Queen Elizabeth Made One Major Exception for Kate Middleton During the Duchesss First Visits to Balmoral

It’s no secret that Kate Middleton has a love for photography (and has a knack for it at that), and according to a new report, Queen Elizabeth used this passion to make the Duchess of Cambridge feel welcomed into the royal family during her first few visits to their summer estate.

Per the Mirror, Middleton paid a handful of visits to Her Majesty’s Scottish home, Balmoral, before marrying Prince William. And in order to calm her nerves and make her feel at home, the queen allowed the duchess to break one very important rule: no picture taking.

According to royal expert and author Katie Nicholl, the monarch wanted Kate to be able to exercise her passion while at the residence, so she allowed her to take photos (something that was never permitted for visitors).

“Until now the queen had met Kate only fleetingly at the wedding of Peter and Autumn Phillips, but she went out of her way to make her feel welcome, giving her permission to take pictures at Balmoral,” Nicholl wrote in her book Kate: The Future Queen. “As a woman who has lived her entire life in the public eye, the queen rarely lets her guard down, and very few apart from her family and closest friends get to see the real Elizabeth.” How special.

ICYMI: Her Majesty is currently spending her summer break at Balmoral Castle (as she does every year). Liz arrived at the estate—which is located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and has been in the royal family since 1852—earlier this month. She will likely remain there into September before returning to her home at Windsor.

Now, if only we could see a few of the shots Kate took during those summers.

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