• Prince Charles saw potential in Kate Middleton early on
  • Prince Charles invited Kate Middleton to attend a royal engagement even when Prince William wasn't around
  • Prince Charles and Kate Middleton have a wonderful relationship

Prince Charles reportedly saw Kate Middleton’s potential as a future queen when he invited her to a royal engagement even though Prince William wasn’t around.

Prince William and Middleton started dating while they were still studying at the University of St. Andrews. In 2006, the Duchess of Cambridge made an appearance at the Cheltenham Festival with her future father-in-law.

“The pretty 24-year-old who garnered the most attention at this year's event was not one of the Windsor clan – although many predict she soon will be. Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton suddenly became the star of the show when she joined her handsome beau's father, Prince Charles, in the royal box at the weekend,” Hello! magazine reported at that time.

“The second-in-line, who is currently tackling the rigors of military training at Sandhurst, wasn't able to attend the Gloucestershire event, but his best friend Thomas van Straubenzee was on hand to escort his leading lady,” the publication added.

According to Express, Prince Charles’ rare gesture of allowing his son’s girlfriend to attend a royal engagement without him around was a sign that the heir to the throne accepted her into the royal fold.

Following the royal event, bookmakers became convinced that Prince William and Middleton will announce their engagement on the latter’s 25th birthday. But the day came and no announcement was made. In fact, in the same year, the royal couple decided to call it quits.

Prince William finally decided to ask for Middleton’s hand in marriage in 2010. They tied the knot at Westminster Abbey in 2011. Shortly after the royal couple was blessed with their first child, Prince George in 2013. Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were born in 2015 and 2018, respectively.

At present, Prince William and Middleton are busy preparing for their future roles as the king and queen of Britain. Queen Elizabeth has been training her grandson for the top job for years.

Prince Charles, Kate Middleton and Prince William
Prince William and Kate Middleton reportedly "shut out" Prince Charles by turning more to Middleton's parents for their children. Pictured: Prince Charles, Middleton and Prince William share a joke during a visit to Dumfries House on March 05, 2013 in Ayrshire, Scotland. Getty Images/Danny Lawson