The passions Kate Middleton shared with Prince Philip that gave them an unbreakable bond
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Sporty, adventure-loving and never self-pitying – these were all qualities that the late Prince Philip had in spades himself, and he admired these in others too. So perhaps it’s no surprise that The Queen’s loyal husband and William’s beautiful wife shared a special bond behind the scenes.
When Kate and Wills briefly separated for 10 weeks in 2007, Prince Philip was upset, knowing in his heart his grandson had found the perfect match in Kate. The Duke apparently turned to The Queen during Prince William’s 2011 wedding and said: "Thank goodness he didn't give her up."
In fact, years before Kate met and ultimately married Wills, as a teenager studying at Marlborough College and then at sixth form she was awarded with her gold Duke of Edinburgh award at St James’ Palace.
Their love of adventure
Prince Philip was always known for being an action man, happiest when he was busy being a ‘doer’. Despite being a Duchess, Kate has never been reluctant to get her hands dirty and threw herself with gusto into completing her gold Duke of Edinburgh award while at sixth form.
"The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is such a great way for young people to grow in confidence, learn new skills, work as part of a team and have great fun along the way,” Kate has said.
"I can remember trying to cook bacon in the soaking wet. Everything was just sopping and I was trying and trying to cook bacon.”
Their love of gardening
Prince Philip loved spending time with Kate and William's children, George, Charlotte, and Louis, at the garden of the Old Boot Inn pub in Stanford Dingley — which is nearby the home of Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton. Philip was patron of the charity Fields in Trust, which supports parks and green spaces by protecting them for people to enjoy. After the Duke of Edinburgh’s death, Prince William stepped up to become patron.
And Kate and Wills enjoy growing their own vegetables, knowing their children can enjoy the organic produce from the garden. In May this year, Kate and Wills travelled to Starbank Park in Edinburgh where they met teenagers planting sunflowers as part of their Duke of Edinburgh awards. "You're very good gardeners," William told the kids as they showed him out to plant the seeds and he and Kate planted an apple tree. "You’ve got free labour, free help," joked Wills.
Their love of sailing
Well-known for his love of sailing, as well as his long-standing naval career, The Duke of Edinburgh started sailing while he was at Gordonstoun School in Scotland. He sailed frequently with Prince Charles in the Dragon Class keelboat Bluebottle, and was a regular competitor at Cowes Week.
Meanwhile as a child, Kate was taken on sailing holidays with her siblings Pippa and James, and during her gap year she helped out as a skipper. The Duchess has also incorporated her love of sailing into her royal duties as she is the royal patron of the sailing charity 1851 Trust.
This summer Kate and Wills, while Covid restrictions meant foreign holidays were out of the question, instead spent a few days teaching Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3, the basics of sailing on the north Norfolk coast.
Their love of art
Throughout his life, the Duke of Edinburgh the Prince also possessed an abiding appreciation for the arts, both as a patron and a hobbyist artist.
Kate meanwhile first met Prince William when they were both Art History students at St Andrews University. While William later swapped to study Geography, Kate graduated with a degree in History of Art, and her passion for art and design can be seen in her fashion choices. She’s also said to enjoy doing arts and crafts with the children.
Their love of sport
Prince Philip was captain of the hockey and cricket teams while at Gordonstoun School. During the 1950s he often played in charity cricket matches in aid of the National Playing Fields Association, of which he became President in 1948. He was elected twice to be President of the Marylebone Cricket Club.
Kate shared a similar passion for athletic pursuits.
She played hockey during her high school years where she was defined as a fierce and very passionate competitor. She’s spoken of the importance sports had on her in the past.
“It was while at school that I realised my love of sport. Sport has been a huge part of my life, and I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunities I had to get outside and play.
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Prince William, in a statement, acknowledged the close bond his wife shared with the late Prince Philip. "I will always be grateful that my wife had so many years to get to know my grandfather and for the kindness he showed her.
"I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour!"
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