When Prince William and Kate Middleton’s relationship first became public in 2004, tabloid speculation as to whether the art history student would one day become Britain’s future queen soon followed.
During this time, Prince Charles (now King Charles III) remained silent on the subject of Kate and her role in the life of his eldest son.
The couple dated for six more years before Charles officially announced their engagement from Clarence House, with the formal notice stating that he was “delighted” to do so.
William and Kate married in a large-scale royal wedding held at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011, with Charles playing a key role in helping organize music and the decoration of the historic abbey.
In the 12 years since the royal wedding, there has been increasing speculation about the nature of Charles’ relationship with Kate, with both saying very little on the record to enlighten the press or royal fans.
‘They’ve Been Practicing For Long Enough’
The engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton was made from Clarence House on November 16, 2010, after the prince proposed during a visit to Kenya some weeks before.
On the day the announcement was made, the then-Prince Charles undertook a scheduled visit to the town of Poundbury in Dorset, which had been one of his architectural passion projects through the Duchy of Cornwall organization.
While meeting residents of the town, Charles was asked for his reaction to the news he would be gaining a daughter-in-law and the engagement.
The royal responded that he was “thrilled” and made a joke at the couple’s expense, noting the length of their courtship with the comment: “They’ve been practicing for long enough.”
Over a year after the royal wedding, William and Kate announced that they were expecting their first child, Prince George.
The announcement was made during the “very early stages” of pregnancy as the princess had to be admitted to hospital following a diagnosis with hyperemesis gravidarum, a form of acute morning sickness.
Three days after the announcement was made, Charles was asked for his reaction to the news he was going to be a grandfather for the first time, during a public engagement in London.
The prince spoke warmly of the prospect and also paid a tribute to Kate saying he was “very glad” that she was “getting better” after her hospitalization.
‘Inspire and Lead’
Charles paid tribute to Kate and Prince William during his first official address to the nation as king, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022.
With his accession, Charles’ eldest son, William, now became the heir to the throne and first in the line of succession. As such the prince took over Charles’ old title of Duke of Cornwall, with Kate becoming Duchess of Cornwall.
The couple’s titles changed again when on the day of his address, Charles made William the Prince of Wales, the most senior royal title in the monarchy other than those held by the king and queen themselves.
By extension, Kate became the first Princess of Wales to use the title since the death of Princess Diana in 1997.
In his speech, Charles paid tribute to the work Kate and William undertake, noting that he hoped they would continue to “inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the center ground where vital help can be given.”
‘My Beloved Daughter-in-Law’
The latest comment that Charles has made about Kate came during his first state visit as king to a Commonwealth country, when he visited Kenya with Queen Camilla in October.
During a speech given at the state banquet held in his honor in Nairobi, the king referenced the fact that it was during a vacation to Kenya that his eldest son proposed, making Kate his “beloved daughter-in-law.”