Duchess Kate refused the Queen’s royal-Christmas invitation in 2006

The Duchess of Cambridge wears a face mask as she visits students at the University of Derby

Here are more photos from the Duchess of Cambridge’s appearance at the University of Derby yesterday. She was literally there to talk to students about how the pandemic is affecting their lives, their classes, their studies and their social lives. And she only wore a mask briefly, as she was entering a building, basically. As soon as she sat down with students, she took the mask off to pose for photos. I can’t. This is so stupid.

Fashion notes: Kate wore a cashmere sweater and a coat by Massimo Dutti – the sweater retails for £119 and the coat retails for £249. Her shoes are Gianvito Rossi. No one has an ID on her pants? The pants are kind of the best part of this ensemble. They fit beautifully, they’re not jeggings and they elevate the outfit. She also wore her new favorite protocol-breaking gifted necklace from All the Falling Stars.

Meanwhile, included in Robert Lacey’s Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult, there’s a story about old-school Waity Katie.

The Duchess of Cambridge reportedly refused the first ever invitation she received from the Queen to celebrate Christmas with the royal family at Sandringham, a new book has claimed.

Battle of Brothers, a book written by historian Robert Lacey about the royal family and the relationship between the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, is due to be released later this month. In the book, which is being serialised by the Daily Mail, Lacey claims that when the monarch first extended an invitation for Catherine to join the royal family for their traditional Christmas lunch in 2006, the then-24-year-old declined.

According to Lacey, who works as a historical consultant on Netflix’s hit period drama The Crown, Catherine wanted to wait until she was engaged before joining in the royal family’s Christmas festivities. Catherine “would go to Sandringham on Christmas Day only when she was engaged and had a ring to prove it”, the historian states in the book.

The Duchess of Cambridge made her first appearance at Sandringham for the royal family’s Christmas celebrations in 2011, eight months after she and the Duke of Cambridge wed at Westminster Abbey.

[From The Independent]

I remember how there was talk of “why didn’t Kate spend Christmas at Sandringham in 2010,” because that was just a few months after she and William had gotten engaged. Looking back on it, I think she already had an idea of how the royal Christmas at Sandringham was just one big unnecessary hassle, and she wanted to spend one last lowkey Christmas at home with her family before she got married. Either that or the Queen didn’t really invite Kate in 2010 (although I think the Queen probably did). Now, do I believe that the Queen really invited Kate to Christmas in 2006? Perhaps. Note that the Queen didn’t invite Kate for the entire holiday – it was basically an offer to Kate to drive in from Bucklebury to Sandringham on Christmas Day just to have lunch with the royal family. Merry Christmas, you have to drive for hours! And honestly… 2006 was an interesting year for Will and Kate’s relationship. William was absolutely pursuing other women at the time and keeping his options open, all while he was being heavily pressured by the media and the Middletons to propose to Kate. They ended up having their big breakup shortly after Kate’s January 2007 birthday.

The Duchess of Cambridge wears a face mask as she visits students at the University of Derby

The Duchess of Cambridge wears a face mask as she visits students at the University of Derby

The Duchess of Cambridge wears a face mask as she visits students at the University of Derby

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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74 Responses to “Duchess Kate refused the Queen’s royal-Christmas invitation in 2006”

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  1. Mignionette says:

    I’m punting here…. but I am going to guess that Bill told her to refuse it at the time, as he knew that it would essentially formalise and solidify their relationship in the eyes of the family, media and leave him no way out.

    Fast forward a decade and Harry is showing off his new wife to be. Oh the bitterness…..

    • Eleonor says:

      Totally this.

    • Ginger says:

      I agree. I don’t think Will wanted her there AT ALL. On twitter, someone’s sister worked for the RF at Balmoral and they said Will would hide from Kate lol. There is no way he would want Kate there for Christmas.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think this is 100% what happened – she probably wasn’t super “keen” on the idea of all that driving just for lunch, and to not even be part of the Christmas walk (which never would have happened until they were engaged/married anyway), but I bet given the overall timing, William told her to say “no,” considering they broke up shortly after that anyway.

      • Mignionette says:

        @Becks I also suspect that Betty and Chuck wanted to test the waters and force Bill’s hand to see how serious things were with Kate. Bc as you say shortly after they broke up.

