What We Know About Prince Philip's Relationship With Kate Middleton

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and England's longest-ever royal consort, died on Friday, April 9, 2021. Philip was known for being close to his family, and he and Prince William's wife, Kate Middleton, reportedly had a close bond that surprised some.

Kate married into the royal family on April 29, 2011. She and William were in an on-again, off-again relationship for eight years prior to their marriage. While she wasn't often seen with members of William's family before their wedding, it's safe to assume that Kate spent significant time with each of them, especially as the day of the wedding pulled closer.

In 2018, body language expert Judi James told the Daily Express that she believed the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Philip had a relationship built on a shared sense of what's fun. Commenting on photos of the two from the 2017 Trooping the Colour ceremony, James said, "These delightful poses suggest unexpectedly rich bonds between Kate and Prince Philip based on not just affection but also a shared sense of humour and fun."

James went on to add that Kate and the duke's body language suggested that Kate was quite the fan of Philip's jokes: "Her dimpled smile and softened eye expression show genuine affection but her fully opened-mouth laugh suggests she's finding Philip's comments genuinely hilarious."

Prince Philip and Kate Middleton shared the same role

Like Prince Philip before her, Kate Middleton will also assume the role of consort once Prince William becomes King. Royal author Andrew Morton explained to the Daily Express that Kate sees her role in William's life very similarly to how Philip saw his role in Queen Elizabeth's. "She sees her role as supporting her husband, just as Prince Philip saw his role supporting the Queen. Two couples who supported each others through the vicissitudes of royal life."

Royal author Robert Lacey also told the publication that Prince William seemed to believe he needed to "audition" his future wife for the role of consort, which is an idea that fellow author Ian Lloyd believes speaks to the gravity of both Kate Middleton and Prince Philip's duties (as consort). In his book The Duke: 100 Chapters in the Life of Prince Philip, Lloyd wrote (via the Daily Express), "The marvellous thing, of course, is that the Queen can trust him [Prince Philip] 100 percent. I am sure she can also trust some of her courtiers but you never quite know what's going to get out."

Kate Middleton and Prince Philip approached marriage similarly

While Prince William and Kate Middleton don't offer a lot of personal details into their lives, it's clear to many that Middleton definitely takes her role as future consort very seriously. Much like Prince Philip, she's demonstrated an understanding of the expectations placed on her time and time again.

Sarah Gristwood, author of Elizabeth: The Queen and the Crown, explained to People that while William and Kate enjoy a modern marriage, it's clear that there's a little bit of tradition there, too. "In one sense hers and William's was a modern royal marriage, in that it was a love match. But in another it has been old-fashioned. She mostly appears as a supportive figure to her husband."

Penny Junor, who has written numerous books about the members of the royal family, echoed this thought to People, noting that Kate is focused on being her husband's biggest supporter. "She's never trying to outshine him in any way. I think that Kate is a bit like Prince Philip supporting the Queen. She doesn't outshine William but still has a lot to say herself."

Kate Middleton's parents will be at Prince Philip's funeral

Kate's close relationship with Prince Philip even appears to have extended to her entire family, including her parents Carole and Michael. Coronavirus-related restrictions mean that only 30 people can attend the service, and Page Six has reported that the Middletons are among those 30. The publication also notes that the Middletons are quite close with Prince Charles and Camilla, and that Prince William is deeply connected to Kate's family.

In a Tatler cover story on the Duchess of Cambridge last year, a friend of the Middletons spoke of William's affection for Kate's parents. "He absolutely adores them. Michael is charming. Really kind, soft and gentle. William loves going to the country to stay with them. Their family life is so soothing for him as it's so different from his own family," the source said.

Further, it turns out that Prince Philip loved to spend time with Kate and William's children, George, Charlotte, and Louis, at the garden of the Old Boot Inn pub in Stanford Dingley — which is nearby the home of Carole and Michael Middleton (via Page Six).