Kate Middleton Gives Queen Elizabeth a Rare Curtsy in Public

We sometimes go to great lengths to show our respect for in-laws, but I highly doubt any of us have had to do something like this. Kate Middleton gave Queen Elizabeth a rare public curtsy that has some wondering whether this is normal behavior among royal family members.


The 34-year-old princess was photographed in mid curtsy in front of Prince William's grandmother, and the sight of a subservient-looking Kate was too much for some to handle. The future queen and the longest-reigning monarch in Great Britain met on Sunday at Sandringham House before walking over to St. Mary Magdalene Church for services. According to royal insiders, it isn't unusual for the Duchess of Cambridge to curtsy to the queen if it's the first time they've seen each other that day -- it's just that we rarely get a glimpse of her doing so.

Apparently, Queen E. is the only woman in the royal family the other royal women curtsy to out of respect, but there's a little rumor that Kate is expected to curtsy to all of the "blood princesses" -- including Princess Alexandra, and princesses Beatrice and Eugenie (the Duke of York's daughters).

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My natural reaction, as an American, is to wince at the sight of Kate bowing to a woman whom I feel she should treat like part of her family and not like a royal subject. I automatically wonder whether this is yet another way of ensuring Kate knows her place in the family and never fools herself into thinking she's a genuine royal -- but I might be (and hope I am) reading too much into it.

I have to force myself to remember that the royals are serious about this protocol and bow to each other both publicly and in private -- and that they view it as a sign of respect, not necessarily as a submissive act.

At the end of the day, Kate knew what she was getting herself into by marrying a member of the royal family. I highly doubt she feels shame having to curtsy to the queen, but I can't help but wonder if she ever feels a true connection with someone who requires that she bow to her whenever they meet for the first time. Different strokes, I guess.


Image via Paul Marriott/Splash News

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