Kate Middleton's new birthday portraits symbolise a major royal promotion

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate Middleton is one of the most talked-about women in the world, with her fashion influence turning small businesses into sell-out brands and her hairstyle changes sparking trends of their own.

And this past few years we have only seen more of the Duchess, with her role elevated over the past few years.

Get the Kate Middleton look: 

Veja Esplar Leather Trainers, £100 | Flannels

Veja Esplar Leather Trainers, £100 | Flannels
Elevate your footwear collection with these royally-approved trainers from Veja. The Tech Lining is compromised of 100% recycled plastic bottles and the cupsole utilises bio based and recycled Amazonian rubber, rice waste and recycled rubber.

Siren Wire Earrings, £125 | Monica Vinader

Siren Wire Earrings, £125 | Monica Vinader
These are the Duchess of Cambridge's favourite hand cut gemstone earrings. Simple, elegant but standout. So, expect all of the compliments when wearing them.

Midi Mayfair Bag, £595 | Aspinal of London

Midi Mayfair Bag, £595 | Aspinal of London
Encapsulating timeless vintage-inspired styling, the Midi Mayfair Bag is handcrafted from the finest deep shine black croc print full-grain leather. Versatile and luxurious, the structured boxy design features three inner compartments.

She was crowned the coolest female of the moment and has been brought forward as 'Queen-in-waiting' something that royal experts explain is a clever move by palace aides who have realised just how popular Kate is.

Royal expert Katie Nicholl weighed in on Kate's role elevation this week on True Royalty's Kate: The Making of a Modern Queen.

'We are seeing a Queen-in-waiting. We are seeing the Duchess take on more duties, more royal engagements, more of a public profile than ever before,' Katie explained. 'This is all very deliberate. It's very much part of the Palace machine bringing her from the shadows of Anmer and into the forefront, into the spotlight, because they are very clever.

'They realise the power of Kate and the potential of Kate and William as this young, glamorous, dynamic duo who actually do have the ability to reshape and project the monarchy into the future.’

A photo posted by on

This has never been more clear than in her new official portraits, released over the weekend by the Palace to mark her 40th birthday.

The photographs in question show Kate Middleton in a more regal light than ever before, with fans comparing them to past photographs of Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria.

A photo posted by on

The role elevation is something that has not been lost on the public, with fans taking to the comment section in their thousands to call her a 'Queen'.

'Now that is a future Queen,' commented one fan, while another posted: 'We are witnessing history in the making'.

'The Duchess will be one for the ages... truly a queen to come,' one added, while another wrote: 'One word only: QUEEN!'

Well this is lovely.

Happy Birthday to the Duchess!

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.