Over the weekend, I got my hands on a copy of the recently released book Kate: The Future Queen by Katie Nicholl. Obviously, I sat down with it right away to see what all the fuss was about.
As you can see, they put out a Canadian version of the book which is pretty cute. Unlike the regular version which has a picture of Kate at the Garter Ceremony (shown below), the oh-so Canadian version features Kate on Canada Day during her 2011 visit to Ottawa with William. She’s got on her maple leaf hat, a white dress, the maple leaf diamond brooch, the whole thing. I would have taken the necklace off. There’s just too much going on. But A+ for patriotic effort, am I right?
Anyway, Katie Nicholl is the go-to royal correspondent for CNN, ABC, and ET, and the BBC. She seems to be pretty “in” with the younger royals and has met most of them out and about at parties over the years. Some have speculated that she may have some sort of arrangement going with the Middletons, but I’m not sure that’s the case. However, it is true that she is definitely very pro-Kate and certainly avoids saying anything negative about any of the royals whatsoever.
There has already been a lot of ink spilled over the “exclusives” of the book, and here’s my take on them.
Exclusive #1: Kate Switched from Edinburgh University to St. Andrew’s after William Announced his University Choice
The major exclusive is that Kate really did turn down a spot at Edinburgh University in order to re-apply for a spot at St. Andrew’s after it was announced that William would be going there. There had been some conjecture about that in the press, but this is the first time it’s really been confirmed. She has quotes from teachers at Kate’s school, Marlborough College, confirming the switch.
Can’t say I’m surprised. I think Kate figured she might as well give it a try, and clearly she was right, eh?
Exclusive #2: Kate had already met William before she got to St. Andrew’s
So perhaps this helps to explain why Kate made the switch! Katie Nicholl also spoke to friends who confirmed that Kate had already met Prince William “once or twice” before she got to know him at St. Andrew’s, despite William and Kate’s claim in their engagement interview that they met at the school. I think the explanation for that is that Kate was one of many in the group whenever she did meet William, and didn’t make much of an impression until later.
Here’s what Kate said in the engagement interview:
“Well, actually I went bright red when I met you and sort of scuttled off, being very shy about meeting you. But, actually William wasn’t there for quite a bit of the time initially. He wasn’t there for Fresher’s Week so it did take a bit of time for us to get to know each other, but we did become fairly close friends from quite early on.”
To Kate’s credit, she kept the fact that she’d met William before close to her chest when she was doing her gap year. If she did have her sights set on William – and, come on, she totally did- she knew she had to be very smart about it and be careful about what she said and how she behaved.
After spending three months in Italy, Kate joined a Raleigh International expedition in Chile (which we already knew and like William did) where she helped build fire stations and conducted marine surveys. Rachel Humphreys was an interpreter on Kate’s trip and said “She was very mature…she was always in control of herself and impeccably behaved.” That summer she worked at Ocean Village Marina in Southampton. Her colleague there Paul Horsford confirms Rachel’s impression and is quoted as saying: “She was always very professional and very private, and very careful with what she said.” He also confirms that she told him she’d met William before, and that she told him that herself in what seems to have been a more unguarded moment.
Exclusive #3: Kate Did some Secret Charity Work
The third tidbit that Katie unearthed is that Kate undertook some secret charity work when she was dating William. Katie is very diplomatic about it, but the point is made that this was strongly encouraged by the Queen. A source close to the family is quoted as saying around 2007 that:
“The Queen has no idea what Kate does. Privately, she is very concerned about what the repercussions could be if Kate is not in a stable job as and when William is ready to propose…the Queen is of the opinion that Kate should be working.”
So, as part of her “let’s win over the Queen” plan, Kate started making secret trips to Naomi House, a children’s hospice close to the Middleton’s home. This is also around the time that Kate started taking on more responsibilities for Party Pieces, her family’s company.
It must have been privately validating for Kate when she arrived at Naomi House this past April to all this fanfare:
There are a few other little tidbits here and there that are interesting like:
- William’s floor in residence was directly above Kate’s
- When she moved to London, Kate was given permission to swim in the Buckingham Palace pool, like Diana had done. Not sure I believe it, but there you go.
- In 2008, Kate visited Mustique 3(!) times! Oh, dear…no wonder the Queen was concerned.
- Since the Middleton’s could not invite their own guests to the lunchtime reception at Buckingham Palace, they hosted a “in lieu of” party at the Goring. I didn’t realize that they couldn’t invite ANY guests to the reception, only their immediate family. Maybe this was the Queen’s way of avoiding a meeting with Kate’s embarrassing Uncle Gary?
- Kate, William, and Harry watched the wedding coverage together before getting ready for the Buckingham Palace reception. Kate still had her tiara on when her hairdresser James Pryce arrived to give her a fresh blow-out for the evening. It was sewn into her hair so it must have been tricky to take off, but still…who’d want to take it off?? Love that!
I was a bit disappointed that some sections of the book were identical to other Kate and William books out there, almost to the letter. So those parts were oh so dull, but overall it is a fun read for any royal watchers.
So the question is, has Kate read the book yet? Hell, yes. I think she’s very aware of what’s said about her in the press and can’t help herself from keeping tabs on it. When Katie Nicholl was speaking to Vanity Fair in 2010 about her book William and Harry: Beyond the Palace Walls she said:
I sent a couple of copies of the book to William and Harry because they wanted to read it, and I know the book is also in the Buckingham Palace library which is rather nice. (Source)
So there we have it. Have any of you read the book or are planning to read it? Let’s chat.