Kate’s heartbreak days after William proposed left her with huge family regret
When Prince William got down on one knee on the shores of Kenya’s stunning Lake Rutundu, Kate Middleton was the happiest girl in the world.
She had waited for this moment for years, putting her own life on hold as she prepared to join the royal family.
The couple decided to keep their engagement their own little secret for a few weeks, enjoying celebrating privately as they knew it would be very full on when they told the world – so Kate put her new sapphire engagement ring in the safe when she got home.
They got engaged on October 20, 2010, and decided they would make the official announcement on November 3 – however tragedy struck the day before, leaving Kate with a huge regret.
Her only surviving grandparent, her granddad Peter, passed away suddenly – before she had the chance to tell him about the engagement.
In her book Kate: Our Future Queen, royal expert Katie Nicholl says that William joined the Middleton family for the funeral.
She writes: “Kate was deeply saddened not to have had the chance to tell her grandfather that she was engaged to William.
“She knew he would have been delighted for her.”
Two weeks later, on Tuesday, November 16, the couple finally told their loved ones that they were getting married, making the official announcement a few hours later.
But William had a very important job to do first, because as a senior member of the royal family he legally had to ask for the Queen’s consent first.
According to the Royal Marriages Act 1772, she then had to sign a notice of approval under the Great Seal of the Realm.
According to Katie, the Queen was having breakfast with Prince Philip when she got the call from her grandson.
She claims that the Monarch was “thrilled to receive William’s call, albeit a little surprised at the suddenness of the announcement”.
A source told her: “The Queen had no idea that there would be an announcement that morning.
“It was rather hurried, because William was apparently worried about it leaking out.”
Katie writes: “William enjoyed outfoxing the media, and this was one announcement he wanted to make himself. The last thing he wanted was a newspaper getting the scoop, as had happened with his father’s engagement to Camilla.”
William made the call from his flat at Clarence House, with an excited Kate sitting at his side.
The couple also called Prince Charles and Camilla, before picking up the phone to speak to Harry, who was in Hampshire at the time.
Katie claims that Harry’s response was a very excited one, saying he “turned the air blue with a string of expletives” before joking that it “took long enough”.
It was then Kate’s time to tell her family, although her dad Michael already knew at William had asked his permission.
It was then time to tell the staff, and William’s fears of the news leaking meant they wanted to make the official announcement that same morning.
Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge
Palace staff were overjoyed by their boss’ happy news, but they had just two hours to get everything ready.
In a change from tradition, the statement was shared on the royal family’s social media feed.
It read: “The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton.
“The wedding will take place in the Spring or Summer of 2011, in London. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course.
“Prince William and Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya. Prince William has informed The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince William has also sought the permission of Miss Middleton’s father.
“Following the marriage, the couple will live in North Wales, where Prince William will continue to serve with the Royal Air Force.”