The Truth About Princess Anne And Kate Middleton's Relationship

The royal family has been, and will remain, a source of international interest. Of course, the important work that the family members do — in advocating for charities and bringing attention to worthy causes — is very noteworthy, but it's the interpersonal dynamics between the members that so many people are interested in. The headlines have been plagued with stories about the inner workings of relationships, such as the strained dynamic between Prince Harry and Prince William, but what about some of the other family members? Do the royals, who receive less attention in the news, really get along?

Two such royals whose relationship isn't always talked about are Princess Anne — Queen's Elizabeth's only daughter — and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. Kate married Prince William in 2011, and their marriage has looked like a fairytale. Anne has been dubbed one of the hardest-working royals, and is always on the go. So do these two extremely important members of the royal family get along? What is their dynamic like? We did the digging so you don't have to — here's the truth about Princess Anne and Kate Middleton's relationship.

Princess Anne thinks that Kate Middleton has had it 'harder' as a royal

There's no denying that the media coverage of Kate Middleton has been extensive. Ever since she came onto the scene, back when she and Prince William were dating as college students, there has been immense interest in her — so much so that at times she was criticized simply for living her life, as noted by Buzzfeed News

After Kate got married to William, things calmed down a little bit, but revved back up as royal tensions bubbled to the surface. Princess Anne, who also came of age in a spotlighted position, shared her thoughts on the scrutiny and attention that Kate has been exposed to. In the documentary "Anne: The Princess Royal at 70," Anne said, "The pressure that is applied to the younger members of the family, it's always worse." The Princess Royal went on to say that the media attention that Kate was (and still is) exposed to is "hard sometimes to deal with," and pointed to the fact that social media has made things that much more challenging. "There was no social media in my day, and it's probably made it more difficult," Anne explained, as noted by Express.

Kate Middleton paid special tribute to Princess Anne on her 70th birthday

The world always watches the royals when it comes to paying tribute to their family members. For instance, it was very obvious that things were dicey when Prince William and Kate Middleton didn't publicly wish Prince Harry and Meghan Markle well on their third wedding anniversary, via The Sun. So needless to say, when Kate issues a public message, the world takes notice. This was especially true when she wished Princess Anne a happy 70th birthday on social media. 

The post included three photos — one of Anne on her own, one of Anne with William, and another of Anne and Kate smiling together. The caption read, "Wishing a very happy 70th birthday to Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal!" and the post was flooded by more than 500,000 likes. Kate's well wishes to Anne were met with a lot of praise from fans of both royal women, with one fan writing, "Such a smart, beautiful, hard working class act! An inspiring woman in many regards. Wishing you all the best!" Some pointed out how "incredible" Anne is, and others highlighted their love for Kate with heart emojis. It's clear that the two royal women have a decent amount of respect for one another. 

Princess Anne and Kate Middleton have joined together to support Queen Elizabeth

The world was understandably shaken when Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's husband, died in 2021 (via CNN). While he was getting on in years, his presence within the royal family and his importance to the queen cannot be understated. As such, when Philip died, Kate Middleton and Princess Anne reportedly joined ranks and devised a plan to address Elizabeth's needs moving forward. 

According to Express, Kate and Anne were joined by Camilla Parker Bowles and Sophie, Countess of Wessex — the royal women apparently came "up with a plan" to ensure that the queen was not left by herself while on the job. A source close to the palace told The Mirror, "The Queen will not be alone," and, "She will have others who care about her deeply and want to be there to support her in her most pressing hour." Given that Anne is Elizabeth's only daughter, and that Kate has been on the royal scene for more than a decade, it makes sense that they joined together to address such a trying time for their family and for the monarch.

Kate Middleton and Princess Anne share a very prestigious royal title

Royal titles are a big deal, even if most of us don't understand half of the abbreviations that appear after a royal family member's name. After proving her worth and dedication to the royal family, just as Princess Anne did, Kate Middleton was given a very prestigious title by Queen Elizabeth and now shares it with Anne, as well as Prince Philip and Camilla Parker Bowles. As noted by Express, Elizabeth named Kate a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) — and the new title coincided with her eighth wedding anniversary to Prince William. 

The title "is the highest rank in a form of chivalry personally granted by the sovereign to recognize one's service," and given that service is extremely important to Anne, the distinction and shared title between her and Kate is highly notable. Express further noted that Anne was bestowed the very same title in 2007, and she also holds the role of Grand Master. 

Maintaining the image of the crown has been very crucial to both Anne and Kate, and as of 2018, their titles bond them.

Kate Middleton and Princess Anne attended the Olympics together in London

The Olympics. Just the two words alone spark a certain amount of home country pride and competition, but that's nothing compared to the feelings of dedication and patriotism that arise when it's your own country that's hosting. The Olympics were held in London in 2012, and unless you were living under a rock at the time, you should know that the royals were front and center in the stands. Kate Middleton and Princess Anne were spotted together at the games on a number of occasions, and given their mutual love of sports, it makes total sense. 

According to PopSugar, the pair were seen chatting in the stands with each other, discussing what we can only assume were the riveting events that were playing out in front of them (and of course, they probably had fantastic seats). As per The Cut, Kate was seen kissing Anne hello on the cheek during one of the events, and the pair were even spotted together on a boat while watching the sailing events. 

Of course, the 2012 Olympics were a huge deal for Anne, as her daughter, Zara Tindall, won a silver medal in the equestrian team event.

