The Duchess of Cambridge has been awarded a prestigious honour by the Queen in recognition of her efforts supporting the head of state.
The Queen has made Kate a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order on the day she celebrates her eight wedding anniversary.
Awards under the Royal Victorian Order (RVO) are made personally by the Queen, not on the recommendations of Downing Street, for services to the sovereign.
The RVO has five classes from member to Knight or Dame Grand Cross, and Kate follows in the footsteps of the Duchess of Cornwall, who received the same honour in the Queen’s 2012 Diamond Jubilee year.
It is likely the honour recognises Kate’s work over the past eight years as a member of the monarchy.
She has championed her own causes like supporting the early years development of children, travelled the Commonwealth on behalf of the Queen and raised awareness about mental health with William and the Duke of Sussex.
The honour also reveals the esteem in which Kate is held by the Queen and reflects her growing prominence as a senior member of the royal family.
The monarchy’s official website says about the duchess: “She has been hugely inspired by the leadership the Queen has provided for over 60 years and will continue to play her part in supporting and celebrating the Queen in the UK and around the Commonwealth wherever possible.”
Kate has joined the Queen at national events like the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, celebrating the Queen’s official birthday at Trooping the Colour and joining members of the monarchy to welcome visiting heads of state.
William and Kate wed on April 29 2011 at Westminster Abbey and now have three children – Prince George, Prince Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Over the past eight years the duchess has developed her own public interests, from becoming patron of the National Portrait Gallery and Natural History Museum to becoming royal patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.
Royal tours undertaken on behalf of the Queen have taken William and Kate from Tuvalu in the South Pacific to Canada, India and America.