Dynamic duo alert! Despite the rumors that Queen Elizabeth prefers the company of Meghan Markle, the 92-year-old monarch recently went on her first solo outing with Kate Middleton. “The queen is taking Kate under her wing and making a huge effort to spend more time with her,” an insider told Life & Style magazine, on newsstands now.

“Kate may not be as outgoing as Meghan — after all, [Meghan] was an actress used to working crowds — but the queen finds her charming and a pleasure to be around these days,” the insider continued. As for how the royal pair spends their long awaited alone time together? The source noted that they meet up “regularly for lunch” with Kate’s newborn, Prince Louis, in tow. How quaint! 

“Kate’s solo outing wasn’t as glamorous as Meghan’s luxury train ride to Cheshire, but she didn’t care,” the insider said. “She jumped at the opportunity to finally get one-on-one time at an event with the queen.”

Queen Elizabeth II (R) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L) watch a fashion show at De Montfort University on March 8, 2012 in Leicester, England.
Oli Scarff – WPA Pool / Getty Images

“She and Kate will spend hours catching up. They’ve really formed a strong friendship.” The question is, how does the Duchess of Sussex, 37, feel about this budding relationship. “I wouldn’t say she is unhappy about the queen and Kate bonding,” the source confessed, “but Meghan is competitive and would hate to be replaced as the queen’s favorite duchess.”

Well, considering Meghan and husband Prince Harry are expecting their first child in the spring, it’s likely that the queen will set her sights on being a doting great grandmother. Even so, it’s clear that Kate, 37, currently holds the position of shining star at  Buckingham Palace. “Kate ticks all the right boxes as a royal,” the source insisted. “And the queen simply enjoys her company.”

Kate Middleton smiling at Queen Elizabeth
Phil Noble – WPA Pool/Getty Images

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