Today marks exactly 13 years since Prince William and Kate Middleton announced to the world that they were engaged after the now Prince of Wales popped the question during a romantic holiday in Kenya in 2010 – but it seems he didn’t play exactly by the book
The royals are known for being sticklers for long-held customs – but it seems Prince Willliam decided to dismiss one big tradition during one of his most life-changing moments.
Over 13 years ago, the Prince of Wales decided he was going to ask his then girlfriend Kate Middleton for her hand in marriage and came up with the perfect place to do it. William decided he would pop the question during a romantic holiday in Kenya, where the pair were spending the night in a remote wooden cabin near Lake Rutundu.
But it seems William broke one long-standing tradition in the run-up to popping the question – and joked it was due to Kate’s dad Mike Middleton. During their engagement interview with journalist Tom Bradby exactly 13 years ago today, the couple were asked if the prince had asked Mr Middleton for his daughter’s hand in marriage. And William admitted that he did not – fearing what he might say.
In the 2010 interview, he said: “Well, I was torn between asking Kate’s dad first and then the realisation that he might actually say ‘no’ dawned upon me. So I thought if I ask Kate first then he can’t really say no. So I did it that way round. I managed to speak to Mike soon after it happened really and then it sort of happened from there.”
Luckily Kate said yes, and her dad was more than delighted that she would be marrying William. After that, the couple kept their engagement secret for a few weeks, before they informed the late Queen, then then Prince Charles and Prince Harry. And on November 16, 2010, the couple appeared at St James Palace in front of photographers to announce the news and Kate showed off her gorgeous ring, which had once belonged to her late mother-in-law Princess Diana.
Months later, the couple tied the knot at Westminster Abbey and now almost 12 years on they have three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. And now it seems their youngest child Louis is proving very helpful to them – especially when it comes to his mum’s life work with her study into children’s early years development.
Yesterday Kate, 41, wore a purple Emilia Wickstead suit as she delivered a landmark speech at The Design Museum for the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood. Before she entered the auditorium she spoke to compere and telly star Fearne Cotton about the project.
She said: “Louis’ class, they came back with a feelings wheel, it’s really good, they go to the classroom, these are five or six year olds, and going with names or pictures of a colour that represents how they feel that day, so there is a real keenness in school particularly to get involved in conversations, it’s actually helping continuity across the board and then how does that feed into you, with your mental health, its same conversation, so to be able to find a bit of framework, to talk about this, is very important.
Asked by mum-of-two Feane how she was feeling, Kate replied: “Good, but nervous but excited too.” She added: “So nice to see it all coming together and different people along with it. All of us are still learning and sharing experiences with each other.” The pair discussed the fact that guests will join afternoon workshops to discuss findings from her project. Kate said : “I’ve asked everyone to be really honest” and added that there needs to be “tangible action”. Kate asked Fearne: “Have you seen any of the data?”
Afterwards, in her key note speech, Kate explained the reason why she has focused so much of her time focusing on early childhood. And she revealed: “The answer is because I care deeply about making a positive difference, in helping the most vulnerable and supporting those who are most in need.
“This is not just about the youngest children in our society, who are, by their very nature, vulnerable. It is also about the many young people and adults who are suffering. We must do more than simply meet the short term needs of these individuals. We must also look at creating long term, preventative change. And that takes us right back to the beginning.”