A royal photographer explains how Princess Kate has changed since joining the fold

Kate Middleton at a Diplomatic Corps reception at Buckingham Palace
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate Middleton has to be the most talked-about woman in the world, with the Princess of Wales’ royal rule breaks and iconic fashion moments never failing to make headlines.

This week, it was the return of Netflix’s The Crown that got the world talking, with actress Meg Bellamy coming onboard to play a young Kate Middleton in the upcoming second installment. 

The portrayal of Princess Kate is highly anticipated, and unsurprisingly has already resurfaced various stories and anecdotes from when she was first on the scene as Prince William’s university girlfriend. 

"I liked his new girlfriend. She was carefree, sweet, kind,” Prince Harry recalled of his first impressions of Kate in his memoir, Spare. “She'd done a gap year in Florence, knew about photography, art. And clothes. She loved clothes." 

"[She was] always so polite, friendly, and fun and making jokes," added former royal butler Grant Harrold, via Slingo.

Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales arrive at the Easter Sunday service at St George's Chapel in April 2019

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The sweet stories around the young Kate Middleton have extended to her transformation into the Princess of Wales, with one photographer opening up about how she has changed since joining the fold.

"I think she has grown more confident," explained royal photographer Ben Stansall, who recently recalled shooting their engagement photographs to HELLO!.

"Like everybody who has a job – I guess her job is more unique compared to ours – she seems very, very confident, much more so than the early days. But I guess that's just the evolution of any career, isn't it?"

Now of course, Kate is a "steady presence" in the fold, with some sources crediting her as one of the leaders of the royal family, and a “pillar of strength” to Prince william.

"Kate is a natural leader who has a magnificent ability to remain composed, even during the most challenging situations," one source told Us Weekly.

Another added: "Kate’s used to all eyes being on her. Being in a strong, solid marriage to William helps. They lean on each other for support during difficult times and will talk through their problems. She’s been her husband’s pillar of strength."

We will continue to update this story.

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.