During Kate Middleton's first visit to Balmoral, Queen Elizabeth II allowed her to be the first one to break a specific rule. The long-standing protocol was set aside when the monarch reportedly gave the Duchess of Cambridge permission to take pictures at the her country residence prior to her wedding to William.

Kate loves photography and is a patron of the Royal Photogenic Society. The fact that the Queen allowed the Duchess to take photographs at Balmoral is particularly noteworthy as it is a special place to the royal.

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In her book "Kate: The Future Queen," Katie Nicholl (via Her.ie) discussed this momentous occasion and what it signified for the relationship between the two members of the royal family.

"Until now the Queen had met Kate only fleetingly at the wedding of Peter and Autumn Phillips, but she went out of her way to make her feel welcome, giving her permission to take pictures at Balmoral," she wrote.

Nicholl also stated that the Queen's decision to go out of her way to do so was a "true gift" to the Duchess and indicated a sign of approval, reports the Mirror.

Continuing, she explained why it mattered so greatly, saying, "As a woman who has lived her entire life in the public eye, the Queen rarely lets her guard down, and very few apart from her family and closest friends get to see the real Elizabeth."

Princess Eugenie once described it as "the most beautiful place on earth," according to the Mirror. Located in the Scottish Highlands, Her Majesty spends time there each year until she returns to Buckingham Palace.

Queen Elizabeth, Kate Middleton
Britain's Queen Elizabeth and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, visit Leicester, at Kings Cross Station in London on March 8, 2012. Reuters