TODAY   |  November 17, 2010

From ‘Waity Katie’ to future princess

TODAY’s Natalie Morales takes a look at Kate Middleton’s journey from a country girl to the future wife of England’s second-in-line to the throne.

Share This:

This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

Prince WILLIAM: When I was trying to impress Kate , I was trying to cook these amazing, fancy dinners, and all that would happen was I'd burn something, something would overspill, something would catch on fire, and she'd be sitting in the background just trying to help and basically taking control of the whole situation. So I was quite glad she was there at the time.

MEREDITH VIEIRA, co-host: Seven-thirty now on this Wednesday morning, November 17th , 2010 . Who knew the prince cooks? That is Prince William opening up about the early days of his relationship with Kate Middleton in their first interview as bride and groom-to-be. Inside Studio 1A, I'm Meredith Vieira alongside Matt Lauer . And coming up, much more on the woman of the moment, Kate Middleton .

MATT LAUER, co-host: A so-called commoner -- I don't know why that term doesn't sit well with me -- but now on the road to becoming queen. Just who is she, and how's she going to handle the pressure that will undoubtedly come with her new title? We're going to talk to one of her longtime friends straight ahead.

VIEIRA: Yeah, they also called her a spinster yesterday, and that didn't sound right, either.

LAUER: Not good either, no.

VIEIRA: Also ahead, before you have fish or shrimp for lunch or dinner, do you know what is in it? There is a chance that your seafood could be tainted with dangerous chemicals and drugs. Coming up, the disturbing results of a TODAY investigation.

MATT LAUER, co-host: But let us begin with the grooming of a princess. Let's head back to Buckingham Palace , where Natalie Morales has more on Kate Middleton . Natalie , good morning again.

NATALIE MORALES reporting: And good morning to you, Matt. Well, they've been enamored with Kate , or Catherine , Middleton for a long time now here, as you can imagine. But as much as people have read about her here, they really haven't heard her speak much -- in her first interview, as she did yesterday for the very first time -- and now they're getting an idea of who she really is. And as she did, with William by her side, she's stepping into what she called a most daunting role. She's attended her fair share of weddings, but now, after more than eight years of dating and waiting, Kate Middleton is finally looking at walking down the aisle herself with her prince. It was Kate 's performance at a charity fashion show that first caught Prince William 's eye, and soon they were a couple doing, well, couple things.

Ms. KATE MIDDLETON: He did cook for me quite a bit at university, and it would always come with a bit of angst and a bit of anger, something had gone wrong.

MORALES: They even graduated together in 2005 . Kate 's good looks and her love of sports have always chimed with William and made her a popular friend.

Ms. EMMA SAYLES (Friend of Kate Middleton): She's a really friendly, down-to-earth, relaxed person. There's no pretentiousness or airs and graces.

MORALES: It may be just those qualities that kept William coming back even after they briefly split up three years ago.

Prince WILLIAM: She's got a really odd sense of humor, which kind of helps me because I've got a very dull sense of humor.

MORALES: Now the middle-class girl who comes from a close-knit family has to prepare for a future as a full-time princess. And that will bring some challenges.

Mr. ROBERT JOBSON: If you marry Prince William , you -- a lot will be expected of you. You will be spending the rest of your life in the public spotlight.

MORALES: Princess Diana found that hard to bear, and Kate has not enjoyed media attention much. She will have to share her life with a protection officer. There will be tiaras to wear, jewels to inherit, elaborate gowns to pick for state banquets; butlers, dressers, cooks and private secretaries will become the norm. And she'll have to shake innumerable hands.

Mr. KEN WHARFE (Former Royal Bodyguard): She's been introduced gradually to this, and her age and her experience will be of tremendous advantage. But it's certainly going to change her life.

MORALES: Those who know her say she's got what it takes to deal with life in the gilded cage.

Ms. SAYLES: I think a modern-day princess needs to be able to blend in with every kind of -- every part of society; and if that's holding a gun and, you know, in the country, or in a ball gown in London . If anyone can handle being, you know, a princess, then Kate will be able to handle it.

MORALES: And while the comparisons with Princess Diana are, of course, inevitable, as Prince William said, there is no pressure, really, to fit into his mother's shoes, as he said. But interesting to note and to point out to you, Matt , that ring, which was Diana 's, was a perfect fit. Matt :