Inside Kate Middleton's Relationship With Her Dad

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You might think you know the Duchess of Cambridge — poised, elegant, and always camera-ready. But what about the side of Catherine that only her father, Michael, gets to see? We're peeling back the curtain on their family dynamics, and all the beautiful lessons Catherine has learned from him, lessons she has taken into her own parenting strategy. Per the Evening Standard, while attending an event at the Mitchell Brook Primary School in Brent, Catherine claimed both her father, and her mother, Carole Middleton, taught her the value of "kindness, respect, and honesty." She added, "That is why William and I want to teach our little children, George and Charlotte just how important these things are as they grow up." 

Catherine's dad may not have a crown, but he plays a crucial role in her life. From humble beginnings to rubbing shoulders with the queen, this is a tale of an ordinary family thrust into the extraordinary world of royalty. Catherine, the epitome of grace and elegance, shares a unique bond with her dad, one that has been at the core of her journey from commoner to a beloved member of the British monarchy.

We'll bring you all the special details about their relationship and of course, ponder whether Kate ever rolls her eyes at her dad's jokes (we all do, right?). We promise you'll come away with a newfound appreciation for the woman who's not just a royal icon but also a daughter. Now, let's spill the royal tea, shall we?

Michael moved Catherine and the rest of the family to Jordan when she was a kid

Long before Catherine Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge, she was just a toddler with pigtails, playing with her friends and siblings. So, where did her exciting childhood first take flight? Well, it turns out, it was none other than the sands of Amman, Jordan!

Imagine little Catherine, barely out of diapers, packing her bags (okay, maybe her parents did the packing), and jetting off to Jordan, all thanks to her dad. Why, you ask? Well, he wasn't chasing hidden treasures in the desert (although that would've made for an epic story). Instead, he moved there to work for British Airways when Catherine was just two, and they lived there for three years. Catherine attended a very international nursery while living there, and according to her former teacher, Michael would sometimes pick her up while still wearing his uniform. Per the Daily Mail, she revealed, "'The kids used to get very excited and run to see him."

Catherine apparently has very fond memories of living in Jordan, according to Prince William. Also, per the Daily Mail, while he was on a royal tour of the country back in 2018, he told the chief executive of Save the Children, "She loved it here, she really did." Of course, one of the most famous pictures from Catherine's childhood depicts her as a toddler in front of the ruins in Jerash, Jordan, along with her father.

Michael Middleton has always been a hands-on dad

In June 2021, Princess Catherine unveiled The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, a dedicated unit within The Royal Foundation with a mission to revolutionize society's approach to the formative years of childhood. This initiative places a strong emphasis on the critical role of early childhood in shaping lifelong outcomes.

In a world where parenting often resembles a whirlwind of diapers and sleepless nights, Michael stands as a steadfast pillar of support. Catherine herself provided compelling evidence of this unwavering support through a celebratory Instagram post, commemorating the #ShapingUs campaign linked to The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood. This innovative campaign encouraged social media users to share childhood photos taken before the age of five. To kickstart the initiative, Catherine charmingly shared a precious snapshot of herself as a baby, accompanied by her loving father. In the post, Catherine looked to be about a year old, though her age was not mentioned and Michael held her up as she touched and played with this face. In the caption, she wrote, "Faces are a baby's best toy."

In a chat with Roman Kemp that was also made to promote the campaign, the princess spoke about how malleable our brains are before the age of five and how significant those early foundations are as we grow into adulthood. By sharing a picture of herself with her father, it's obvious she wanted to show the world the fantastic childhood she had.

Catherine likes to celebrate her father on social media

When it comes to doting on dear old dad, the Duchess of Cambridge knows how to make a grand gesture even in the digital age. Princess Catherine didn't just send a run-of-the-mill Father's Day card and call it a day. She took her celebratory game to the next level, and she's not shy about sharing it with the world on social media.

In the summer of 2020, while the rest of us were fumbling with filters and selfies, Kate decided to grace the internet with a real gem — an unseen photo of herself as a child, happily nestled on her dad's lap. Catherine was adorable with a plaid button-down shirt and braided pigtails in her hair, looking every inch the happy, playful child. Move over, Instagram influencers, because the Duchess just proved that authenticity is the ultimate social media trend.

