If reports indicating an engagement is on the cards this year are to be believed, Kate Middleton will soon be a member of the British royal family.
In the mean time, though, she is more than happy to retain her independence – which she clearly illustrated over the Christmas holidays.
The 28-year-old brunette, her parents and two siblings paid her prospective father-in-law Prince Charles £3,000 to stay in one of his holiday homes over the festive break, the Mail reports.
The Middletons spent a number of days at the 500 year old Restornel Manor – owned by Charles' Duchy of Cornwell estate – located just one mile from Cornwall's medieval town Lostwithiel.
Kate, her parents Carole and Michael, and her younger brother and sister Pippa and James paid the full winter rate to stay in the luxury residence, which boasts an indoor swimming pool and a tennis court.
It also has an impressive nine bedrooms, three kitchens and three sitting rooms.
The family "wouldn't have dreamed of asking for a discount," one source told the newspaper. "The Middletons paid for their stay like anyone else booking a holiday there."
Prince William – Kate's boyfriend of seven years – was not at the Manor over Christmas, instead joining the rest of the royals in Sandringham.
But the 28-year-old, who has recently returned from his first official trip on behalf of the Queen, has stayed there before with brother Harry, and it is thought he recommended the recently refurbished property to his girlfriend.
Sources say that since the Duchy is independently managed, Prince Charles would have no say on who stayed in the property or for how much.