Kate Middleton's discreet moment with the Queen you probably missed was so special

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Queen Elizabeth II smile as they visit Vernon Park
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Kate Middleton was spotted having a special discreet moment with the Queen at Prince Philip’s memorial that many fans might have missed.

Whilst all eyes might’ve been on the Queen as she made her entrance, she had a discreet moment with Kate Middleton that only the most eagle-eyed fans might’ve noticed as she made her way to her seat. The Duchess showed her immense respect for her grandmother-in-law as she bobbed low in a curtsy to the monarch as she walked past. The Countess of Wessex and her daughter Lady Louise Windsor are said to have curtseyed soon afterwards, mirroring Kate’s respectful gesture.. 

The moment Kate did so was captured and shared by fans on social media following the poignant service, with one person delightedly commenting on Kate “maintaining standards”.

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They admiringly declared, “The Duchess of Cambridge curtsies as the Queen walks past. Maintaining standards even when Her Majesty can’t see it. Utter Class She gets the brief.”

Like other members of The Firm (opens in new tab), royal protocol means that the Duchess of Cambridge is supposed to curtsy to senior relatives. This is understood to include future Queen Consort (opens in new tab) Duchess Camilla as well as Princesses Anne, Beatrice and Eugenie and, of course, Her Majesty.

It’s also thought that the curtsy takes place the first time they see the Queen on any given day perhaps indicating that Kate hadn’t seen the monarch prior to the service.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge attend a memorial service

This would perhaps make sense given that the Queen travelled from Windsor Castle and will reportedly “never live at Buckingham Palace again” (opens in new tab)

As the wife of Prince William who is second in line to the throne (opens in new tab), it’s said that Kate is also technically meant to receive a curtsy from royals of lower rank than her. Her gesture during this deeply emotional service could be seen as Kate being very much aware of her royal role as well as a wonderful indication of their incredible bond. 

Even when William and Kate’s love story (opens in new tab) was in its early stages, the Queen’s unusual gesture (opens in new tab) of reportedly arranging private meetings with Kate suggested that the two could become close.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge performs a curtsy to Queen Elizabeth II as she attends Easter Day Service

Now all these years later, the Queen has made the Duchess a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order for services to her. Whilst it’s thought William and Kate could make a major change (opens in new tab), with reports alleging that this year they’ve been considering moving to Berkshire to be closer to the Queen.

Either way, Kate is believed to have immense respect for the Queen, both as a beloved family member and the monarch, as she learns and prepares for her own challenging future role. 

Emma Shacklock
Senior Lifestyle Writer

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.