The Duchess of Cambridge was given a very special honour from the Queen on Monday, as she was granted the title of Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victoria Order (GCVO). The monarch gave it to Kate as a wedding anniversary present to mark the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's eighth year of marriage. The awards in the Royal Victorian Order are made personally by The Queen, for services to the Sovereign, and highlights the Duchess' close relationship with the royal family. The Royal Victoria Order was first instituted by Queen Victoria in 1896 to reward personal services performed on her behalf. Kate was awarded the highest ranking from the award – with the ranks being Knight or Dame Grand Cross (GCVO), Knight or Dame Commander (KCVO or DCVO), Commander (CVO), Lieutenant (LVO) and Member (MVO). Other members of the royal family to have received one include the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and the Countess of Wessex.
The Duchess of Cambridge has been given a special honour from the Queen
MORE: Kate Middleton and the Queen reveal sweet bond during engagement
Kate is patron of a lot of charities and is a much-loved working member of the royal family. In March, the mother-of-three undertook her first solo joint engagement with the Queen. The pair were all smiles as they visited King's College London to open the latest building, Bush House, and look around at the latest facilities on the college's Strand Campus. The pair showed their close bond in photos as they shared a blanket on their laps in the car journey to the venue.
Surprising facts about Kate
The Duchess has always been very respectful of the Queen, and gave only daughter Charlotte the middle name of Elizabeth. Kate has previously spoken about her grandmother-in-law during a rare interview in ITV documentary, Our Queen at 90. The royal revealed in it that she didn't know what to give the Queen for Christmas but settled on homemade chutney made from her own grandmother's recipe.
The Queen and Kate have a close relationship
"She (the Queen) really cares," Kate said. "I can remember being at Sandringham, for the first time, at Christmas. And I was worried what to give the Queen as her Christmas present. I was thinking, 'Gosh, what should I give her?' I thought back to what I would give my own grandparents. And I thought, 'I'll make her something.' Which could have gone horribly wrong. But I decided to make my granny's recipe of chutney. I was slightly worried about it, but I noticed the next day that it was on the table. I think such a simple gesture went such a long way for me and I've noticed since she's done that on lots of occasions and I think it just shows her thoughtfulness, really, and her care in looking after everybody."
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Monday marked not only Kate's special award, but her wedding anniversary to Prince William. On the 29 April 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's royal wedding was watched by 23 million viewers, while thousands of royal fans went to London in the hope of catching a glimpse of the royal couple as they said their vows inside Westminster Abbey. Eight years later, and the couple now have three young children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who celebrated his first birthday last week.
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