Kate Middleton’s ‘frugal’ gift to the Queen helped forge their close bond

Queen Elizabeth ll and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit Vernon Park during a Diamond Jubilee visit to Nottingham
(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

Kate Middleton reportedly once gave the Queen a “frugal” gift that helped forge their incredible bond and was “spot on” for the monarch.

Kate Middleton has been an official member of The Firm (opens in new tab) ever since she and Prince William married (opens in new tab) in 2011 and has now spent multiple Christmases with her grandmother-in-law, the Queen and the wider Royal Family at Sandringham. This year it’s said that the Queen is “totally committed” (opens in new tab) to hosting the traditional family celebrations in Norfolk, marking their first Christmas since Prince Philip’s death. Sadly, despite this poignant undertone, reports have suggested that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not join the Queen (opens in new tab) this year.

However, William and Kate are expected to attend the royal festivities next month. And it seems that one previous Christmas was hugely significant for Kate forging her bond with the Queen. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Queen Elizabeth II attend an event to thank local volunteers and key workers

Opening up in OK! magazine (opens in new tab)’s special edition, Kate at 40, in honour of her 40th birthday next year, royal expert Duncan Larcombe explained that she once gave the Queen a very humble Christmas present indeed. Kate made chutney as a gift back in 2011 and the expert has suggested that the “frugal” choice was a real hit.

“A homemade chutney gift was absolutely spot on - down to earth, practical and frugal – everything Her Majesty loves,” he stated. 

But the significance of this choice of gift is said to have gone even deeper. Duncan expressed his belief that through Kate showed the Queen that she also saw her as Prince William’s grandmother and not just as the Sovereign. 

He added, “[I]t also showed that Kate could relate to the Queen as a normal grandmother and not just the head of state. And it helped forge a bond built on mutual respect and admiration.”

Queen Elizabeth II and Kate Middleton watch a fashion show at De Montfort University

Chutney is often considered one of the best Christmas food gifts (opens in new tab) to receive and the Duchess of Cambridge herself has previously discussed her choice of gift. As reported by Express.co.uk (opens in new tab), she appeared in a 2016 documentary marking the Queen’s 90th birthday and described the dilemma she faced when it came to choosing a present for this first Christmas with the Queen.

"I can remember being at Sandringham, for the first time, at Christmas,” she’s understood to have revealed. “And I was worried what to give the Queen as her Christmas present. I was thinking, 'Gosh, what should I give her?'"

Ultimately, Kate shared, "I thought back to what I would give my own grandparents. And I thought, 'I'll make her something,' which could have gone horribly wrong. But I decided to make my granny's recipe of chutney."

Britain'Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Britain's Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, leave after the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day service

Kate went on to add, "I was slightly worried about it, but I noticed the next day that it was on the table. I think such a simple gesture went such a long way for me and I've noticed since she's done that on lots of occasions and I think it just shows her thoughtfulness, really, and her care in looking after everybody."

Whilst this might’ve been the first Christmas she ever spent with the Queen it certainly wasn’t the last. The Cambridges have enjoyed many Christmases at Sandringham with her since then and they will no doubt be looking forward to another one this year.

Kate Middleton could even possibly gift the Queen to another homemade treat! 

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

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.