Kate Middleton overcame 'very steep learning curve' before joining the royal family, new documentary reveals

Kate Middleton smiling

Kate Middleton overcame a 'very steep learning curve' before joining the royal family, a new documentary has revealed. 

The latest insight into the workings of Prince William and Kate Middleton's relationship has come from the new Channel 5 documentary, When the Middletons Met the Monarchy. 

It follows an adorable confession by Kate about her and Prince William's relationship, which first began when the two were studying at university.

With insights into the royal couple from insiders and commentators, this latest show examines what really happened when Kate Middleton joined the royal family and became the Duchess of Cambridge.

One of the most interesting features of the documentary is an explanation for how Kate managed to integrate herself into the royal world, provided by Anjula Mutanda, a relationship psychologist.

She said, "Here we have the monarchy, it has its own peculiar rules and protocol which stretch back hundreds of years.

"Now can you imagine stepping into that world and trying to integrate yourself. That is a very steep learning curve."

“For the Royal Family they have been born and raised into it, they know the rules of engagement at big events like a royal wedding. For the Middleton family I think it would only be fair to offer them guidance, support and help about protocol otherwise the likelihood of making a mistake is pretty high.”

Prince William, Kate Middleton on balcony

Credit: Getty

While the experts commented on how "outsiders of the royal family have struggled to do well", with references to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle among other senior members, the relationship psychologist said the Middleton family actually adapted to royal life well.

She said, “Outsiders have struggled to do well when they enter the royal family. When you look at how the Middletons are doing, they appear to have understood their role and almost done it by the book.”

The documentary also outlines the Prince Charles' relationship with Kate Middleton, with experts saying that the prince approved of the soon-to-be duchess from early on in her and Prince William's relationship.

Royal expert Katie Nicholl said, "Charles really made a point of welcoming Kate into the family from quite an early stage. She was often invited for shooting weekends up at Birkhall. It's largely Charles that taught Kate to stalk."

Although also during the documentary, the experts discussed how Kate might experience a "little tension" with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, over her children.

Tom Quinn said, “I suspect everyone thinks that in terms of the children, the royal family will inevitably have the most influence, but that is entirely wrong.

“It will be the Middletons that have the influence, because the royal family is too formal, it's too stuck in its ways.”

Kate Middleton with Pippa Middleton and Meghan Markle

Credit: Getty

While expert Jennie Bond added, “I suppose there is a little tension at times between who gets to see the grandkids the most.

“Kate will always turn to Carole for help, advice guidance, and just get together and romping around with the kids - possibly before she would get together with Camilla and Charles.”

When the Middletons Met the Monarchy is available to watch on My 5, Channel 5's catch up service.

Grace Walsh
Features Writer

Grace Walsh is a health and wellbeing writer, working across the subjects of family, relationships, and LGBT topics, as well as sleep and mental health. A digital journalist with over six years  experience as a writer and editor for UK publications, Grace is currently Health Editor for womanandhome.com and has also worked with Cosmopolitan, Red, The i Paper, GoodtoKnow, and more. After graduating from the University of Warwick, she started her career writing about the complexities of sex and relationships, before combining personal hobbies with professional and writing about fitness.