      • Becks1 says:

        Maybe it was kind of like what Phillip told Charles about Diana? Marry her or move on? Maybe the queen said something similar to William – bring her to Christmas dinner so we can meet her, or move on.

        The queen wouldn’t end up meeting Kate until May 2008, so William was REALLY dragging his feet on the whole introduction.

        Edited to fix the sentence bc my brain needs more caffeine lol

      • Mignionette says:

        @Becks yeah I think that’s why he wasn’t keen on a meeting. Bill wanted to ensure he had exhausted all his options.

        Didn’t he bugger off on a jolly with Jecca shortly after ?

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Yeah I agree – there is NO WAY ON GODS GREEN EARTH she would have refused a Christmas invite to Sandringham willingly. Her mother would have off’d her for a start if she had. I suspect Willileaks was demanding she get an invite and then when once was sent he changed his mind.

      • Myra says:

        I agree with you that there is no way she would have refused and definitely her mother would not have approved of her refusing such an invite. From the Queen? Not possible. I’m also doubtful William demanded an invite for her, especially if he broke up with her right after as others have mentioned above. Maybe, perhaps, Charles offered to invite her to encourage William to settle. Or the author is getting really sh*tty information.

      • Mac says:

        I am extremely skeptical of this story. They were quite young at the time and had been dating for just a few years. I don’t see HM inviting a +1 to Christmas lunch unless there is an engagement.

      • Nic919 says:

        She was ok with meeting the queen for the first time at Peter and Autumn’s wedding with William not even there and off to Jecca’s brother’s wedding. There is no way she would have skipped going to Sandringham on Christmas Day to solidify her position as official girlfriend. Carole would have moved the entire family in a second had this happened.

    • Ainsley7 says:

      That and I’m pretty sure they don’t mean the Christmas Day lunch. I think Lacey is mistaken or being purposefully misleading. If Kate was invited to anything, it was the Christmas lunch with the extended family in London before the Queen leaves for Sandringham. Inviting Kate to come all the way to Sandringham from London or her parents house would have been rude. Lunch is only ever an hour long and it would have taken Kate 2-3 hours just to get there. Then another 2-3 hours to drive back. Who would say yes to that?

      • Becks1 says:

        That was my other thought too – that would make more sense IMO. Less stuffy and formal by all accounts, more family members there – that seems like more of a realistic invite than to Sandringham, when many royals don’t get that invite themselves (hence the London Christmas lunch), especially considering the queen hadn’t even met Kate yet.

      • Lady2Lazy says:

        @ Ainsley7, I would agree with you that to say that you are right that Lacey is not presenting facts, these are mostly misconstrued rumors to play into the Meghan hate campaign. Any invitation that Keen was sent, her manipulative mother would have moved heaven and earth to have her Keen daughter there!!

    • PEARL GREY says:

      I have heard the story of Kate being invited by the Queen to spend Christmas in 2006 before. How interesting that the press did not feel the need to demonise Kate for “snubbing the poor Queen” and there were no headlines shouting about how “the Queen deserves better!” when she and William spent at least two Christmases away from the royals after marriage too. In fact they praised them for being modern and balancing the two families during the holidays like a normal young couple. It also makes the faux outrage the tabloids tried to create over Meghan being invited after her engagement even more obvious that they were trying to incite people to think she was receiving special treatment by claiming that no other royal girlfriend had been invited before marriage.

      Robert needs to make himself useful and delve into the real reason why Kate turned down the invite because not having a ring to show ain’t it. She didn’t have a ring for William’s passing out ceremony in 2006 but she attended with her parents knowing it would cause speculation of an engagement.

  2. CidyKitty(CidySmiley) says:

    This is actually the best outfit I have seen her in awhile. It actually fits her and looks professional.

    What is the mask situation in the UK? Are people taking their masks off in socially distanced situations? That seems to be the general message here in the U.S. especially in places where they are doing a slow re-open, wear a mask while out and then when in your socially distanced situation, like resturant, stage, etc. Remove your mask. My state (Kansas) has been reopening but I have not gone out so I dont know.

    So for this event did she just like? Take comments from the crowd or what? Did people just like say how their lives had changed and stuff and then she left? I cant really picture the format of this.

