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Image: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
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The Duchess of Cambridge will learn the history of the royal family and everything else she needs to be real royalty.
By
TODAY contributor
updated 9/21/2011 2:04:23 PM ET 2011-09-21T18:04:23

Apparently, becoming a royal now comes with its own instruction manual.

New bride and new royal Kate is getting private tutorials at St. James Palace in London to steep her in the rich, 1,140-year history of the British royal family and bring her up to speed on everything the Duchess of Cambridge is going to need to know about her new, very official life.

Story: Duchess Kate dabbling in charity work

Representatives from varied British institutions have been quietly meeting with the Duchess of Cambridge, who joined the royal family by virtue of her world-is-watching wedding to Prince William in April.

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“The Duchess is being briefed on how the State works, getting to know our national institutions better and learning more about organizations such as the arts, the media and the government,” a royal source told The Telegraph newspaper in London.

“It is a process that will carry on for several months, but is being done privately.”

In the five months since becoming a Duchess, the schedule for Middleton, 29, has been relatively light on official duties — she and William toured the U.S. and Canada in July, and also visited areas of Birmingham hard hit by rioting over the summer. The Telegraph reported Middleton’s official engagements have been intentionally limited as she gets the lay of the land of royal ballyhoo.

Slideshow: William and Kate’s royal visit to North America (on this page)

It may be that the Middleton is receiving help in a way her late mother-in-law Princess Diana never received.

The Telegraph notes Middleton’s private royal training is in stark contrast to William’s mother Diana’s experience who had stated she felt like she was being thrown to the wolves when marrying Prince Charles.

The paper reports Diana had decried her early days as a princess and that she said staff at the royal palace “basically thought I could adapt to being Princess of Wales overnight.” Kate’s husband William ensured his new bride would have all support in helping her adapt to her role as a senior member of the royal family, the paper added.

Slideshow: Duchess Kate’s royal style (on this page)

Middleton’s tutorials are expected to last through the end of the year, and afterwards, her official schedule will be stepped up for 2012. And those engagements will likely be solo much of the time — military man William deploys to the Falkland Island with his Royal Air Force Search and Rescue squadron next year, and families are not allowed to accompany.

A source told The Telegraph there is a fringe benefit for William and Kate keeping an undemanding official schedule since their wedding.

“Like any recently married couple, they attach huge importance to spending time together in the first few months of their married life.”

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Photos: William and Kate’s royal visit to North America

