Prince William broke a key rule when proposing to Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Cambridges are undoubtedly the most talked-about family in the world, with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis entertaining the public on the regular.

Despite her children's popularity, it is the Duchess of Cambridge and her 'aura of perfection' that still make the most headlines ever since joining the royal fold in 2011.

This week, it was an anecdote from Kate's pre-Duchess days that got the world talking, as experts recalled Prince William popping the question.

Prince William asked Kate to marry him in October 2010 while the couple were on holiday in Kenya, using Princess Diana's iconic ring.

Getty Images

The couple kept the engagement a secret from the world for three weeks, and according to royal experts, that included Kate's family.

Yes, in a break from tradition, Prince William reportedly didn't speak to Michael Middleton ahead of the proposal, joking in their engagement interview that he was afraid of what he might have replied.

"Well, I was torn between asking Kate's dad first and then the realisation that he might actually say 'no' dawned upon me," he explained. 'So I thought if I ask Kate first then he can't really say no. So I did it that way round. I managed to speak to Mike soon after it happened really and then it sort of happened from there."

According to royal expert Katie Nicholl, even Her Majesty was surprised by the news that they were engaged. It reportedly wasn't the engagement that surprised the Queen but rather the haste, with Prince William apparently calling to tell her before an announcement was made to the world that day.

Breaking the news on November 16th, Prince William reportedly rang The Queen while she was having breakfast with Prince Philip to inform her.

According to reports, the Queen was 'thrilled to receive William's call, albeit a little surprised at the suddenness of the announcement.

'The Queen had not idea that there would be an announcement that morning,' Katie Nicholl continued. 'It was rather hurried, because William was apparently worried about it leaking out.'

Well, that's lovely.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.