Prince William added a picture as well in the carousel, sharing an adorable snap of himself and his father King Charles III putting his head on his shoulder in a heartwarming gesture. In the caption, the pair wished everyone a Happy Father's Day. It was also revealed in the caption that Catherine was the one who took the shot of Prince Wiliam and his dad, once again putting her photography skills on display. Kate's Father's Day tribute wasn't just a cute snapshot; it was a testament to the strong bond she shares with him. 

Michael and the Middletons were a big factor in William and Catherine's relationship

In the grand tale of Prince William and Catherine's romance, there's a charming subplot that often goes unnoticed—the role played by the Middletons, particularly Michael. According to reports, Prince William formed a close bond with Catherine's father, which isn't surprising being that he's never had a particularly warm relationship with his own. After dinner at the Middletons' home, it's said that William would stay late, engaging in lengthy conversations with Michael, already integrating himself into the family atmosphere he always wanted.

Michael's welcoming demeanor offered a refreshing contrast to the rigid formality of royal life. It's been suggested that William found a sense of belonging in the Middletons' warm and welcoming environment. This contrast might have played a significant role in strengthening his attraction to Catherine. In the "William and Kate: Into the Future" documentary, Princess Diana's biographer Andrew Morton said, "For a kid from a broken home which is, after all, what William is, he has always yearned towards the stable and towards the steady. It's not just Kate he's in love with — it's the family."

Royal expert Rachael Andrews told OK! that William admires the way Michael and his wife Carole raised their children, and tries to reflect that in his own parenting. She said, "We've seen over the past few years that he gets on really well with them." She added that William's admiration is reflected "in the way William is a down-to-earth father now."

Prince William was too scared to ask Michael for his permission to marry Catherine

In the world of British royalty, where traditions and protocols have ruled for centuries, it's easy to forget that even a future king can experience moments of vulnerability. Such a moment came to light during Prince William and Catherine Middleton's engagement interview, when William made a surprising revelation — he didn't ask Michael Middleton for permission to marry Kate because he feared the dreaded word: "No."

Tradition dictates that a suitor should ask the father for his daughter's hand in marriage, a custom meant to symbolize respect and commitment. Yet, in a modern twist, Prince William, despite his royal stature, chose to break this convention, revealing a side that felt the burden of expectations. Behind the confident demeanor of a future king lay a man who was genuinely nervous about the outcome.

In the famous 2010 engagement interview, William endearingly told the story, saying, "Well, I was torn between asking Kate's dad first and then the realization 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." As we chuckle at the notion of a prince fearing a commoner's rejection, it's a reminder that love stories, even those set against the grandeur of palaces, are shaped by moments of doubt and courage.

He walked Catherine down the aisle at her wedding to Prince William

On April 29, 2011, in a historic royal wedding at Westminster Abbey, Catherine Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge as she married Prince William. One of the most touching moments of the ceremony was when Michael Middleton walked her down the aisle, symbolizing the transition from commoner to royal. Michael played a central role in this momentous occasion. He proudly escorted his daughter, radiating love and support, showcasing the strength of the Middleton family bond. "I Was Glad" by Charles Hubert Hastings Parry was played as Catherine and her father made their way down the 97 meters up to the High Altar.

Michael looked cool as a cucumber as he walked his daughter down the aisle (albeit slightly nervous) and Prince William made a funny comment as the pair approached. According to "Kate: An Autobiography," as Catherine and her father stepped up to the altar, William whispered, "Just a quiet family wedding, then" (via Mirror). It's hard to say if William's joking demeanor did anything to calm Michael's nerves, but it was a sweet moment between the pair that put their close bond on display.

Michael and Catherine attended a Wimbledon match together in 2021

Catherine, a tennis fan, chose to attend Wimbledon's final day in 2021, accompanied by an unexpected guest, her father, Michael. The two anxiously watched an exciting Gentlemen's Wheelchair Singles match between Britain's Gordon Reid and Belgium's Joachim Gerard. They couldn't help but join in on The Wave, a crowd-favorite custom at sporting games. As they raised their arms with fellow spectators, their smiles were contagious. This touching outing at Wimbledon highlighted Catherine and her father's genuine friendship, making it a memorable moment for royal fans worldwide. With a mutual passion for tennis, it's no surprise that she and her dad cherished their family outing.

