announcement should be postponed until Kate was settled in a career.”

A source told Ms Nicholl: “It is Her Majesty’s opinion that if Kate is one day going to be William’s consort then she needs a proper job.

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“Swanning from one five star holiday resort to another is not the prerequisite for a young woman possibly destined to be Queen.”

Ms Nicholl added: “[Kate] was stung by the Queen’s criticism.”

Prince William finally proposed to Kate in 2010 after nearly a decade of dating, in which Kate could really get used to the idea of being Queen one day and what that would mean.

After their beautiful wedding in 2011, the couple enjoyed a few years of relative quiet while William was stationed in Anglesey.

Then, they both became full-time royals and stepped up their duties.

Importantly, Kate has developed her own niche in terms of her charitable output, focusing on children and early years education.

This has allowed her to pursue areas she is most passionate about and to run her own individual projects separate from the rest of the Royal Family.

She has also worked with her husband and brother-in-law Harry on the issue of mental health with their Heads Together initiative.

Meanwhile, she has given birth to and raised three children, who are currently the third, fourth and fifth in line to the throne.

Katie Nicholl’s ‘The Making of a Royal Romance’ was published by Tantor Media in 2011. It is available here.

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