    • Mignionette says:

      I agree for once she looks professional and appropriate. Not like a woman child or a Victorian governess.

      If she can make the effort to look the part then maybe she can start actually start getting engaged with her patronages….

    • Becks1 says:

      The outfit is nice because the outfit is relatively simple – professional trousers (I don’t love the fit around the hips, but for the most part they’re fine), a simple sweater, heels, and a statement coat (I said yesterday I wasn’t sure if it was a coat or a big blazer, I like it more as an oversized coat.) It’s something that the average professional woman would wear to the office. It’s not a prairie dress, not a coatdress, not jeggings , etc. I think its clear she was trying to dress “college like” lol but it still works overall. She should go for more looks like this (and not ruin it by wearing a blouse backwards or whatever she did last year.)

      • Nic919 says:

        I think those are the pockets showing around the hips which makes it look odd. Otherwise this is a great professional style that she should wear all the time.

      • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

        They are pockets on the seam. Personally, I hate those; even very slim hipped women don’t look great with those “Charles” ears sticking out of the side of themselves.

        But yes, sweater, TROUSERS, and block heels are a GREAT look for her. She needs to burn those prairie dresses STAT.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Those pockets would lie flat if the trousers fit her better; they’re just a bit too snug around the hips, that’s why you see that pull.

      • YFiona says:

        I’m in Vancouver, BC and I have the exact same face mask as Kate, how strange. It’s a Liberty London print that I ordered from a local shop, so they must have shipped some over here.

    • Sofia says:

      I said yesterday that there really was no point of this engagement. University undergrads are almost all gen-z now (and maybe some millennials). They’re the generation truly (for the most part) does not care for the royals. Had she visited a care home (which I know she’s not allowed to but let’s pretend for the sake of the example she is) or had a chat with office workers aged 50+ or something, I’d understand she was there to boost morale or whatever. But university students simply don’t care. Beyond the initial “wow it’s Kate Middleton!”, they’ll move on – especially when she’s not really providing them with any tangible benefit.

      • equality says:

        Maybe that’s the point. She’s trying for the demographic that think more highly of Meghan. That’s why she’s dressing younger.

      • Cookie says:

        A majority of Brits in that age group still support having a monarchy, so I’m not sure that’s entirely true (at least based on polls I’ve seen). And if we’re discussing royal families in general, in my country that number is at 80 percent for under 30s. So this idea that young people don’t care about a monarchy is probably more anecdotal and I’m guessing breaks strongly along certain demographic lines. But back to the visit. Did it do tangible good? I have no idea. Did she do what is commonly expected of members of royal families in times of crisis by speaking with and listening to people on the frontlines? I’d argue yes.

      • Sofia says:

        @Cookie: I’ve seen articles that say support for the monarchy is declining in that age group but maybe you’re right. Maybe I should rephrase myself: the amount of gen-z that care about the monarchy compared to boomers is lower – by quite a bit I believe.

    • Lizzie says:

      Agree. This is the best she has looked at a non formal event since I can remember. The clothes are just right, not trying too hard. Same with her hair and makeup, not trying too hard.

    • Amy Too says:

      Maybe it’s the angle of the pictures but her ankles and feet look swollen to me, it looks painful. I also hate those shoes, they’re not quite high heeled enough to justify wearing heels, but they’re also not flats, they’re that weird in between that my mom wore to the office in the 80s and 90s. There are so many cuter options for even just plain black shoes.

      Otherwise, the outfit is fine. I wouldn’t say I like it or love it, but I like it *better* than most of her outfits lately.

  3. Mina_Esq says:

    I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I LOVE Kate’s outfit when the coat is on!

    • Eleonor says:

      Coat envy here.
      Say what you want about her boring style, but her coats (buttons and all) for me are to die for!

    • Watson says:

      She looks far more modern here than she has in years that’s for sure!

    • Chica1971 says:

      She does look more modern but those pants ( a real step up for her) are not properly tailored. The hips are fitted but the thigh area on one side is not.

    • MissMarierose says:

      Same here. That coat is amazing!

    • Bettyrose says:

      I love the whole look, with and without coat. I actually had a dream last night about being in London. I was visiting my relative there, as I do, but the whole point of the dream it was raining and I was so thrilled to see rain…whelp off now to the park with my pup…where even in October there won’t yet be one blade of rain-nourished green grass and it’s too warm for a cute fall coat.

