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William and Kate visit Diana grave

Prince William and bride-to-be Kate Middleton have visited the grave of Princess Diana ahead of next week's royal wedding, it was reported.

The couple are believed to have laid flowers at Diana's final resting place at the Althorp Estate in Northamptonshire.

The revelation comes after Miss Middleton's parents, Michael and Carole, had lunch with the Queen on Wednesday, in what is believed to be the first time the monarch has met her grandson's future in-laws.

Bride-to-be Miss Middleton, 29, was also pictured stepping out on London's Kings Road for her second pre-wedding shopping trip in the space of two days.

During the couple's visit to Diana's 14,000 acre family home, William, 28, and his long-term girlfriend took a boat to his late mother's island memorial, The Daily Mirror reported.

They then visited the arboretum nearby where William and younger brother Harry planted trees when they were children, it was claimed.

A source told the paper: "It was very important for William to take Kate to visit his mum just before their wedding day.

"Diana is still a huge part of her boy's everyday life and always will be.

"Even though Kate never met Diana she knows what an incredible woman she was and it is very important to her she can share and understand William's love and grief for his mum."

The island burial spot, known as The Oval, was provided as a shrine to Diana by her brother Charles Spencer following her death. The Althorp estate has been home to the Spencer family since the 16th century.

A St James's Palace spokesman declined to comment on the visit saying they would not discuss any "private matters".

Prince William has also honoured the memory of his mother by using her blue sapphire engagement ring to propose to Miss Middleton.

After the engagement was announced, he said: "It's my mother's engagement ring so I thought it was quite nice because obviously she's not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all - this was my way of keeping her close to it all."

His fiancee also paid tribute to the mother-in-law she never had the opportunity to know.

She said: "Obviously I would have loved to have met her and she was obviously an inspirational woman to look up to - to this day and going forward."

Miss Middleton's parents travelled to the Queen's Windsor Castle home on Wednesday and enjoyed lunch along with The Duke of Edinburgh and a small number of members of the Royal Household.

There had been speculation that the Middletons would not be introduced before the marriage ceremony on April 29.

In another wedding development, Cardinal Sean Brady, the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, took the unprecedented step of accepting an invitation to the couple's Westminster Abbey ceremony.

It is the first time an Irish churchman in his position will have attended a royal wedding.

comments: 1

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Added on: April 25 2011 18:29
emily 10 from glasgow
ah Lady Diana my princess
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