Queen Elizabeth II has given a number of big things to Kate Middleton over the years.

The Queen and Duchess of Cambridge have become close to each other over the years. They have been spotted attending various events together without Prince William or Prince Philip, which only shows that they are very much comfortable with each other. Here are the things that Queen Elizabeth II gave to Middleton after the duchess joined the royal family.

1. Girlfriend status

Middleton went from being nothing to being a royal fiancée, but prior to that, Queen Elizabeth II gave her the royal girlfriend status when she was invited to the Garter. Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson felt that they could have coped better with the royal lifestyle if they had the chance to know them more. So the Queen decided to include the royals’ girlfriends to royal events so they’ll know the ropes and the people involved. Meghan Markle was also seen joining Prince Harry in his royal engagements even before they got married.

2. Protection from scandal

The paparazzi harassed Middleton by taking photos of her after they learned that she was Prince William’s girlfriend. The Queen interceded by working on a new privacy strategy with the other senior royals that would allow them to take legal action against what they saw as “intrusive and unacceptable behavior” of photographers.

3. Royal basic 101

The Queen made sure that Middleton was fully equipped when she was about to join the Firm. Queen Elizabeth II arranged a private meeting with Middleton before her royal wedding to Prince William, and Her Majesty taught the duchess the basics about being a royal and the way they behave in public, from how they get out of a carriage to bending down to get flowers without exposing one’s modesty.

4. Inspiration to support charities

Queen Elizabeth II had grave concerns about Middleton’s lack of full-time job and partying habits. The Queen reportedly criticized Middleton, which left her feeling “super hurt.” However, the monarch also encouraged the duchess to improve her reputation by getting involved with Starlight, a charity that works with terminally ill children.

5. Gift of friendship

Queen Elizabeth II and Middleton have become allies over the years. The duo has attended several royal engagements together including the exhibition for the summer opening in 2011, Diamond Jubilee in 2012, Dramatic Arts reception at Buckingham Palace in 2014, state banquet in honor of Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015, and more. In addition, Her Majesty also turned to Middleton amid Meghan Markle’s “reckless toying” of the royal family’s reputation.​

Queen Elizabeth II and Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, and Queen Elizabeth II smile as they visit Vernon Park during a Diamond Jubilee visit to Nottingham on June 13, 2012 in Nottingham, England. Getty Images/Chris Jackson