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The Queen & Kate: Celebrating Elizabeth II's Milestone

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Today was a truly an historic day! Queen Elizabeth II has surpassed the legendary Queen Victoria to become the longest reigning monarch in British history.  It is a changed world, and I don't think we name eras after king or queens anymore, so it is unlikely this will be referred to as the Elizabethan 2.0 in the future, although I could be wrong. Certainly, we can say that the Queen has reigned over not only an impressive span of years, but a period of history that saw absolutely extraordinary and dramatic changes. Her reign has been remarkable--and still is pushing forward strongly! Many congratulations to her on what must have been a very moving day.



Because this is Kate-Land, I thought we would incorporate Her Majesty into the post by looking at Kate and the Queen! Holidays aside, Kate attended her first big event as a royal-girlfriend when she was a guest at William's Passing Out Parade from Sandhurst. The Queen reviewed the graduates, among them Prince William, while Kate watched from the audience with her parents. Although the two didn't meet, certainly the Queen knew Kate was there, and obviously Kate knew the Queen knew. Kate would not be "presented" to Her Majesty for several more years.



It must have been an exciting, and probably lightly nerve-wracking, day when Kate finally got to meet William's grandmother. After all, the Queen is a very well-known and in some ways reverenced figure, and Kate grew up with her as a public icon, long before she was humanized as a grandmother. She had been dating William for some years when she was at last introduced to Her Majesty at Autumn and Peter's wedding in 2008.

Hello!

In answer to a question in the engagement interview, Kate said meeting the Queen was not overly stressful, "it was in amongst a lot of other guests. She was very friendly, and...it was fine." William added, "[The Queen] was very welcoming. She knew it was a big day and a lot of things were going on...she'd wanted to meet Kate for a while, so it was very nice of her to come over and say hello and have a little chat..."

Hello!


For some time it had been rumored that the Queen already heartily approved of Kate. Her "normal" roots, her stable family background, her obviously genuine affection for William all played in Kate's favor. It helped, I think, that when Kate and William broke up, Kate didn't rush about telling all her friends how she was feeling or spilling any family secrets. Despite the pressure, she kept up a very tough front and tight lips. Clearly, Kate was up for some of the unique challenges of royal life, and her self-control and her discretion could not have escaped the Queen's notice.


Almost exactly a month after Peter and Autumn's wedding, Kate was again rubbing shoulders with the Queen when she was present at Windsor for William's investiture in the Order of the Garter



Since her marriage, Kate has obviously been to many different family events at which the Queen has also present, but let's focus on those public events that saw Kate and the Queen interacting a little more one-on-one. Their first, small joint-event was when they toured the Buckingham Palace exhibition that displayed Kate's wedding dress and assorted accessories. I remember thinking how odd it was to see these two together after all the years that Kate was the royal-girlfriend. It was another of those transition moments as the public got used to Kate's new role. I honestly also felt nervous for Kate just looking at these pictures. The Queen is reportedly warm and welcoming, but don't you think small talk might be hard at first?


On March 6, 2012 Kate joined Camilla and the Queen at Fortnum & Mason to tour the flagship store. The royal trio were gifted hampers and got to try tea and sample the various treats the store sells.



On March 8th, Kate joined the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in Leicester for the opening engagement of the Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK. This was the first big "joint-engagement" the women undertook, and I think it was a massive success. They appeared to have an absolute ball together, talking and smiling throughout the day.  


William and Kate joined the Queen on an outing in Nottingham in 2012. The Duke and Duchess were in their usual high-spirits and Her Majesty seemed to love the energy, matching their good humor with ease.


Kate is clearly comfortable with the Queen, and enjoys spending time and learning on the job from someone who knows the ropes better than most. While pregnant with George, Kate requested to tag along on the Baker Street engagement. She simply took an interest in and suggested she accompany the Queen and Duke. Richard Palmer reported at the time: "'She just fancied it. She asked if she could come along,' a senior royal aide said."


In February of 2014, Kate was again at the Queen's side for a reception for the dramatic arts at Buckingham Palace. While there wasn't necessarily tension when the two had first been photographed  in 2011 at the Royal Wedding exhibition, the difference seemed noticeable three years later. Kate and the Queen have developed a very warm rapport, which is certainly the product of their familial ties, but also their common roles.


While Kate will never be the monarch, they are both senior royal women working to maintain the strength of the monarchy for a new generation.


Today, while she celebrated this huge historical moment, and personal milestone, the Queen was joined by William, Kate, George, and Charlotte in the Balmoral estate that was Queen Victoria's favorite retreat. People reported that the Cambridges traveled north to the Highlands on Tuesday to mark this special day.


