Kate Middleton’s ‘frugal’ Christmas gift for the Queen forged bond of ‘mutual respect and admiration’

Kate Middleton made the Queen’s present herself and the ‘practical’ choice was very significant

Kate Middleton's 'frugal' Christmas gift to the Queen reportedly forged a bond - the pair seen here watching part of a children's sports event while visiting Vernon Park
(Image credit: Photo by Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Kate Middleton’s first ever Christmas gift to the Queen was not only a “frugal” choice, but reportedly helped forge their bond of “mutual respect and admiration”. 


Kate Middleton will mark the 10th anniversary of her first Christmas at Sandringham this year, but her first ever present for the Queen might be hard to beat. The Duchess of Cambridge married Prince William in 2011 and it was that December that she celebrated the festive season with the Queen and members of the extended Royal Family at the monarch’s Norfolk home. The Queen is reportedly “looking forward” to hosting the traditional festivities there as usual as she prepares for the first Christmas since Prince Philip’s death in April. 

Now more than ever as the Queen’s Christmas 2021 plans come together, she will no doubt be drawing on the comfort of her nearest and dearest. Several of the Queen’s grandchildren and their families are predicted to attend this year and Prince William and Kate Middleton are expected to be amongst them. And when it comes to what Kate might buy Her Majesty, it seems “frugal” is the way to go, as a royal expert has claimed her first gift helped forge a bond with the Queen. 

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Camilla, Duchess of Conrwall and Prince Harry walk to church

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Back in 2011, Kate presented her new grandmother-in-law with a gift of homemade chutney and Duncan Larcombe described the choice as “spot-on” as he opened up OK! Magazine’s Kate at 40 special edition. 

He declared, “A homemade chutney gift was absolutely spot on—down to earth, practical and frugal—everything Her Majesty loves. But it also showed that Kate could relate to the Queen as a normal grandmother and not just the head of state. And it helped forge a bond built on mutual respect and admiration.”

When it came to deciding upon chutney as a gift for the Queen, Kate herself has previously revealed that her own grandparents were a source of inspiration, likely reflecting the way she seems to view the Queen as a “normal grandmother”. 

Queen Elizabeth and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the Christmas Day service at Sandringham on December 25, 2013 in King's Lynn, England.

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Speaking on an ITV documentary in honor of the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016, Kate shared that she’d been “worried” over the present for her first Sandringham Christmas.

"I can remember being at Sandringham, for the first time, at Christmas. And I was worried what to give the Queen as her Christmas present. I was thinking, 'Gosh, what should I give her?’” she disclosed. 

"I thought back to what I would give my own grandparents. And I thought, 'I'll make her something.' Which could have gone horribly wrong. But I decided to make my granny's recipe of chutney."

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the Christmas Day Church service

(Image credit: Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

The Duchess went on to recall how the Queen’s response to the gift cemented her admiration for her, stating, “I noticed the next day that it was on the table. I think such a simple gesture went such a long way for me and I’ve noticed since she’s done that on lots of occasions."

Since this first Christmas, Kate has spent many festive seasons with the royals in Norfolk. Though she used to alternate Christmases with her own family, recently Kate has placed “duty before self” and prioritized the Queen. This year will be the first Christmas the royals spend together since 2019 and they will likely be delighted to spend quality time together and open similarly thoughtful presents. 

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.


Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.


In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 


After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!