Queen broke tradition with historic invitation to Kate Middleton – but she rejected it
Months before Meghan Markle donned her first tiara and joined the royal family, she was invited to spend Christmas with her future in-laws.
The beamed as she joined the Queen, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles and the rest of The Firm in Sandringham, officially beginning her royal journey.
But people were quick to ask why the same offer hadn’t been extended to Kate, who didn’t join them for the celebrations until the Christmas after her wedding – and she was officially royal.
A new book claims that the Queen did actually invite Kate to a festive engagement prior to her engagement to William, but she turned it down.
In his new biography Battle of Brothers, Robert Lacey claims the Monarch broke from tradition and extended her first invitation to an unregistered partner for the family’s traditional Christmas lunch in 2006.
But Kate, who was 24 at the time, declined the historic request.
In his book, which is being serialised in the Daily Mail, he writes that Kate “would go to Sandringham on Christmas Day only when she was engaged and had a ring to prove it”.
He writes: “By 2006, the couple had been dating seriously for the best part of five years. Yet when William invited Kate to join him that year at Sandringham for the Royal Family’s traditional Christmas lunch, she refused.
“It was the first time the Queen had extended such an invitation to an unregistered ‘girlfriend’, but Kate had her own take on that break with tradition: she would go to Sandringham on Christmas Day only when she was engaged and had a ring to prove it.”
The book also claims that William was determined not to rush things with Kate and settle down too early.
Lacey states that the future king turned to his family for advice.
He writes: “William turned to his father and grandmother for guidance. The Queen had grown very fond of Kate, but she told him he shouldn’t rush into a commitment — and his father advised the same. In any case, William was enjoying the life of a hard-drinking Army officer. Not for nothing was his new regiment known as the ‘Booze and Royals’.”
The book has also claimed a serious rift developed between William and Harry years before Meghan came into the younger brother’s life.
The response to the Nazi costume incident in 2005 prompted Harry to reconsider his older brother’s involvement and the differing treatments of the pair.
Mr Lacey also wrote the Queen felt the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were “erratic and impulsive” in making their departure from the royal family.
And William was said to be so infuriated by his brother’s behaviour he refused to dine with Harry alone before a summit with their grandmother at the height of the imbroglio surrounding the Sussexes’ decision to step down.
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