Royal sweetheart Kate Middleton invited for heart-to-heart with Queen

Kate - seen here with Harry and Camilla during a ceremony in which her boyfriend William was made a knight of the garter - will have a private lunch with his grandmother during the couple's visit to Balmoral
 Photo: © Rex

For a long time now Prince William's long-term love Kate Middleton has looked very much at home with his relatives.

Always immaculately turned out and at ease even with more senior members of the family, the Berkshire girl very much fits the part of the princess-in-waiting.

Now, it's emerged, that she's been invited to a private lunch with the Queen at her summer retreat Balmoral over the August Bank Holiday.

The monarch is reportedly planning to discuss how her life will change should her grandson ask for Kate's hand in marriage this year, as many believe that he will.

While the two ladies have a heart-to-heart, Wills will take part in a bird shoot with his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh.

A royal source told the Daily Express: “It is the clearest signal yet that Her Majesty believes Kate is more likely than ever to become a fully-fledged member of ‘The Firm’.

“They will discuss exactly what it would mean if Kate became a Royal Highness and the extent to which her life would change.

"She will want to put Kate at ease but she will want to make sure that she's in no doubt what marrying the heir to the throne would mean".

In another sign that the couple will become man and wife sooner rather than later, they're staying in the main castle – rather than using one of the properties in the grounds as on previous visits.