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Today, Kate Middleton's biggest fan is Queen Elizabeth, but earning the respect of Her Majesty did not come easy. There was a time when the Queen needed to be convinced that William's longtime girlfriend had a strong enough work ethic to carry out royal duties that come with being a member of "The Firm." And neither did the Monarch approve of Kate’s one-time fondness for luxury breaks.

This summer, as people are packing up their suitcases for staycations in the UK, among them are the royals with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge taking their children George, Louis and Charlotte to the Isles of Scilly off the Cornish coast.

But before she married into the royal family, Kate enjoyed some very fancy holidays as part of a luxurious lifestyle, often spotted holidaying on the Caribbean island of Mustique with her family or enjoying romantic skiing trips with Prince William. And apparently, this concerned the Queen, who was unsure about her future granddaughter-in-law's jet-set lifestyle.

According to a palace insider, Her Majesty raised more than an eyebrow when she noticed that Kate often jetted off to a ski resort or an exotic locale with family and friends. "It did raise a red flag," the source said.

Duchess Catherine's ascent into the public's good graces has happened over a period of 20 years from the time she first met William in 2001 at St. Andrews University.

Once derided in the British media for being too "middle class" and ridiculed for waiting around nine years for a proposal from William, Kate is now praised for her steadfast devotion to the Crown and her calm ability to juggle family life with her growing responsibilities as future Queen.

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Her keep-calm-and-carry-on attitude during the pandemic and most recently, in the aftermath of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's devastating interview with Oprah Winfrey, have been invaluable to the Royal Family.

In 2006, the Queen was pleased to see that Kate had landed a job at Jigsaw, a London retailer, as an accessories buyer a year after she graduated from St. Andrews. She asked her bosses if the position could be made part-time because she needed flexibility to be available to see William.

But Kate's three-day-a-week position at Jigsaw was short-lived because she felt it was difficult to balance work with her relationship. She left in 2007 and returned to Party Pieces, her family’s party planning company.

The Queen was less than thrilled to see that when Kate was not with William, she seemed to be caught up in an endless cycle of going to parties, polo matches, and nightclubs. An insider said: "The Queen wasn't happy that Catherine had not stayed at her job for very long."

In her 2010 book William and Harry, royal expert Katie Nicholl wrote: "If she was not with William at Balmoral then the couple were skiing or holidaying on Mustique. "Kate was there so often the press dubbed her ‘Queen of Mustique’, a title that had previously belonged to Princess Margaret.

"Britain was now in a recession and such frivolous displays of wealth were unpalatable to the Queen.

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In the book, Katie quoted a source who said: "Swanning from one five-star holiday resort to another is not the prerequisite for a young woman possibly destined to be Queen." And Katie claims that Kate was "stung" by the Queen's words.

Since marrying and having children, William and Kate have holidayed in Mustique again. But their last two summer trips have been staycations and they are also expected to visit the Queen at Balmoral over some point this summer.

And according to Katie now, the couple might be ready to leave lavish holidays behind in favour of UK-based breaks as they prepare for their future roles.

They will have "traditional" stays at their Norfolk family residence Anmer Hall and around the country, instead of heading abroad in the years ahead.

This will see them avoid overseas trips with their three children, Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, three, OK! revealed. Katie told us: "Summer holidays at Anmer are the perfect way for Kate and William to decompress.

"While in the past we’ve seen the couple enjoy more lavish holidays skiing or visiting sunnier climates, they’ve been adopting a more traditional royal approach and spending their time at royal residences in the UK instead.

"This could obviously be the result of Covid travel restrictions but I also believe that Kate and William are transforming into the future King and Queen and therefore are adopting more traditional practices.”

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