Kate Middleton has done so much right since becoming Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. For instance, Her Royal Highness has 11 patronages throughout the U.K. and has twice been named on Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list, while the so-called “Kate effect” has boosted fashion and beauty sales the world over. Every so often, though, the Duchess gets things just a little bit wrong – much to the displeasure of her grandmother-in-law, Her Majesty The Queen.
20. Getting Skirty
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was once a fan of showing off her knees in not-that-short dresses and skirts – until, that is, the Queen stepped in. In early 2014 The Mail on Sunday claimed that the Duchess’ royal superior demanded she sport longer hemlines to appear more regal.
19. Wardrobe Malfunctions
The Duchess’ wardrobe malfunctions are too many to mention, but they’ve mostly involved floaty dresses getting a bit too floaty in unfortunate gusts of wind. And while these mishaps have filled many a blog post, the Queen was understandably less than thrilled, reportedly forbidding such clothing as part of Her Royal Highness’ “regal makeover” in early 2014.
18. Disobedient Brother
The Duchess of Cambridge’s brother, James Middleton, made worldwide headlines in early 2015 for claiming in an interview with The Young Director that it’s sometimes “frustrating” being a royal sibling. Life & Style magazine later said that the Queen had had a word with the Duchess about keeping her family in line.
17. Blaming Prince Charles
In the long-forgotten spring of 2007 the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge actually called an end to their relationship, and Kate made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Indeed, a co-worker told the Daily Mirror that when asked about the split Kate claimed, “It’s because of his daddy.” Probably not the best words for the Queen to hear.
16. Joblessness Jars
Back in 2008, when the Duchess of Cambridge was just plain ol’ Kate Middleton, Britain’s The Mail on Sunday suggested that the Queen was displeased about the soon-to-be-royal’s lack of full-time work. Insiders apparently believed Elizabeth was concerned that her jobless status would reflect badly on Prince William.
15. Royal Photography Offense
Until recently the Queen had only been seen visiting St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk on December 25. She was probably a bit miffed, then, when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge invited one and all to take pictures of the Royal Family there on July 5, 2015 for Princess Charlotte’s christening – especially as 3,500 people turned up.
14. Big-Spender Displeasure
More than a few eyebrows were raised in summer 2014 when it was revealed that around $6 million of public money had been spent on sprucing up Wills and Kate’s Kensington Palace home. And Her Majesty was no doubt displeased when the Royal Family had to justify the expense in the press.
13. The Duchess Exposed
In fall 2012 French tabloid Closer printed pictures of Kate privately sunning herself sans top. The official palace line was that everybody was “hugely saddened” by the invasion of privacy, but it’s likely that the Queen was also hugely annoyed at the Duchess – particularly as the images came out so soon after a similar naked-picture scandal involving Prince Harry.
12. His Royal Grandfather Shunned
Not long before the birth of Princess Charlotte, the Daily Mail reported that Prince Charles told associates the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge “never let [him] see [his] grandson” and that the Middletons were effectively ruling the roost. Like any good mother, the Queen would surely have been upset to see her son neglected in this fashion.
11. Wearing Wedges
When Prince George was born, the Duchess posed for photographs wearing down-to-earth wedged shoes. However, in the same situation with Princess Charlotte two years later, Her Royal Highness opted for heels. Why? Well, in July 2015 Vanity Fair reported that a well-placed informant said, “The Queen isn’t a fan of wedged shoes. She really doesn’t like them.” So there you go.
10. Home Birth Hullabaloo
In early 2015 the National Enquirer suggested that the Duchess hoped to give birth to Princess Charlotte at home – until, that is, the Queen intervened. The publication’s source stated that Her Majesty was “horrified” and demanded that Kate “not take risks” with her grandchildren.
9. In the Dog House
Owning a dog may sound like the most innocuous thing in the world, but even this, it seems, can put you in Queen Elizabeth II’s bad books. Indeed, Her Majesty directed the Duchess to leave her cocker spaniel Lupo with the Middleton side of the family for Christmas 2013, lest it cause havoc for her cherished corgis.
8. Overlong Maternity Leave
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was allowed a leisurely five-and-a-half weeks away from public eyes after the birth of Prince George, but the Queen reportedly didn’t want this to happen second time around. According to Life & Style, Her Majesty was hassling the Duchess about returning to work just 14 days following Princess Charlotte’s arrival.
7. Royal Finery Under the Microscope
Ahead of Wills and Kate’s royal tour of Australia and New Zealand in 2014, The Mail on Sunday alleged that Her Royal Highness’ famous sense of style came under close scrutiny from the Queen. Of the many things that the Duchess reportedly needed to address was the sporting of princess-y tiaras and jewels to give her a more outwardly royal appearance.
6. Hair-Raising Episodes
It’s not just the Queen who’s shown displeasure at Kate’s long hair; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall has also apparently advised a trim – as have a clutch of professional hairstylists. According to The Mail on Sunday, the Queen, for her part, purportedly said that the Duchess’ hair appeared to be “drowning her.”
5. Short Shorts Shame
If the Queen believed that the Duchess’ “wardrobe malfunctions” and above-the-knee skirts were unbecoming of a princess, then how irritated must she have been when she saw this picture from September 2008? Kate had helped put together a charity roller disco event and participated wearing a revealing pair of yellow hot pants. For shame.
4. Right Royal Dress-up
Some three months after Kate Middleton married Prince William, the public was treated to a display of the Duchess’ much-talked-about wedding dress. The Queen, though, had her own private tour with Kate – and seemed less than impressed with how the dress was exhibited. In fact, HRH called it “horrid” and “very creepy.”
3. Happy Christmas From the Middletons
In 2013 the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed Christmas lunch with the Queen, as dictated by royal custom. But the following year they merely attended church with the monarch on Christmas morning before heading off to chow down with the Middletons. It would have been the Queen’s first Christmas without them since the birth of Prince George.
The Queen put the Duchess in her place during summer 2012 by passing around a fresh copy of the Order of Precedence. The document informed Her Royal Highness junior that she must curtsy to higher-ranking members of the Royal Family, including the Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales.
1. Mother Middleton Miffs
Kate’s mother, Carole Middleton, certainly seems to spend an awful lot more time with her grandchildren than any member of the Royal Family does. Indeed, in 2015 a source told the Daily Mail that mother Middleton was “behaving like she’s Queen Carole” when it came to the kids’ upbringing. Such a nickname no doubt irked Her Majesty.