Things may have gotten a little cold between Princess Anne and Kate Middleton once

When Kate Middleton and Prince William's first child, Prince George, was born, it seemed like the whole world celebrated with them. That is, except for Princess Anne, it appeared. As noted by Express, the Princess Royal dropped an ... interesting comment about the new addition to the family, and it certainly ruffled some feathers. After all, any new mom will tell you that any criticism about their new baby is an absolute no. 

So what exactly happened? Before George was born, Anne was asked if she was looking forward to having a new little bundle of joy in the royal family. She reportedly responded to the question by saying, "Nothing to do with me, but it's very good news."

If you think the answer is a little odd, you're not the only one. People took to social media to call out Anne for her comment, with some people calling her "miserable." "How rude and disrespectful!!!" one person wrote, with another calling her cold. It remains unclear just how much Anne's comment impacted her relationship with Kate, but we can't imagine it went over extremely well.

Kate Middleton has to curtsy to Princess Anne, but only under certain circumstances

If you're confused about royal protocols, you're not alone. There are a lot of rules to follow, so much so that who Kate Middleton curtsies to changes depending on who she is with at the time. As noted by CheatSheet, Kate has to curtsy to Princess Anne, but only when she is not accompanied by her husband, Prince William. When alone, Kate also has to curtsy to Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, as she "is not of royal blood." But all of that changes when William is around — if he is, Anne then has to curtsy to Kate. 

Even though Kate did not inherit her royal title by birth, she is still poised to take on one of the highest-ranked positions in the royal family. When William becomes king (which will probably happen sooner rather than later), Kate will most likely become queen consort. When that happens, everyone, including Anne, will have to bow or curtsy to her, except for her husband. Phew that was a lot — hopefully you're still with us. Imagine having to try to remember all the rules yourself, instead of just reading about them.

Princess Anne and Kate Middleton had an awkward moment at this royal event

You can't get along with your family all the time, and that was certainly the case for Kate Middleton and Princess Anne during this royal occasion. According to the Independent, a bit of an awkward display of frustration was shown on the Duchess of Cambridge's part in response to the Princess Royal, and it all had to do with a pamphlet. During the Royal Ascot in 2016, Anne was fiddling with a pamphlet while standing next to Kate — by the looks of the photos, it appeared as though Anne was asking Kate questions regarding the event. 

Kate is almost always put together, but there have been a couple of times where her side-eye has gotten the best of her. One such event was while she was in New York with Prince William and she was instructed to "hurry up" — cue eye roll here. But it was with Anne at the Royal Ascot that the internet got treated to another Kate eye roll, and the photo was pretty excellent. It's unclear just what Anne was talking about at the time, but it had to be pretty pedantic to get that reaction from the duchess.

Princess Anne said this about how Kate Middleton and Prince William perform their royal duties

Princess Anne is by and large known as the hardest-working royal. She has outperformed her family members in terms of attending events, and has not been shy when sharing what she thinks about the approach of "younger" royals — namely Kate Middleton and Prince William. 

In a sit-down interview with Vanity Fair, Anne said that even though she may look like the "boring old fuddy-duddy," she's always gone about her royal duties in the same way — and she knows what it takes to be a successful member of the royal family. "I don't think this younger generation probably understands what I was doing in the past ... Nowadays, they're much more looking for, 'Oh let's do it a new way,'" Anne opined. "And I'm already at the stage, 'Please do not reinvent that particular wheel ... Some of these things don't work.'" Anne continued by saying that the younger royals need "to go back to basics" when it comes to their approach to royal life. Given that the royals don't often speak critically of each other, Anne's revelations about the younger royals made for quite the display.

Kate Middleton and Princess Anne are gearing up to work with each other far more

The royal family, as most of us know, has been in flux for the last couple of years. Things changed dramatically when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they would be stepping back from their roles as senior royals, and as such, the core group of royal family members have banded together in a new and unique way. Because of the shifting values of the family, Princess Anne and Kate Middleton are gearing up to work together far more closely than before. 

As noted by the Observer, Queen Elizabeth is establishing the "New Firm," and it will be composed of herself and seven senior royals: Anne, Kate, Prince William, Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince Edward, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. The eight are set to not only work together in-person and virtually, but will work to promote each other's charitable contributions. Because of this, royal fans will most likely see Anne and Kate attending each other's events more often than in the past. The "New Firm" has already started to work closely together, and even joined a video call all together to pay tribute to health care workers during the pandemic.

Kate Middleton reportedly looks to Princess Anne's fashion history for inspiration

Kate Middleton always looks good — she's put-together, classy, and always the picture of sophistication. But eagle-eyed fans have started to notice that Kate may be taking fashion inspiration from none other than Princess Anne, who started many fashion trends during the 1970s. As noted by Express, Kate was spotted in a green dress that featured long sleeves and a high neckline — the entire ensemble was very indicative of Anne's go-to silhouette. 

The dress in question hasn't been the only time that Kate has echoed the fashion choices of the Princess Royal. Express reported that after Kate returned to royal duty following the birth of her youngest child, Prince Louis, she was seen in a number of 1970s-inspired looks that featured high necklines and bell-shaped sleeves — all silhouettes that were rocked by Anne years prior. 

Kate may also be looking to Anne for inspiration when it comes to her royal duties. As aforementioned, Anne is one of the most prominent, hardworking members of the royal family. It makes sense that, given Kate's direct line to the throne, she would be emulating the royal example that Anne has set forth.