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The Queen finally meets Kate's parents

entertainment Updated: Apr 23, 2011 20:17 IST
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To the relief of traditionalists, conventional royal wedding etiquette was restored yesterday with the significant announcements that the Queen has now met the Middletons and the prime minister will now be wearing tails.

Buckingham Palace formally confirmed that the Queen and Prince Philip had hosted Michael and Carole Middleton "at a private lunch at Windsor Castle today".

It is understood to be the first time the Queen, who is official host and in whose name the invitations have been sent, had met the couple. The fact she had hitherto reportedly "not yet felt the need" to meet them raised some eyebrows.

But proper social niceties were observed yesterday (20APR) when the Middletons, self-made millionaires through their party planner mail order business, made the short trip from Bucklebury, Berkshire, to the gathering, described by a discreet source as having enjoyed a "warm atmosphere".

While unlikely to find its way into the official court circular, the meeting had apparently been pencilled in some time ago, thus cocking a royal snook at speculative reports that the couple's first chance to rub shoulders with the monarch and her consort would be on the wedding day.

Meanwhile, Downing Street announced that David Cameron, in an apparent u-turn, would now be wearing morning dress and not a business suit.

Reports that the prime minister, who eschews formal dress for fear of reviving his privileged Old Etonian image, would wear a plain suit provoked criticism from many quarters.

But it emerged yesterday that it had, apparently, all been a misunderstanding - the result of an ill-judged and incorrect briefing to journalists by a No 10 aide.