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  1. Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, speaks to a pupil during a tour of the Inner City Arts campus in Los Angeles, Calif., July 10. The newly married Royal Couple are on the three-day visit to Southern California. (Alex Gallardo / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, helps his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in making hand prints in clay at Inner City Arts on July 10, in Los Angeles, Calif. (Pool / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, right, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson attend the BAFTA "Brits to Watch" event held at the Belasco Theatre on July 9, in Los Angeles, Calif. (Pool / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, chat with Jennifer Lopez at the 'BAFTA Brits to Watch' event at the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif., on July 9. (Matt Baron / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Prince William and Kate, the duke and duchess of Cambridge, arrive at the inaugural BAFTA Brits to Watch 2011 event at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, Saturday, July 9. At left is BAFTA chairman Amanda Berry. The royal couple were on the second day of their stay in California after a trip to Canada. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Bystanders wait for William and wife Kate to arrive at the BAFTA Brits to Watch event in Los Angeles. The royal couple leave California on July 10. (Mario Anzuoni / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Prince William competes in the Foundation Polo Challenge at The Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria, Calif., on July 9. The event benefits the American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry, a charity that supports disadvantaged children, conservation and sustainable development, veterans and military families. (Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. William during the charity polo match in Carpinteria. (Mike Nelson / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Prince William kisses Kate after his team won the Foundation Polo Challenge at The Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club on July 9. (Alex J. Berliner / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. William and Kate arrive at the polo club in Carpinteria. (Phil Noble / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Prince William mingles with soccer star David Beckham at a private reception at the British Consul-General's residence in Los Angeles on July 8. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. William and Kate share a laugh at a private reception at the British Consul-General's residence in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. William and Kate arrive at Los Angeles International Airport, July 8. (Pool / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Kate ges off the plane at Los Angeles International Airport. (Danny Moloshok / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. A crowd waits for the royal couple to arrive at Variety's Venture Capital and New Media Summit at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 8 in Beverly Hills. (Pool / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. William and Kate watch some bullriding while wearing Western clothing and cowboy hats in Calgary, Alberta, on July 7. The royal couple visited Canada for nine days before heading to California. (Phil Noble / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. William and Kate pose for a photo with members of the Canadian Forces flight crew upon their arrival in Calgary, Alberta on July 7. (Nathan Denette / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. William and Kate arrive by Canadian Forces helicopter in Calgary, Alberta, on July 7. (Jonathan Hayward / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, shake hands with six-year-old Riley Oldford, left, and eight-year-old Adithi Balaji before departing Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada for Slave Lake, Alberta, on Wednesday, July 6, 2011. (Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit a part of town devastated by a fire in May 2011, on July 6 in Slave Lake, Alberta. The newly married Royal Couple are on the seventh day of their first joint overseas tour. (Mark Large / Pool via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Prince William and wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge greet fans following a tour of Slave Lake, Canada on Wednesday, July 6. (Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Prince William and wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, take a canoe ride with Northwest Territories Indian Brotherhood Chief Francois Paulette, left, from the Fort Smith area at Lake Blatchford, Canada, lodge on July 5. The royal couple, on the sixth day of their first overseas tour after their marriage, were on their way to Blachford Lake. After Canada, the couple will spend several days in the United States. (Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, exit a teepee at Blatchford Lodge, Northwest Territories on July 5. (Andy Clark / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge board a seaplane at the Old Town Float Base on Tuesday, July 5, in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Prince William and Kate receive hockey jerseys during a welcome ceremony in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, during their tour of Canada on July 5. (Charlie Riedel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Prince William takes a shot with a hockey stick as his wife Kate watches during a visit to the Somba K'e Civic Plaza on July 5 in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. (Pool / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Prince William and Kate look on during a welcome ceremony at the Somba K'e Civic Plaza on July 5 in Yellowknife. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, depart from Province House by carriage on Monday, July 4, in Charlottetown, Canada. The newly married royal couple are on their first joint overseas tour. The 12-day visit to North America is taking in some of the more remote areas of Canada such as Prince Edward Island, Yellowknife and Calgary. The couple started off their tour by joining millions of Canadians on July 1 in taking part in Canada Day celebrations, which mark Canada's 144th birthday. (Pool / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Prince William gets ready to take part in a Sea King helicopter demonstration, July 4, in Dalvay by-the-Sea, Prince Edward Island, Canada. (Paul Chiasson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Prince William takes part in a demonstration of waterbirding during an exercise in a Sea King Helicopter on July 4, in Charlottetown, Canada. