When Prince William was going through a rough patch in his relationship with his father Prince Charles, it was his wife Kate Middleton who made things better with a simple gesture.

According to a report in Mail Online, Kate Middleton left no stones unturned in ensuring that the three generations of Windsor were present for a family portrait taken on Prince Charles's 70th birthday in 2018. Her efforts helped her husband and father-in-law, who were having differences apparently because the heir apparent was unhappy he doesn't get to see the Cambridges.

Prince William himself admitted that his father wasn't getting enough time with his and Kate's children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. In an interview to mark his father's milestone birthday, the Duke of Cambridge had said: "I would like him to have more time with the children... to, you know, play around with the grandchildren. When he's there, he's brilliant, but we need him there as much as possible."

Kate managed to make it happen by bringing the family together for a photoshoot. The said portrait features Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, his sons Prince William and Prince Harry and their respective wives Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, as well as his three grandchildren. The royals were all smiles in the picture, which was taken at a time when there were several reports of William and Harry feuding.

Kate made a similar gesture on William's birthday, when she clicked a symbolic photo of Charles resting his head on his son's shoulder.

A royal insider told the outlet that Kate's efforts have turned out to be fruitful, as Charles has been giving William much more input. The source said: "He realises that his own reign will be a shorter one than his son's, and therefore it is crucial that William is involved in all long-term planning. They have been spending more time together and are much more aligned."

Another source told Vanity Fair that Charles and William's relations have significantly improved in recent years. They said: "It's no secret that Charles and his son have had ups and downs in the past, but the relationship today is very solid and strong. It is built on love, affection and respect. They are on the same wavelength these days and when Charles talks about William it is with great pride."

Kate, William, Charles
Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prince Charles at Dumfries House. (Reuters)