According to a new book, Carole Middleton was worried about the absence of a ring on Kate’s finger and she took Prince William aside to press him on his marriage plans.
The meeting took place when Prince William visited the Middleton family just before Christmas 2009.
In the book – Kate: The Future Queen by Katie Nicholl – a family friend tells how Carole Middleton expressed her fears to Prince William. But he assured her that not only would there be an engagement and subsequent marriage, the couple hoped to have children – and he promised Kate Middleton’s mother that she would be fully involved in their upbringing.
Prince William stayed true to his word. The couple were engaged the following November and since their son, Prince George, was born on July 22, Carole Middleton has become the most famous grandmother in Britain.
Carole Middleton and her husband, Michael, were the first family members to visit the new baby after his birth – ahead of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall – while Kate and William have even set aside a “granny flat” for the Middletons at their lavish Kensington Palace apartment.
Another of the Middletons’ friends, former neighbor George Brown, says: “It was a condition when Kate and William got married that Carole and Michael would be a part of the grandchildren’s lives.”
Kate Middleton paid tribute to “Granny” Carole last week during her first public appearance since the birth.
Carole Middleton looked after Prince George when Kate Middleton and Prince William attended the start of a marathon on Anglesey on Friday. Kate Middleton’s presence at the event was a surprise – it was only revealed that morning that she would attend.
It is thought it could be one of the couple’s last engagements on Anglesey before they leave their home on the Welsh island next month to settle into a new life in London.
The new book also untangles the tale of how Kate Middleton came to choose St Andrews for her university – starting at the same time as Prince William and on the same course.
It has previously been put down to mere coincidence, but it seems Kate Middleton deliberately plotted to be there at the same time as the prince.
Jasper Selwyn, a careers adviser at Kate Middleton’s former school, Marlborough College, and Joan Gall, her house tutor, confirm in the book that her first choice was not St Andrews at all, but Edinburgh.
Despite achieving the required grades for Edinburgh, one of the country’s top universities, Kate Middleton changed her mind after Prince William’s own choice of university was made public.
In a bold move, Kate Middleton turned down the place she had been offered at Edinburgh, decided to take a gap year, just as Prince William was doing, and reapply for St Andrews – a risky strategy as there was no guarantee that she would get a place. Since then, of course, their relationship has flourished.
In another fascinating insight into the Royal romance, the book reveals that although Kate Middleton has taken on a higher public profile since her marriage, she in fact began doing secret charity work six years ago.
In 2007 the Queen quietly suggested to Prince William that Kate Middleton get involved with a charity, and they both considered it an excellent idea.
The Middletons’ family firm, Party Pieces, already had a connection with Starlight, a children’s charity which grants terminally ill children an once-in-a-lifetime wish.
Kate Middleton arranged to meet the charity’s chief executive officer Neil Swan to see how she could help more.
Neil Swan said: “Kate was working with Party Pieces at the time and she came up with a clever idea for a party bag that doubled up as a coloring-in gift.
“She also designed some Starlight-themed crayons and other bits and pieces to go in the bags. To us, she was just Kate, and we would go and have meetings with her at Party Pieces, and sometimes she would come to us.
“She came up with lots of creative ideas for parties that we were arranging for sick children, and she did a lot of work below the radar.”
It is also revealed that Kate Middleton made numerous secret visits to the Naomi House children’s hospice in Hampshire.