Over the years, Queen Elizabeth II has served as an excellent role model for Kate Middleton, the future queen consort.
In the latest issue of People magazine, which details Middleton’s bond with the 96-year-old monarch, the Queen’s biographer Sally Bedell tells the publication that “Catherine has learned by observing.”
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“She [Middleton] knows what resonates. She will have absorbed a lot from this Queen,” Bedell says in this week’s cover story, on newsstands on Friday.
Despite the 56-year age gap, the Duchess of Cambridge embodies key qualifications for the position, like “quiet stoicism, unerring discretion and firm loyalty,” just like her majesty. However, it’s likely that the Queen has never formally tutored Middleton, according to insiders.
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Historian Sarah Gristwood tells People that the Queen’s relationship with Middleton has likely been approached in the same way as her relations with prime ministers.
“The Queen has always preferred to do rather than to say,” the author of Elizabeth: Queen and Crown shares. “With her audiences, with her prime ministers, if there has been actual advice, it would be a discreet ‘I think that went rather well’ rather than actual instruction.”
Gristwood notes, “It’s a personal willingness to conform to the requirements of the institution,” and that it’s an “important” virtue for anyone who’s going to be “a successful cog in the royal wheel.”
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Aside from the royal job qualifications, Middleton has also been inspired by the Queen’s style. She regularly wears jewels borrowed by Her Majesty and even opts for bright colours on royal outings, like the Queen, so that fans can spot her in a crowd.
Speaking of Middleton and her husband Prince William, Bedell notes that the royal couple “are representing the Queen impeccably.”
“They’re showing a kind of dedication she would be proud of. And that probably gives her hope.”