Queen Elizabeth was overjoyed at the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William
Queen Elizabeth had every reason to be happy as she watched Kate Middleton and Prince William get married in 2011.
But she was even more emotional than expected. Courtiers told PEOPLE the monarch was uncharacteristically delighted on the couple’s wedding day, content knowing that the line of succession – so strained in the years following the rocky marriages of three of her own children – was secure.
“Hearing from the Queen that you are doing a really good job, as well as getting the support of your husband, you gain confidence,” a royal insider close to Kate told PEOPLE in the cover story. from this week.
There were undoubtedly many things the Queen saw in Kate that day – and in the years since – that remind her of herself.
For more on how Kate Middleton has the perfect role model in the Queen, pick up a copy of the latest issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.
Although they are separated by the age of 56, the Queen, 96, and Kate, 40, share key qualifications for the job: quiet stoicism, unerring discretion and firm loyalty. Their opinions on controversial political issues are never heard; their commitment to the throne is unwavering and their public image is tightly controlled.
They also married strong partners in life. Kate said she was “in good hands” with William, while the Queen called her late husband Prince Philip her “strength and stability”.
Before getting married, Kate “had tea with ladies-in-waiting and briefings from private secretaries. People wanted it to work,” a royal insider told PEOPLE. “And everyone was rewarded with [the couple’s] efforts.”
Alongside her husband, the second Prince William, Kate is set to enjoy a long reign in which she and William will chart their own paths while honoring the traditions of the past.
I can’t get enough PEOPLEThe cover of the Royals? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
And she does it with the best role model available: the record-breaking monarch, 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth.
“Catherine learned by watching,” says Queen biographer Sally Bedell Smith. “She knows what resonates. She will have absorbed a lot from this queen.”