Kate Ferdinand took to Instagram to wish Rio Ferdinand’s dad a happy birthday on Tuesday. The star’s father-in-law was initially wary of the 30-year-old dating his footballer son.
Kate Ferdinand referred to Rio Ferdinand’s dad as the “best father-in-law” on Tuesday – after previously admitting to having a rocky start to their relationship.
The 30-year-old took to Instagram to send online birthday wishes to her BT Sport pundit husband’s father – sharing a throwback picture of herself and Julian Ferdinand with her 1.4 million Instagram followers.
In the image, the stunning blonde can be seen grinning as she holds a drink, while her father-in-law lovingly wraps an arm around her.
“Happy birthday to the best father-in-law. We all love you so much,” the mum-of-one captioned the sweet snap.
While it may be happy families now, that hasn’t always been the case for the former TOWIE star and Julian.
In 2020 documentary Rio and Kate: Becoming a Step Family, it was revealed that the father of the former Manchester United star was “unsure” of Kate at first.
In the moving documentary, the 42-year-old former footballer confessed he had to have “words” with his dad as it was making both him and Kate feel uncomfortable.
Julian went on the explain that he was worried that the former reality TV star was “too young”, and that his main concern would always be his grandchildren’s wellbeing.
Rio is dad to Lorenz, 15, Tate, 13, and Tia, 10 from his marriage to his late wife, Rebecca Ellison – who tragically passed away from cancer in 2015, aged just 34.
As he found love again follow his wife’s sad death, many were wary of Rio’s new relationship with young Kate.
Speaking on his documentary, Rio said: “Certain members of the family made it hard for Kate at the beginning, but she wasn’t here trying to take anyone’s role. A lot of people found it hard seeing me with a new woman.”
Kate added to this, saying: “People would say, ‘This is Rebecca’s house and that’s not how she would have done it.’
“And I would just think, “But I’m not Rebecca.’ I feel like I failed a lot and I couldn’t cook. It felt like I was being picked on by a lot of close people.”
Julian praised his daughter-in-law for her resilience when facing some tough times when first joining the family.
Reminiscing on the documentary, he said: “It was hard, not just for myself but for everyone. If she wasn’t strong-minded she would have just walked away.”
Kate and Rio tied the knot in 2019, and last year the happy couple welcomed their first child together into the world – a son named Cree.
The football pundit wooed the blonde fitness fan after meeting her at a friend’s BBQ
With his children’s permission, he asked her out on a date and her transformation from reality TV star to devoted step-mum began.
She ditched her agent and cut ties with numerous brands as she focused on building the trust of Rio’s children and the rest of the family.
The plan paid off, as family man Rio has spoken on numerous occasions about how Kate has settled into the role as step-mum and how much the kids adore her.
When the former footballer asked Kate to marry him in November 2018, his three children had a hand in the romantic proposal in Abu Dhabi.
Their lavish wedding also saw Lorenz and Tate walk Kate down the aisle with Tia serving as her maid of honour.