LONDON: The Princess of Wales has proved a model royal since joining Britain´s most famous family, making poised public appearances while avoiding the harsh criticism doled out to her sister-in-law Meghan.
Catherine, who married the now heir to the throne Prince William in 2011, stepped up appearances as his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II retreated from the public eye.
The couple, both 40, played a prominent role during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and have consistently been the most popular royals behind the late monarch in recent years.
She has balanced royal duties, which included a prominent role in Platinum Jubilee celebrations, with being a hands-on mum to her three children.
Catherine won plaudits for effortlessly comforting her youngest son Prince Louis when he became restless during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant earlier this year.
The former Kate Middleton is the daughter of businessman Michael and former air stewardess Carole Middleton.
She began dating William while studying history of art at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.
The couple have been together ever since — bar a brief breakup in 2007 that Kate has said made her “a stronger person”.
She worked briefly as a buyer at high-street fashion chain Jigsaw before her marriage at London´s historic Westminster Abbey in 2011, where she wore a lace-sleeved gown by Alexander McQueen´s Sarah Burton.
William´s choice to marry a “commoner” after a live-in relationship sharply contrasted with his father, the now King Charles III, in his 1981 marriage to 20-year-old aristocrat Diana Spencer, when he was 12 years her senior.
Kate has since given little away about her experiences in joining the royal family, unlike her sister-in-law Meghan, who married William´s younger brother, Prince Harry, in 2018.
In the early days of her courtship, photographers tracked Kate´s every move, too, drawing parallels to the media treatment of William´s mother, who died in 1997.
There were also reports that William´s friends mocked her mother´s former profession and that courtiers said Carole Middleton used insufficiently “posh” phrases.
William, however, has spoken of his warm relationship with his wife´s parents. (AFP)