Kate Middleton and Prince William: A look at their 2020 highlights
The Cambridges have abandoned plans to return to Kensington Palace after the holidays and are remaining in their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall. They have reportedly restarted homeschooling their three children Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two. Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will resume their work and are expected to start video calls once again.
Kate and William have been married for nearly a decade and have shouldered more responsibility after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stepped down as senior royals.
However, adjusting to royal life posed some setbacks for Kate when she was younger as she got used to dating the future King.
Royal biographer Kate Nicholl, in her book ‘The Making of a Royal Romance’, explains how the Queen did not want William to propose to his long-term girlfriend until she had a job.
She had “grave concerns” that Kate did not have a career, believing she needed an identity in her own right before she was swallowed up by The Firm.
The royal author 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.”
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At the time, though Kate and the Queen had met several times at formal occasions, she knew “little of the girl who had enchanted her grandson”.
However, she reportedly had misgivings about the huge number of holidays Kate and William were taking together, which she saw as flaunting their wealth amid a recession that was devastating families up and down the country.
What’s more, Kate not having a job was a concern because being a full-time royal can be tiring and the Queen wanted to make sure a future consort was not work-shy.
Ms Nicholl added: “If she was not with William at Balmoral then the couple were skiing or holidaying on Mustique.
“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.
“Swanning from one five-star holiday resort to another is not the prerequisite for a young woman possibly destined to be Queen.”
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Ms Nicholl added: “[Kate] was stung by the Queen’s criticism.”
The Queen suggested Kate get involved with charity work, so she started working with Starlight, a charity for terminally ill children.
Kate also briefly worked at fashion house Jigsaw before moving on to work for her family’s business, Party Pieces.
After marrying Prince William, the couple enjoyed a few years of relative quiet in Anglesey and Anmer Hall, before stepping up their royal duties and becoming full-time senior royals.
As the years go by, Kate has shouldered more responsibility and developed her own interests, particularly in her work with children and early years education.
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She has also worked with William and Harry on the issue of mental health and the environment.
She has given birth to and raised three children, and is said to be a very hands-on mother.
The Duchess discussed homeschooling last year and how exhausting it is keeping up with the little ones.
She said: “The children have got such stamina, I don’t know how.
“Honestly, you get to the end of the day and you write down the list of things you’ve done in that day. So you pitch a tent, take the tent down again, cook, bake.
“You get to the end of the day ‒ they’ve had a lovely time ‒ but it’s amazing how much you can cram into one day that’s for sure.”
George, who is in Year 3, and Charlotte, who is in Year 1, even kept up homeschool during what would usually be the Easter holidays.
Kate told BBC’s Tina Daheley: “Don’t tell the children, we’ve actually kept it going through the holidays. I feel very mean.”
Katie Nicholl’s ‘The Making of a Royal Romance’ was published by Tantor Media in 2011. It is available here.
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