The Duchess of Cambridge has made very few slip ups in her first decade as a member of the royal family, and she’s become a huge support for her husband Prince William while also championing vital causes she’s passionate about.
But a royal expert believes she’s come on even further since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped back from their senior roles last year, and says she’s now starting to look like a true queen-in-waiting.
Speaking to OK! for their special souvenir edition to celebrate Kate and William’s 10th wedding anniversary, Duncan Larcombe recalls how William waited a long time to propose to ensure she was definitely ready to take on the scrutiny and duty that comes with being part of The Firm.
He explains: “He knew she was more than capable, but wanted her to be really sure, hence the long courtship.
“It seems crazy now, but before the wedding, some people thought Kate was a little dull.
There was a bit of ‘she’s no Diana’ and ‘she’s never going to be a style icon’ – but look how she’s proved them wrong.
“She was never going to be a rock-star, red-carpet royal, but in the last 12 months post-Megxit, we have really seen the coming of age of Kate.
“She is really starting to look like a queen-in-waiting.”
Kate has reportedly been a huge support to a furious William since Harry and Meghan’s exit, but insiders also believe her close bond with her own family could prove vital to healing the brothers’ rift.
Their already strained relationship was made even worse when Meghan and Harry sat down with Oprah Winfrey to make a number of shocking claims about the royal family.
In the chat, Meghan said Kate made her cry while Harry said his brother was “trapped”.
A source said: “Behind the scenes, she is the glue holding a lot of it together. She’s not one for drama, but more so the listener who will come up with a plan of action. Perhaps she will be the uniting force for the brothers to heal their divide.
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“She wouldn’t want things to carry on the way they are, despite the things that have been said.
“Kate has always enjoyed such a fabulous relationship with her own family. She speaks to her parents, brother and sister all the time, so it’s second nature. And she doesn’t see why William and her children shouldn’t have that as well.”
Earlier this month we also saw Kate attend her first royal funeral when she joined her in-laws to say an emotional goodbye to Prince Philip.
She looked elegant as she sat by her husband’s side in St George’s Chapel, and she was seen comforting other members of The Firm as they exited.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s death has also brought a period of change, which could see Kate step up and take on more responsibility and work as she prepares to become consort.
One Palace staffer said: “Without a doubt, we are in a period of change. Arguably change at the top, with the Queen handing over more responsibilities to the Prince of Wales and, of course, William. What does that mean for Kate?
“It means she will be even more front and centre, and what you’ve seen over the past year or two is that she definitely has grown in confidence in order to do that.
“With the Duke and Duchess of Sussex out of the picture, and never likely to return, one would think this is their time.
“At one stage they may have thought that they were being over-burdened but in reality they have a clear run.
“They can work on the projects they want to and which they feel can make the most impact. But they can also carry on the work of the monarchy in their own way, upholding the values of those who came before them while making it relevant for a new generation. It’s going to be a very exciting time.”