    • February-Pisces says:

      Me too, I love that coat with that colour jumper. I like how it’s kind of oversized too. It’s just refreshing to see her in anything that isn’t an ugly grandma dress.

  4. Talie says:

    I’ve noticed royal reporters have stopped pumping up this book – probably because it literally spills no tea and Harry & Meghan don’t come off bad at all. In fact, there’s more juice in here about William. Although, from a royal historian’s perspective, it makes sense why he would have more of an interest in the habits of the future King.

    • Amy Bee says:

      I’ve noticed this too. Even Rebecca English who works for the Daily Mail has stopped promoted the book. The Royal Family is truly awful that a book that seemingly is telling their (and the press’) side of the story still makes them look bad.

  5. Wiglet Watcher says:

    Again this was framed as a negative towards any royal beside Harry and Megan that can easily be explained away as youth or circumstances. A lip service to showing everyone is getting fair treatment in the book. They are most certainly not.

    Kate regularly avoids invitations and generations long traditions.

    • Mignionette says:

      @WW that is a very good point. Everyone is copping it in this book. It’s clearly a look over here ‘we like to rip the piss out of all of them’.

      But it’s a lie bc the attacks against Meghan were truly vile. They attacked things she had no control over; race, class, nationality ad infinitum.

      They also attacked her at her most vulnerable i.e. days before her wedding, when she was pregnant and immediately after birth. It was truly VILE and heartbreaking to watch.

      This book was clearly written as a counter to that narrative. Problem is it actually falls flat in that regard bc it skates around the real issues which Meghan is litigating against i.e. her fundamental human right to communicate with her non-Royal family without it being turned into a 4 ring circus,

  6. Chonky Cat says:

    I love her outfit! I covet that coat.

  7. ABritGuest says:

    Nice to see Kate dressing more her age. Cool gold jewellery too. I remember the days the press claimed that wearing trousers was against royal protocol & frowned upon by the Queen..

    I remember the press hype about Meghan getting special privileges as a fiancée at first Sandringham Christmas as if Diana wasn’t at royal ascot in a carriage before she married in, Autumn didn’t holiday with the family before she married Peter and Sophie wasn’t living with Edward at BP& joining their holidays.

    I think it was reported that Kate was invited to Sandringham the Christmas she got engaged but knowing she’d be with the royals for most Christmases going forward, opted to spend it with the Middletons. Can’t blame her- it sounds so dull

  8. FancyPants says:

    Kate in a flattering pair of pants- I thought I’d never see the day! Is it already cold enough there for that coat?

  9. Harla says:

    As I recall William was working in Anglesey that Christmas (2010) and Kate knowing that it would be her last Christmas with her family for quite a while, chose to spend it with them.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      How was it her last Christmas?

      After she was married she spent the majority of time with her family for holidays. Reportedly they were gifted Anmer Hall to lure Kate closer for the holidays. And even then the Queen had to extend an invite to the Midds. Kate actively avoided royal functions once married unless Persuaded with gifts

  10. Nyro says:

    Really nice outfit. She looks modern, not like a WW2 era housewife. And those pants are so flattering on her. She should get them in every color.

  11. Sofia says:

    As for the actual article, didn’t they break up around Jan 2007? So it’s quite possible her relationship with William was becoming frosty, therefore didn’t want to pretend they were going to remain together for much longer so she decided not to drive up and have lunch with his family – especially if it’s a few hours drive.

    Now as for the outfit, I hope she continues in this direction and puts the grandma curtain dresses away for good.

  12. Oh says:

    I thought that the pants were against protocol and not royal, what happens now?? where your dress-coat Kate?

    • equality says:

      Things are only against protocol when Meghan does them.

    • Mignionette says:

      I think there are gentle attempts to modernise Kate recently. Trousers, jewellery etc.

      At the moment she seems to be cos-playing a casual Queen Leticia.

      Who knows how long it will last until the courtiers start to brief against her bc she has become too confident and / or modern. Isn’t that how it works ?

      I also agree with someone above re appealing to Meg’s demographic, but the messaging is very confused , bc one minute she is a sister wife and the next moment she is wearing drain pipes.

