One royal expert has claimed Queen Elizabeth II “doesn’t have an intimate relationship” with her granddaughter-in-law.
Seward, the editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, has been covering the royal family since the ‘80s and has written over 20 books on the subject.
But Seward insisted there is no bad blood between the 93-year-old reigning monarch and the 37-year-old Duchess of Cambridge. Rather, she said the two women have a more formal relationship as royals, focusing more on duty and service.
“I think the queen and Kate have a more serious relationship as obviously Kate holds all the queen’s hope for the future and she would not want to do anything to upset that,” explained Seward. “The common bond with Kate would be her children and I can’t imagine the queen spending too much time talking about them; she is a very shy woman.”
Middleton became a member of the British royal family when she married Elizabeth’s grandson, Prince William, in 2011. The 37-year-old is second in line to the throne. The couple share three children: Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1.
When it comes Meghan Markle, who became the Duchess of Sussex when she married William’s younger brother, Prince Harry in 2018, Seward said the former American actress has developed a growing bond with Elizabeth.
The outlet pointed out the 37-year-old and her grandmother-in-law carried out their first official engagement together in Cheshire, just a month after her televised wedding. Markle was spotted giggling and whispering into Elizabeth's ear while they watched a children’s performance at the opening of a new bridge across the River Mersey in Widnes.
“With Meghan, she would tread very carefully and do her best to make her feel at home,” said Seward. “They have a love of dogs in common and Meghan knows how to make her laugh.”
Despite the claims, Elizabeth has had Middleton in mind.
Kensington Palace announced on Tuesday that Middleton is the new patron of the Royal Photographic Society, a role that Elizabeth has held since 1952, the same year as her coronation.
Middleton will be following in the footsteps of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who originally became patrons of the Royal Photographic Society in 1853, the year it was founded.
And the role is a special one for the future queen. People magazine reported Middleton studied art history at the University of St. Andrews and had called herself an “enthusiastic amateur photographer.” It was there where Middleton first met William. The duchess is known for taking the official royal portraits of their children and is already the patron of London’s National Portrait Gallery.
“As a student at the University of St. Andrews, I chose it as the subject of my undergraduate thesis and photographs of children in particular, which feature prominently in the exhibition, are of real interest to me,” Middleton wrote in a foreword for a 2018 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, per the outlet.
Back in April of this year, royal expert Rebecca Long told Us Weekly the duchess is clearly preparing for the queen role.
“Kate’s been taking on new responsibilities little by little over the last few years, so it won’t be a shock when the time comes,” Long explained. “William and Kate are the favorite royals to take the crown in many generations, so the people of the U.K. are very excited about it.”
The queen is also determined to show Middleton how to settle into her future title gracefully in the public eye.
“She’s really taken Kate under her wing,” a source close to the royal family told Us Weekly. “The two of them will often spend hours discussing royal life and the future of the monarchy.”
“It’s taken a long time for Kate to get to where she is today,” added a second insider. “But she’s ready.”
That same month, Elizabeth named Middleton as a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, which is considered the highest possible rank for a British royal.
The honor came on the eighth wedding anniversary of the Middleton and William and just weeks after the two women stepped out for their first-ever joint outing to visit King’s College’s Strand campus in London.
According to People, the Royal Victorian Order was created by Queen Victoria in 1896 to allow her to recognize people who helped her or represented her. The ruling monarch personally selects who is given the honor.