Royal fans outside Buckingham Palace in London were given a surprise earlier today as the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, was spotted driving herself into the queen’s residence, sparking speculation over the reasons for her visit.
Kate appeared in good spirits and smiled and waved to the crowds as she drove her Range Rover through the gates of Buckingham Palace in a video taken by Instagram user melissagrflx and reported in the Daily Express. Unusually, there didn’t appear to be any royal security officers alongside her as the passenger seat of the car was empty
But the Range Rover did have blacked out rear windows, meaning that her security detail could have been sat there. Tourists and social media users have also speculated that her children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis could also have been in the car with her.
Others, including royal fan Instagram account duchesscambridge, pondered on the reasons for her visit and wondered whether she might be visiting to take tea with the queen.
The seemingly unexpected visit comes at a time of much speculation of the relationship between Kate and her sister-in-law Meghan Markle, which has seen one royal insider recommend to Meghan that she should turn to the queen herself for advise.
Speaking in the Sunday Times, the anonymous source said, “Her Majesty has seen it all and could offer the duchess some helpful advice at the moment. Meghan would do well to nurture that relationship and pop over for the occasional cup of tea with the Queen.” Inevitably, there were plenty of people online suggesting that maybe Kate had taken up this advice instead of Meghan.
It is also possible that Kate could have been visiting the queen to discuss arrangements for Christmas. It had initially been reported that Kate, her husband William, and their children would be spending the festive season with her family. But after media speculation that the decision was as a result of the rift between the two duchesses, it is believed that William told his wife that their plans had to change.
Kate was supposed to have been far from happy with the decision, with some reports that she was in tears after William told her the news over the phone.
As royal biographer Christopher Wilson told New! Magazine, “Kate’s a homebody and loves being with her own immediate family at Christmas – off-duty and relaxed. Sandringham Christmases can be an ordeal, even for those born royal – and generally those who’ve married into the family often can’t wait to get away.
“As with many seasonal family gatherings, there can be undercurrents and the publicity over the Meghan clash won’t make things any easier between the girls.”