      • Oh says:

        Because Kate simply doesn’t have the personality ,lmao she was cosplaying as Diana and now Meghan , oh God, that’s funny and embarrassed

    • Amy Bee says:

      We were told that dressing like this was unroyal and not regal. But the Kate stans were loving her outfit yesterday. She looks good but people need to admit that she’s dressing like Meghan now and the reason many people had a problem with how Meghan dressed was because she made Kate look drab and old-fashioned.

      • Becks1 says:

        Her stans have also insisted for years that Kate could not remove her coat at an event because it would give the impression that she was undressing and that was not allowed, LMAO.

      • Kalana says:

        They even loved her oversized coat.

        Wow, Meghan must have looked so regal for Kate to be so desperate about copying her.

      • Oh says:

        LMAO. Kate stans lack brain cell , like the person who they love

      • MsIam says:

        Up next: Leather pants! With buttons, of course! They are being custom made as we speak.

      • lanne says:

        Kate stans don’t love her. They just hate Meghan. They stan for Kate as a reaction to how much they hate Meghan. Otherwise, where have they all been all this time?

    • Jolie says:

      Royals have worn trousers for years. (And not just the men!)

      But I do find it hilarious that everything Kate wears is now copying Meghan (according to this site). Ridiculous.

      • Becks1 says:

        Of course they have. That’s why the cries of “Meghan is breaking royal protocol by wearing trousers!” was always BS. She was never breaking any protocol. The royal women have always worn trousers for various events. Kate, however, wore dressy trousers very rarely before Meghan came on the scene (i.e. not jeggings or jeans). It happened, but it was rare. If you don’t think her style changed when Meghan came on the scene, then I don’t know what to tell you, because it very obviously did.

      • Amy Bee says:

        No one is disputing that other Royals wore pants for years. In fact when Meghan was getting attacked for wearing pants a lot of people pointed out that other women wore pants before her. Kate only wore jeggings and jeans prior to Meghan coming on the scene.

      • Oh says:

        In addition, Kate never wore a suit before Meghan comes on the scene, and she also never wore like this oversized coat., but suddenly Kate is wearing modern clothes and jewelry that referred to her children …LOOOL

  13. Lizzie says:

    Maybe she didn’t go to Sandringham for lunch because of the long drive and she had to get up early for work the next day?
    LOL, couldn’t resist.

  14. Seraphina says:

    I find it funny how they are portraying Kate: the one who can sooth the rage of the beast that is Prince William and how now she also was confident and a woman of her own mind who said no to the Queen. Seems to me that they are trying to polish her image up to mirror Meghan. Soon we will hear stories of how Kate actually did do work but we never heard about it. Like she was making chutney for the local foodbanks and wanted to be incognito,

    • ABritGuest says:

      Lol Seraphina that’s true. The express had a story a few weeks ago about how ‘independent’ Kate bought her own necklace worth thousands. The comments were ripping it saying how did she afford it seeing as she’s barely worked. I bet we will soon have articles about ‘Feminist’ Kate standing up to the grey men.

      • Seraphina says:

        I would love to have a team of people embiggen everything I do: laundry, make dinner, ect.

  15. Blerg says:

    That is a gorgeous outfit–that coat is fantastic–and I like her lighter hair.

  16. MsIam says:

    This outfit is okay, I’m a big sweater fan but that oversized coat kills it for me. It looks and fits like a tweed bathrobe.

  17. Mignionette says:

    Kate is the only person yet to be painted in a really bad light in this book. In parts she is infantilized (such as this excerpt), but she is yet to be really thrown under the bus.

    If the Midds also get off or only get marginal criticism, then I’m going to guess this is Carole.

    • blue36 says:

      Isn’t that the case with almost all of the royal books that came out after Meghan joined the firm (except for FF)? It’s always astounding to me how much she gets a pass.

  18. Erica says:

    Sooo…is Lacey tight with the Middletons? Because Kate is the only one coming out well in this book.

  19. Carolind says:

    I don’t believe for a second that Kate was invited to any royal Christmas lunch in 2006. It’s just not what they do.

  20. Mariane says:

    This is the women who was photographed sleeping at the wheel WAITING for billy at one of his games. No way would she miss the chance to go. This was probably related by the palace just like the story about queen inviting Doria