Royal shock: Kate Middleton's housekeeper makes rare appearance at Buckingham Palace

Ainhoa Barcelona

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's long-term housekeeper Antonella Fresolone received a special gong at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday as she was decorated with the Royal Victorian Medal. Miss Fresolone was presented with the honour by none other than Prince William, who led the investiture ceremony in the palace's iconic ballroom.

The royal housekeeper joined the Cambridge household in May 2013, just two months before William and Kate welcomed their first child, Prince George, in July. Miss Fresolone had already worked for the Queen for several years at Buckingham Palace.


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Antonella Fresolone has worked for the Cambridges for six years

The Royal Victorian Medal was first established by Queen Victoria in 1896. As part of the Royal Victorian Order, it is a reward for personal service to the sovereign or the royal family, and is the personal gift of the monarch. The medal has three levels: bronze, silver and gold. Miss Fresolone was made an honorary silver medallist.

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Earlier this year, the Queen granted the Duchess of Cambridge the title of Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO). It was given to Kate as an eighth wedding anniversary gift. Again, the reward was made for services to the Queen, and highlighted Kate's close bond with her grandmother-in-law. Other members of the royal family to have received one include the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and the Countess of Wessex.

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The Duchess was granted the title of Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order earlier this year

Earlier this month, William and Kate's social media team shared a behind-the-scenes look at what happens ahead of an investiture ceremony. Taking to Instagram Stories, they posted a series of photos showing the insignia, all polished and clean and sitting ready in their boxes. The final checks are made by one of the Queen's staff members before the ceremony.

Another image showed the sword, used to dub new knights, being prepared. The start of the ceremony is marked when the Queen's Yeomen (Her Majesty's bodyguards) enter the Ballroom in their distinctive scarlet embroidered uniforms and the national anthem is sounded.

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