The “awkward” way Kate Middleton told her mum she was marrying Prince William

Prince William's proposal blunder left his fiancé in an awkward spot

Kate and Carole Middleton
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images and Karwai Tang/WireImage/Future)

When the time came for Kate Middleton to tell her mother she was engaged, the now Princess was put in an awkward position - and it was all down to a major misstep by Prince William

While we think of engagement announcements as nothing but exciting and filled with tears of happiness, Kate Middleton's experience was a little different. The now Princess revealed soon after her engagement was announced that she was left in a "quite awkward situation" when she told her mum, Carole Middleton, that she was engaged to Prince William - all because her now husband had failed to ask for permission to propose.

The now Prince and Princess of Wales met while at St Andrew's University in Scotland, with their romance blossoming from friendship to courtship as they continued to see each other after they graduated. After their brief split in 2007, which Camilla Queen Consort reportedly supported, pressure began to mount on the Prince to finally pop the question.

Prince William and Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

William eventually proposed in 2010 while the pair were on a trip to Kenya. Using Princess Diana's sapphire ring, which he later revealed he had been carrying in his rucksack for about three weeks before working up the courage to propose, the Prince got down on one knee and began a new chapter in his and Kate Middleton's fairytale story. 

Yet the Prince had failed to ask Kate's father, Michael Middleton, for permission to propose until after the trip, saying he did so due to an incredible bout of nerves,

Whatever the reason, the blunder meant that when Kate went to tell her mother about the engagement, she was unsure if Carole already knew. During their engagement interview in 2010, Kate explained that this made the usually exciting announcement into a pretty awkward moment.

She said, "I think as any mother would be she was absolutely over the moon.

Prince William and Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

"Actually, we had quite an awkward situation because I knew, and I knew that William had asked my father, but I didn't know if my mother knew so I came back from Scotland and my mother didn't make it clear to me whether she knew or not. So both of us were there, sort of looking at each other and feeling quite awkward about it.

"But it was amazing to tell her and obviously she was very happy for us."

Upon hearing the news, the interviewer turned to William, questioning him as to why why he hadn't sought permission beforehand. The Prince joked, "Well, I was torn between asking Kate's dad first and then the realisation that he might actually say 'no' dawned upon me.

"So I thought if I ask Kate first then he can't really say no. So I did it that way round."

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News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.