KATE AT 40 THE MAKING OF A QUEEN
Woman’s Day Magazine NZ|January 24, 2022
Behind the scenes of her royal rise
Karleigh Smith

In the breathtaking new pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge taken to mark her milestone 40th birthday, Catherine looks every inch the regal future queen.

And after a tumultuous year spent proving her mettle as one of the monarchy’s true leaders, Prince William was determined she should be treated as such during the top-secret photo shoot in November at London’s Kew Gardens.

As royal fans around the world praise the three magnificent images – featuring the duchess in two dresses by her favourite fashion house Alexander McQueen – we can reveal no one was more impressed than her husband.

“William, along with the kids, helped her select the final images that would go out to the public,” a palace insider tells Woman’s Day. “He’s so proud of Kate. He’s rather cheekily told his mates that she looks like a ‘stone-cold babe’.”

Photographer Paolo Roversi has revealed they “danced to waltz and rock ’n’ roll” to get his subject ready for her moment in front of the camera, while our source adds that William, 39, wanted to make the shoot “as romantic as possible”.

“He’s just so grateful to Kate, and how incredible she is as a royal, a wife and a mother,” says the insider. “She was reticent to make such a fuss, but he pushed her into it and made it a fairytale day from start to finish.

“He personally asked the Queen to loan her a favourite pair of earrings and also presented Kate with Diana’s pearl earrings on the day. Kate was truly touched and wore them both. Wills was determined for her to have her time in the sun – on her own and not just as his plus-one or surrounded by their children.”

The resulting images combine Kate’s trademark calm and her effortless glamour, hinting at what’s to come when she and William take the throne.

“In recent years, the Queen has remarked to William that Catherine reminds her so much of the Queen Mother in the way that she’s reliable with little fuss,” adds one courtier. “It’s very impressive the way she has supported her husband but also stood on her own two feet.”

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