Kate Middleton: Duchess has ‘changed’ since joining Royal Family ‘No shrinking violet’

Kate Middleton: We’ve realised how much we need each other

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Kate Middleton turns 40-years-old this weekend and with age comes more responsibility. Body language expert Judi James has taken a look back over the last 15 years from when the Duchess of Cambridge first started dating Prince William and has examined the woman Kate has become today. Understanably, she has changed in many ways since becoming a part of the Royal Family, here’s how. 

Kate met William during their first year at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. 

They lived in the same residence hall and became friends before starting a romantic relationship. 

Two years after the pair graduated, their relationship briefly ended. 

But looking back on the breakup, Kate said in a 2010 post-engagement interview that their time apart “made her a stronger person”. 

She said: “You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realised, or I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you’re younger, and I really valued that time for me as well although I didn’t think it at the time.” 

By July 2007, Kate and William’s relationship appeared to be back on track and three years later, they were engaged. 

Less than a year after the couple announced their engagement, the world watched as the newly minted Duke and Duchess of Cambridge married in April, 2011. 

Since then, the couple have gone onto have three children; Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. 

Over the years, Kate has also taken on many royal duties in support of the Queen, as well as devoting a lot of her time to a number of charitable causes and organisations. 

Speaking about how Kate presented herself in public in the early years, Judi said: “Her body language signals at the start of her marriage suggested a polite and charming woman who displayed gestures of a self-effacing shyness while she was inducted into her royal role. 

“In one of her first meetings with global leaders we could see Michelle Obama using truncated touch gestures to put a rather shy-looking Kate at her ease as Kate clutched her bag in front of her torso as a barrier and leant back as she chatted and laughed.

“There were clues even then of a firmer and more influential personality in the way that William tended to mirror her body language rather than the other way round, though. 

“If she did mirror her husband it often appeared to be an act of empathy and quiet support to help him overcome his own shyness in the spotlight, like the way she would often copy his ‘fig leaf’ pose of standing with his hands clasped in front of his torso. 

“When William did this it looked like a barrier based on diffidence but when Kate stood alongside in the same pose it just looked rather sweet,” she added. 

“It’s [also] claimed Kate is a natural introvert who is uncomfortable with public speaking. 

“This might have been visible in her first public speech where she appeared to have been over-coached and lacking in her natural personality, but since then she has worked hard to turn herself into a speaker and presenter who is at an almost professional standard. 

“However she feels inside her externally projected persona now looks firm, capable and much more confident.” 

As for nowadays, Kate is shining. Judi said: “Her piano performance during the Xmas concert was a very small toe-dip in terms of her individual profile as a royal and showed an increase in her confidence as a popular and essential member of the royal Firm. 

“The woman who once held her small clutch bag as a barrier and who would form a rather modest double-act with her husband has now grown into a stand-alone royal making solo appearances and making public presentations with understated professionalism. 

“Her perfect smile has grown into what will often be a genuine-looking laugh of delight or good humour and she now tends to arrive hands-free or with her bag held down at her side in a gesture of social confidence. 

“Rather than being put at ease by global players she has adopted gestures and rituals to put them at ease and, as she reaches 40, her eye expression often includes a touch of shrewdness to suggest she is no pushover or shrinking violet behind the scenes.”

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