Tennis is popular in the Middleton household, thus, during a BBC documentary, Catherine shared an adorable anecdote about Michael. Per Hello!, On "Sue Barker: At Wimbledon," the Princess of Wales related a funny incident involving her father and former British tennis phenom Tim Henman. Kate laughed as she related how embarrassed she was when her father casually said, "Hi Pete," to Henman.

Kate's passion for Wimbledon is clear from her explanation of how the competition had a big influence on her upbringing. She said, "I have watched Wimbledon, that was very much part of my growing up. It's such a quintessential part of the English summer, and I think it really inspires youngsters, myself, it inspired me when I was younger to get involved in the game."

Michael took the first official photos of Prince George

A beautiful act made just a day after Prince George was born marked the beginning of Michael's special bond with Catherine's son Prince George, his first grandchild. The little prince entered the world on July 22, 2013, and he wasn't given even a day of privacy before he was carried outside the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London and found himself thrown into the paparazzi deep end. His first months of life took place at Michael and Carole Middleton's home in Bucklebury, Berkshire; an interesting start for a future king.

Michael's deep affection for his grandson became clear soon after George's birth, as the public awaited views of the future king. Grandpa Middleton designed a thoughtful plan after considering the necessity for privacy as well as the world's interest. Rather than employing a professional photographer who may disrupt Catherine and Prince William's baby cocoon, Michael chose to capture the shot himself. The new parents were able to enjoy a stress-free photoshoot in the garden without the interruption of a prolonged professional shooting thanks to this arrangement.

Now that Prince George is starting to grow up, his parents must maintain a delicate balance between his future role as king and the regular pleasures of boyhood. While his loving royal grandfather King Charles III represents his destiny as a monarch, it is Michael and Carole who have injected an aspect of "ordinariness" into his life from the start, according to the Mirror.

Michael and Carole Middleton have a down to earth parenting style admired by Prince William

Prince William has found inspiration in the way Michael and Catherine's mom Carole have raised their children. Their "down-to-earth" parenting style has earned the admiration of the prince, who reportedly "looks up" to the couple for their approach. Royal correspondent Rachael Andrew shared insights into Prince William's relationship with the Middletons, claiming he strives to balance his role as a future monarch with everyday parenting duties, per OK! Magazine.

She told the publication, "We've seen over the past few years that he gets on really well with them. He admires the way that Carole and Michael brought up Catherine, Pippa, and James and that seems to be reflected in the way William is a down-to-earth father now." She added, "With Carole and Michael, he's got people to confide in who are removed from the monarchy." 

The Middletons are well-known for their close-knit family and grounded values, which have played a significant role in William and Catherine's parenting journey. William appreciates their nurturing approach and their ability to maintain a sense of "normalcy" within their family, even in the midst of royal responsibilities. Now that the Cambridges live in Windsor, they're just a stone's throw from Bucklebury, so the Middletons are highly involved in the raising of William and Catherine's children. William is even often requested to "pitch in" around the house and was allegedly spotted with Michael washing a car once.

Michael and the Middletons are very much in the royal fold

Michael and the Middletons have blended into the royal family, cementing their presence through participation in major royal occasions. Their participation in ceremonies such as King Charles III's coronation and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee illustrates their lasting relationship with the British royal family. In a society where marrying into the Royal Family frequently meant giving up links to one's own family, the Middletons have been an exception. This one-of-a-kind bond demonstrates Prince William's unrelenting dedication to preserving Catherine's strong connection with her family, including her father.

When Prince William proposed to Catherine, he made her a genuine promise that she would not have to break off her relationship with the Middletons. Katie Nicholl, a royal expert, said that when you marry into the Royal Family, you normally become a Windsor, leaving your previous family links behind. In the "Kate Middleton: Working Class to Windsor" documentary, Nicholl stated, "When William asked Kate to marry him, he made it very clear that she wouldn't have to leave her family behind her once she married into his family." She added, "He promised her that they'd always stay a part of the family and they have done."

The Middletons' attendance at events such as joining the Queen at Ascot demonstrates their genuine acceptance into the royal family. This arrangement not only provides emotional support for Catherine but also emphasizes the monarchy's modernization, acknowledging the necessity of close familial ties.