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Prince William greets a decorated veteran in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, July 4. (Ryan Remiorz / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Prince William, in blue shirt, and his wife Kate, standing, compete in a dragon boat race in Dalvay-by-the-Sea on Prince Edward Island, July 4. (Robert F. Bukaty / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Alexa Currie is reluctant to pass her flowers to Kate during the royal couple's visit to Summerside, Prince Edward Island, July 4. (Paul Darrow / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Wiliam and Kate walk down the gangway of HMCS Montreal, following a morning prayer service on the helicopter pad at the rear of the war ship in Quebec City, Canada, July 3. (John Stillwell / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. William and Kate disembark the HMCS Montreal in Quebec City, July 3. (Phil Noble / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Prince William inspects an honor guard during a ceremony at Quebec City Hall, July 3. (Charlie Riedel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Prince William plays foosball during a tour of the Maison Dauphine in Quebec City on July 3. (Mathieu Belanger / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. Prince William and Kate applaud as they tour la Maison Dauphine, a youth shelter, in Quebec City, July 3. (Sean Kilpatrick / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. Tthe Duchess of Cambridge greets the crowd during a visit to the Levis Community Celebration, July 3. (Charlie Riedel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. A girl reacts as Prince William and Catherine greet children at Fort Levis, July 3. (Christinne Muschi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Prince William and Kate arrive in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, July 3. (Paul Chiasson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. Prince William and wife Kate arrive for a ceremonial tree planting accompanied by Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Saturday, July 2. (Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. Prince William and wife Kate take part in a ceremonial tree plating with Governor General David Johnston and wife Sharon at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on July 2. (Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. Prince William greets war brides and veterans at the War Museum on July 2 in Ottawa. (Frank Gunn / The Canadian Press via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  45. Royal fans try to catch a glimpse of Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as they visit the Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal July 2. (Chris Jackson / Pool via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  46. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chat with young cancer patients who are working on crafts during a tour of Sainte-Justine children's hospital July 2 in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson / The Canadian Press via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  47. Crowds outside the Institut de Tourisme Et D'Hotellerie Du Quebec in Montreal await the prince and his wife July 2. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  48. Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, left, and Prince William take part in a cooking workshop at the Institut de Tourisme et d'Hotellerie du Quebec in Montreal on July 2. (Mathieu Belanger / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  49. Britain's Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, second left and center, applaud as they watch a Canada Day performance on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on the second day of their visit, July 1. (David Rose / Daily Telegraph via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  50. Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, looks over her shoulder as she and Prince William arrive on Parliament Hill in Ottawa for Canada Day celebrations on July 1. (Geoff Robins / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  51. The Duchess of Cambridge, better known as Kate, greets spectators during Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on July 1. (Pool / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  52. Prince William and Kate, along with Canadian Gov. Gen. David Johnston, arrive at the Canada Day celebration. (Charlie Riedel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  53. Kate greets a mother and her newborn during a citizenship ceremony on July 1. (Paul Chiasson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  54. Kate receives flowers from Aurelie Thibault, left, and Sophie Graydon, right, as she takes part in a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, June 30. (Nathan Denette / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  55. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, during an informal reception for young Canadian volunteers in the official residence of the Governor General of Canada, Rideau Hall in Ottawa, on the first day of their visit to the Commonwealth country. (John Stillwell / Pool via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  56. Prince William talks to one of the Guard of Honour soliders after arriving at the Rideau Hall in Ottawa. (John Stillwell / Pool via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  57. Kate greets the crowds as she and Prince William take part in a ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada. (Sean Kilpatrick / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  58. Prime Minister Stephen Harper (L) and wife Laureen Harper (R) stand in silence alongside Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The couple will tour seven cities in four provinces and one territory in Canada before heading to California on July 8. (Blair Gable / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  59. Prince William greets the crowds as he and Kate take part in a ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  60. William and Kate take part in a ceremony at Rideau Hall, June 30 in Ottawa. (Nathan Denette / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  61. Royal watchers wear photo masks of the the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they await their arrival at the War Memorial in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  62. Catherine arrives at Macdonald-Cartier International Airport in Ottawa. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  63. Catherine prepares to board a plane of the Royal Canadian Air Force at London's Heathrow Airport on June 30. (Steve Parsons / WPA Pool via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  64. William and Kate board a plane of the Royal Canadian Air Force at London's Heathrow to travel to Ottawa, June 30. (Steve Parsons / Pool via AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in USA
    Alex Gallardo / EPA
    Above: Slideshow (64) William and Kate’s royal visit to North America
  2. Image: The Duchess Of Cambridge Visits An M-PACT Plus Counselling Programme
    Mark Cuthbert / Getty Images Contributor
    Slideshow (144) Duchess Kate’s royal style

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