Inside The Queen's Relationship With Kate Middleton's Parents

The world and royal family enthusiasts were abuzz when Prince William announced in 2010 that he was engaged to his non-royal, long-time girlfriend Catherine Middleton, per the BBC. In that same announcement, Catherine, nicknamed Kate, expressed how joining the royal family was a "daunting prospect," but she followed that up by saying, "Hopefully, I'll take it in my stride." 

As for Kate's family, including her parents, business owners Michael and Carole? The royal family ensured that Kate's close relatives would be welcomed into their family's activities and celebrations. It was supposedly one of Prince William's rare requests to the Queen upon his marriage to the future duchess, as royal expert Katie Nicholl told OK! Magazine (via Express). "He's close to Carole and Michael and always insisted the Royal Family treat them well, which the Queen has done. She welcomed them with open arms."

Given that the Queen easily connected to Kate — the Queen said she was "absolutely delighted" regarding her grandson's nuptials, per the BBC — it's expected the Duchess of Cambridge's family had a similar experience.

The Middletons are more than in-laws

When news hit about Prince William's engagement with long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton, people were instantly curious about the royal family's relationship, especially that of the Queen, with Kate's parents, Michael and Carole. Before William and Kate's memorable royal wedding at Westminster Abbey in 2011, the Queen made an effort to get to know the Middletons. 

The Queen reportedly invited the couple to a private lunch with her and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle for their very first meeting, reported Express. "Her majesty thought it would be a nice gesture and was genuinely keen to meet them," a palace insider explained. "It was a lovely lunch, very warm with lots of laughter and I think helped put everyone at ease," another royal source said. That lunch must have gone well, because the Queen and the Middletons seem to have had a good relationship in the past 10 years. The Middletons even received one of the most exclusive royal invites ever a few years ago — a personal invitation from the Queen to her beloved Balmoral Castle. Kate's parents were also allowed to stay in the castle itself instead of one of the guest houses, reported Express

So it's safe to say the Queen's relationship with the Middletons is more than amicable — they're family.