Elizabeth lived through WWII and had to lead her county through the sometimes difficult growing pains of the decades that followed that culture changing conflict. Kate will likely live through another very turbulent time as we move into an increasingly digital and globalized world. Kate can learn much from the Queen, and certainly as she reflects on her life and her reign today, Her Majesty can be proud of William's choice of bride and confident that the future of the institution for which she has given her life, has found a steady influence and champion in the Duchess of Cambridge.

18 comments:

  1. Lovely post Jane.
    HM was reported as wanting yesterday to be just an ordinary day, but the country did want to mark it. It seemed just right. Wonder if the Cambridges are up at Balmoral just for the few days he as off---he was certainly working Sunday, as he was seen delivering a patient to Papworth Hospital.
    There seems to be quite a lot of engagements planned fro the next few weeks, so looking forward to that.

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  2. It's really great that the Queen and Kate seem to get along so well! It can be a big problem if there are tensions between a woman and her mother-in-law and even grandmother-in-law (I don't know if that's the case with the Queen, but most grandmas pamper and coddle their grandchildren and have a very close relationship with them so that getting along well with them is also very important).

    The Queen is a very strong and popular woman who is loved and admired by the people. I hope she will have a long life with Prince Philip and her children, grandchildren, etc.

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  3. What a lovely piece Jane. As well as what seems to be a warm relationship with the Queen, I've always thought that Kate and Prince Philip seem to be very fond of each other. Whenever there have been photos of the two, such as the Tube visit, there seems to be a lot of warmth there.

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    1. Yes, I have noticed that, too! I think I read somewhere that Prince Philip fought alongside Kate's beloved grandpa in World War II, so maybe they can share some stories about him?

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    2. I'm sorry, I looked it up and I was wrong. I apologize :) Peter Middleton was Prince Philip's co-pilot, but a few decades later, in the 60s.

      >> Peter Middleton was specially chosen in 1962 asPrince Philip's co-pilot on a two month tour of South America. The Duke piloted 49 of the tour's 62 flights, often with Middleton by his side. The Duke later sent Middleton a letter of thanks and a pair of gold cufflinks. << (source: Wikipedia)

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  4. So incredible to witness such a historical milestone in our lifetime. Possibly, the Queen's record will never be broken.

    The Marlene Birger coat and the Whiteley beret are still a favorite of mine.

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  5. Great post on two classy women!

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  6. This almost made me cry! What an amazing person the queen is. I love that the queen and Kate seem to have an amazing relationship. Plus, how could you not like Kate! She seems to take being a member of the royal family in stride and I think the queen is very happy that the future of the monarchy is in very good hands. Lovely post, Jane. Can't wait to see Kate out and about over the next couple of months!

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    1. Well said, Anon 9:22. The Queen must be very pleased indeed when she thinks about the future of the monarchy. What an amazing recovery from less happy times...thanks to William's determination...and with Kate at his side.

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  7. I love seeing Kate with the Queen, and the nice relationship they seem to have. Call me crazy, but I feel Kate steps up her fashion game when she is with Her Majesty. With the exception of the blue Missoni coat (don't get me started- it's frayed and shapeless), Kate has killed in almost every outfit she has worn with the Queen. The LK Bennett suit from the Diamond Jubilee tour is hands down, one of her best looks ever.

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    1. Yes! I agree about the suit. I miss seeing her dress in silhouettes like this.

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  8. I wonder what Kate calls her. Your Majesty? Grandmother Elizabeth? Something else? I love to see how much more relaxed and comfortable they've become over the years. Very sweet.

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  9. Eloquent and beautiful insights, thank you so very much. It is lovely to see these two women so obviously supportive of one another. A relief from the walls that the press seems to so enjoy trying to build between them. Your chosen photos speak a thousand words - these women find joy in each other.

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  10. Kate is such a good smiler. She keeps the cheer! I wonder what the Queen's sense of humor is like - Kate clearly enjoys sharing a laugh with her. I like how in the "red dress & clapping/sitting" photo Kate has one foot up.
    Great post, Jane! Hurrah for Elizabeth!

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  11. The Queen is reported to have a very sharp sense of humour but don't you think she is a sharp dresser too? That floral dress she wore to view the wedding dress is quite daring for a woman her age. I love that she makes a gesture with her choice of outfit, eg, pale pink for Princess Charlotte. She arrived in Ireland in 2010 wearing bright green which was very much appreciated. I admire HM enormously!

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  12. I wonder what Kate calls the queen, ma'am?

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  13. Hee hee. Those are the type of questions I love. The truly practical part of living their lives. They are on public display, do have a part in an incredible history of people and events and also are a large family with all the stuff that goes with that. Kate is brand new to that world, I am sure those born to it forget how much they know and understand simply from being part of tit all from birth. Ali

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  14. I've been out of town and missed seeing this and the next post until I got home today. I love seeing the photos of the Queen and Kate all in one place like this. You really can see the progression of the relationship and the ease they have developed between them. Nicely done, Jane.

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