Prince William and Kate Middleton's refurbished kitchen at their country estate in Norfolk failed to impress the Queen as Her Majesty drew a line at having lunch in kitchens.
Since Kate Middleton tied the knot with Prince William in 2011, she has remained one of the most popular and beloved figures in the British Royal Family. In the beginning, William's grandmother - the Queen of England, was not that fond of Kate given her non-royal family background. However, with the passing of time, the Duchess of Cambridge became the Queen's entrusted royal, sharing many common traits such as loyalty, decency, and most notably, unwavering commitment to royal duties. However, one difference between the two royal women became apparent during a visit the monarch made to William and Kate's country retreat Anmer Hall.
According to famed royal expert Sally Bedell-Smith, author of Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch, the Queen was by no means impressed by Prince William and Kate Middleton's new kitchen at their country home at Anmer Hall. The home belongs to Her Majesty's Sandringham estate in Norfolk and was given to the royal couple as a wedding present. Since then, it has become the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's favorite retreat from city life in London - where they reside in Kensington Palace.
After moving into the country home, mum of three Kate initiated a £1.5million refurbishment to the house in 2015. Among the added facilities and installments, the most notable change was the appearance of a cozy, family-oriented open-plan kitchen, which used to be a royal room, as noted by Express.
Despite the new look, it turns out the Queen was uninterested in the revamped kitchen, which she made clear during a visit for lunch with the Cambridges. In a talk with PEOPLE, Ms. Bedell-Smith revealed that Her Majesty didn't like the idea of having meals inside the kitchen. She said:
'I remember when they had just finished renovating Anmer Hall, and they invited the Queen over for lunch. They have one of those big kitchens with eating areas, and she said, 'I can't understand why everybody spends their time in the kitchen.'
According to Harpers Bazaar, the Queen's dislike of Kate and William's kitchen was reasonable given that Her Majesty has always been used to a formal setup at Buckingham Palace, where she has a team of professional chefs catering to her every meal of the day. Moreover, the eating etiquettes and procedures in the royal palace are known to be explicitly complicated. Instead of dining in the kitchen, which many of us do, the Queen would choose to eat in a dining room or another banquet hall.
By contrast, Kate and William's Anmer Hall kitchen is more family-oriented as it's the place where the Duchess of Cambridge and her children gather after busy hours in London. In fact, the remodeled kitchen is where Kate and her three children - nine-year-old Prince George, seven-year-old Princess Charlotte, and four-year-old Prince Louis - often bake cookies, lasagnas, and other dishes. It is inside the Anmer Hall kitchen that the Cambridges children baked and decorated a cake for Catherine on Mother's Day, according to Mirror.
While the Queen won't be likely to grab lunch at William and Kate's kitchen at Anmer Hall, she may have many opportunities to do so as the Cambridges are planning for a move from their main Kensington Palace home in London to Windsor. The move will allow the family of five to be closer to the 96-year-old Monarch, whose health has been on the decline in recent years. Since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in 2020, the Queen has permanently resided in Windsor Palace after years of staying in Buckingham Palace.
According to Ms. Bedell-Smith, the Cambridges' move will delight the Queen. She told PEOPLE:
'They are representing the Queen impeccably. They're showing a kind of dedication she would be proud of. And that probably gives her hope.'