The Major Way Kate Middleton Set Herself Apart from Princess Diana at Royal Christmases

Kayleigh Roberts
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Marie Claire

  • Even though they have a lot in common, there's one big way that Princess Diana and Kate Middleton have differed, particularly at royal Christmas celebrations.
  • While Diana never participated in the Boxing Day shoot on the day after Christmas, Kate enjoys the sport and participated even when she and Will were just dating.
  • In her book Kate: The Future Queen, royal expert and biographer Katie Nicholl describes the differences between Kate and Diana when it comes to the royal family's traditional shoot.

Kate Middleton and her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, have a lot in common, but they also have some differences. One of their biggest differences shines through during the royal family's Christmas celebrations.

In her book Kate: The Future Queen, royal expert and biographer Katie Nicholl describes the difference in how Kate and Diana felt about the royal family's annual Boxing Day shoot on the day after Christmas.

When Kate was still dating Prince William, she was invited to the royal family's Sandringham estate for the Boxing Day shoot (after spending Christmas with her own family). According to Nicholl, Boxing Day wasn't Kate's first time shooting in Sandringham:

On Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, Kate packed her bags and drove to Norfolk to join William at the Sandringham shoot. She had stayed at the royal estate several times with William and their friends for shooting weekends, but she had never been invited for Christmas when the entire royal family was in attendance. William thought it better not to stay in the main house, where Kate might find things a bit daunting, so he arranged for them to spend several nights at Wolferton Marshes, an isolated cottage on the estate. She was thrilled to be part of the festivities and was now an accomplished shot herself.

When Will younger, his mother, Princess Diana never participated in the shoot herself and didn't love that Will and Harry did.

"Diana never enjoyed her stays at the royal residences, complaining that William and Harry were 'always out killing things,' but Kate loved the sport and seemed to settle in well," Nicholl wrote.

Prince Harry's wife, Meghan Markle, takes after Diana when it comes to the royal tradition. When she and Harry were engaged, reports surfaced that she had encouraged him to skip a shoot in Balmoral and last Christmas, Kate apparently waited until Meghan had left Sandringham to participate in the shoot herself.

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