Prince William's risky move when he proposed to Kate that could've annoyed Michael and Carole Middleton

Prince William and Catherine Middleton pose for photographs in the State Apartments of St James Palace
(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Prince William and Kate Middleton have been married for over a decade but when it came to the proposal, it seems he opted for an approach that could have potentially annoyed Michael and Carole Middleton

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now two of the most prominent senior royals and will mark their 11th wedding anniversary in the spring.
  • Opening up about his proposal back in 2010, Prince William revealed he didn’t ask Michael Middleton for his daughter’s hand in marriage for a surprising reason.
  • This royal news comes as Kate Middleton’s lifelong sacrifice for loving Prince William.

Now some of the most popular members of The Firm, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s love story began at university in St Andrews. The Duke of Cambridge proposed to his long-term girlfriend whilst on a trip to Kenya in 2010 in a move described by Kate as “very romantic”. Though this wasn't without it's risks as William is said to have revealed during the couple’s engagement interview that he broke with a long-standing tradition.

And it’s one that reportedly led to a brief “awkward” situation with his new in-laws! As reported by The Mirror, William is said to have told interviewer Tom Brady that he didn’t ask Michael Middleton for Kate's hand in marriage beforehand.

Though some might consider this to be a somewhat outdated tradition, asking the prospective bride’s father first is still often done. Prince William, however, went straight to Kate as he was a little afraid Michael might not say yes.

The publication reports that the Duke of Cambridge said, “Well, I was torn between asking Kate's dad first and then the realisation that he might actually say 'no' dawned upon me.”

It seems he thought approaching Kate first was the perfect solution to this fear. He shared, “So I thought if I ask Kate first then he can't really say no. So I did it that way round. I managed to speak to Mike soon after it happened, really, and then it sort of happened from there.”

Prince William, Catherine Middleton and Michael Middleton at the Royal Wedding

And whilst Kate confirmed that her parents were absolutely delighted by the news, her future husband's break from tradition could be seen as a risky move. Not only that, but it seems his decision to tell Michael later also led to a rather “awkward” moment with Carole Middleton. 

“I think as any mother would be, she was absolutely over the moon,” Kate said, before admitting, “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.” 

The Duchess continued, “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 and obviously she was very happy for us.”

Michael and Carole Middleton smile at the crowds following the marriage of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011

Now all these years later Prince William and Kate have marked their tenth wedding anniversary and are proud parents to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

They're understood to be very close to the Middletons, who will no doubt be just as excited to see them mark their 11th anniversary in April as they were to watch them tie the knot all those years ago. 

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,, and My Imperfect Life.