Not so long ago Kate Middleton couldn’t go anywhere without being snapped by the paparazzi. This meant making certain every time she walked out of her front door that she was perfectly groomed.
Now it’s reported she is posing for fashion photographer Mario Testino, who has just taken her official engagement photos. Naturally, hair and make-up experts were all on hand to make the result like a page from Vogue.
This is just one of the changes Prince William‘s fianc√©e is undergoing on her path to royal status.
What an amazing difference an engagement ring makes!
A year ago I reported for HELLO! magazine on a carol concert held at St. Luke’s Church in Chelsea, London, in aid of one of Prince William’s charities.
Although William didn’t attend, it wasn’t surprising that his girlfriend Kate Middleton joined a gang of volunteers to serve drinks and nibbles outside the Church at the end of the evening.
Wearing a warm white overcoat she poured glasses of wine for guests and when the last one had left, she helped to clear up the mess, stashing all the rubbish into dustin bags.
Then she hailed a passing taxi to take her home.
Twelve months later and Kate turned up once again last week at this year’s carol concert at St.Luke’s, this time, dressed in a black coat and boots. But she didn’t lift a manicured finger.
Stepping out of a chauffeured Range Rover with an escort of five police bodyguards, she joined friends in the church for the service.
Afterwards, while her pals served the 800 guests outside in the freezing porch, Kate stayed snug and warm inside, an honoured special guest. She didn’t have to serve trays of sausages and smoked salmon with other volunteers or pour drinks, they were all brought to her.
Hovering around throughout the evening were not one but two palace officials making certain that her first public appearance since her engagement went smoothly.
It was the same place she had been 12 months earlier, the same carols were sung and even the guests, pals like Sir Richard Branson’s gorgeous blonde daughter Holly, were the same, but there was something distinctly different about Miss Middleton.
It seemed the transition from commoner Kate to future crowned head was well underway.
For several years Kate has been a supporter of the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund for which the carol concert raised funds. It was set up in memory of a young guy, who tragically died in a car accident aged just 18 in 2002.
He had been at Ludgrove Prep School with William and his brother Thomas is the Prince’s best friend.
Naturally, Tom van Straubenzee is now one of Kate’s closest friends. He has often been her escort at parties when William is busy working. But now Kate has Scotland Yard’s finest shadowing her wherever she goes, she is not likely ever to feel lonely again.
And this is just the start of all the incredible changes that will happen to Kate as she becomes one of the merry wives of Windsor.