It would have been the perfect chance to impress a future mother-in-law.
Pippa Middleton's boyfriend James Matthews had a meeting with her mother Carole last week - without his significant other in tow - in what could be a sign that he is ready to propose.
It is traditionally the father's permission a would-be husband must seek, but any man wanting to marry a Middleton must surely win over the formidable matriarch, not just dad Michael.
And financier James, 41, was dressed to impress when he met Carole at Spanish restaurant Cambio De Tercio in South Kensington last week, where they chewed the fat for almost half an hour before Pippa joined them.
The Duchess of Cambridge's sister managed to squeeze the dinner date into her busy schedule of visits to Wimbledon. Seemingly unemployed Pippa, 32, has made four trips to watch this year's tennis championship, only once accompanied by James.
His relaxed chat with Carole was an indication of just how warmly James has been welcomed into the family.
Carole has approved of the multi-millionaire hedge-fund manager ever since he invited her to holiday at his parents' Eden Rock hotel on the Caribbean island of St Barth's last summer, a few months before he reignited his romance with Pippa after a three-year gap.