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Image: Kate Middleton

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The life of Duchess Kate

Take a look back at how the royal spent a lifetime preparing for her most important title — Duchess of Cambridge and the wife of Prince William.

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Image: The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Support Development Opportunities For Young People In South London

Duchess Kate, from regular kid to royal

Take a look back at how the royal spent a lifetime preparing for her most important title — Duchess of Cambridge and the wife of Prince William.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits XLP at Christ Church, Gipsy Hill during a day of engagements to support development opportunities for young people on March 27, 2015 in London. The visit marked her last public visit before giving birth to her second child.

Max Mumby/indigo / Getty Images Europe
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Image: Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is greeted by children after an event at the Northside Center for Child Development in the Harlem section of New York

Touring New York City

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is greeted by children after an event at the Northside Center for Child Development in the Harlem section of New York, on Dec. 8, 2014.

Brendan Mcdermid / X90143
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Meeting pop-rock royalty

Britain's Kate, Duchess of Cambridge meets boyband One Direction at the Royal Variety Performance, in support of the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund, at the Palladium Theatre in London, on Nov. 13, 2014.

Yui Mok / PA pool
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Image: US Entertainment Best Pictures Of The Year - 2014 The President Of The Republic Of Singapore Makes A State Visit To The UK

As stylish as ever

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge takes her seat a State Carriage for the carriage procession to Buckingham Palace as part of the ceremonial welcome ceremony for Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade on Oct. 21, 2014 in London.

Wpa Pool / Getty Images Europe
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Image: Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge And Prince Harry Visit Tower Of London's Ceramic Poppy Field

Commemorating WWI

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge adds a ceramic poppy watched by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Lord Dannatt as she visits The Tower of London's 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' ceramic poppy installation by artist Paul Cummins, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of First World War on Aug. 5, 2014 in London.

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Image: TOPSHOTS-BRITAIN-ROYALS-GEORGE-BIRTHDAY-MESSAGE-FAMILY

Prince George turns 1

Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George during a visit to the Sensational Butterflies exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London on July 2, 2014. Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine thanked well-wishers around the world as they prepared to celebrate their son Prince George's first birthday.

John Stillwell / AFP
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Image: The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Tour Australia And New Zealand - Day 16

Royal couple down under

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in front of Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, on April 22, 2014 in Ayers Rock, Australia. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, the first official trip overseas with their son, Prince George of Cambridge.

Pool / Getty Images AsiaPac
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Image: The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends The Portrait Gala 2014: Collecting to Inspire

Glittering wedding gift

On Feb. 11, 2014 Duchess Kate stepped out wearing the Nizam of Hyderabad, a diamond necklace Queen Elizabeth II received as a wedding gift for her marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. Kate wore the dazzling necklace to a fund-raising gala for the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Max Mumby/indigo / Getty Images Europe
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Celebrating Christmas

The Duchess of Cambridge arrives to attend a Christmas Day Service with other members of the royal family at St. Mary's church on the grounds of Sandringham Estate, the Queen's royal estate in Norfolk, England, on Dec. 25, 2013.

Lefteris Pitarakis / AP
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Seeing in 3D

Kate tries out 3D glasses at a screening at the Natural History Museum in London on Dec. 11, 2013.

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Sweet hug

The Duchess hugs a child at the Shooting Star House Children's hospice in London on Dec. 6. 2013. The Duchess toured the facilities, viewed a music session where she played with a frog hand puppet and a rattle, met with volunteers and had tea with some of the children and their families.

Bradley Page / Pool NPA
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Image: YEAR2013-AFP-PEOPLE-FILES

Christening

Prince William and Duchess Kate arrive at St. James's Palace with their 3-month-old son, Prince George, for his christening on Oct. 23, 2013.

John Stillwell / AFP
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge With Their Son Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge In Bucklebury

Family photo

In this photo taken by Duchess Kate's father, the royals pose with their baby, Prince George, as well as their dog Lupo, in the garden of the Middleton family home in August 2013 in Bucklebury, Berkshire.

Handout / Getty Images Europe
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Image: The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Leave The Lindo Wing With Their Newborn Son

Welcome to the world!

Prince William and Duchess Kate show off their newborn son on July 23, 2013 outside St. Mary's Hospital. The baby is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge.

Oli Scarff / Getty Images Europe
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BRITAIN-ROYALS-CORONATION-ANNIVERSARY

Showing off a baby bump

Prince William and Duchess Kate arrive at Westminster Abbey in London for a service on June 4, 2013 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation.

Leon Neal / AFP
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The Duchess Of Cambridge Visits Naomi House

Second wedding anniversary

Duchess Kate visits Naomi House on April 29, 2013 in Hampshire, England.

Eamonn M. Mccormack / Getty Images Europe
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The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Diamond Jubilee Tour - Day 6

Royals in the Far East

Prince William and Kate travel in a special boat vehicle as they arrive at Honiara International Airport during their Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East in Honiara, Guadalcanal Island, on September 16, 2012.

Chris Jackson / Getty Images AsiaPac
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The Duchess Of Cambridge Visits The Irish Guards On Their St Patrick's Day Parade

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, presents a shamrock to the regimental mascot as she takes part in a St Patrick's Day parade while visiting Aldershot Barracks in Aldershot, England, on March 17, 2012.

Chris Jackson / Getty Images Europe
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Britain's Catherine, The Duchess of Camb

Kate and the queen

Duchess Kate and Queen Elizabeth II are pictured as they visit the city of Leicester in central England, on March 8, 2012.

Rui Vieira / AFP
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(FromL) Britain's Prince William, Cather

Honoring heroes

Prince William, Kate and Prince Harry leave after attending "A Night of Heros," the annual Sun Military Awards, to honour members of the British armed forces in London on December 19, 2011.

Arthur Edwards / AFP
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The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Canadian Tour - Day 8

Yeehaw!

Will and Kate watch a rodeo demonstration at a government reception at the BMO Centre on July 7, 2011, in Calgary, Canada.

Chris Jackson / Getty Images North America
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Image: Official wedding picture

Gang's all here

Britain's Prince William and his new wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, pose with their page boys and bridesmaids following their wedding on April 29, 2011. Clockwise from bottom right, Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Eliza Lopes, Grace van Cutsem, Lady Louise Windsor, Tom Pettifer, and William Lowther-Pinkerton.

Hugo Burnand / Clarence House
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Image: Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton - Carriage Procession

Paying respect

Prince William, newly minted as the Duke of Cambridge, salutes the Cenotaph as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, bows her head on their way to Buckingham Palace after their wedding at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011.

Gerry Penny / EPA
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Image: Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge kiss as they stand on the balcony at Buckingham Palace with other members of their families, after their wedding in Westminster Abbey, in central London

You may kiss the bride

Prince William kissed his new wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, watched by bridemaids Grace van Cutsem, left, and Margarita Armstrong-Jones.

Dylan Martinez / X00177
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Image: Kate Middleton, the fiancee of Britain's Prince William talks to children during their visit to Witton Country Park in Darwen, northern England

Royal fans

Kate Middleton talks to children during a visit to Witton Country Park in Darwen, northern England, on April 11, 2011. A large crowd of well-wishers braved a downpour to cheer Prince William and Kate Middleton as they took part in their final official engagement before their wedding.

Darren Staples / X01323
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Wedding of Katie Percy and Patrick Valentine

Practice run

Months before she is set to serve as Kate's maid of honor, Kate’s sister, Philippa “Pippa” Middleton, 27, attends the wedding of a friend on February 26, 2011.

Chris Jackson / Getty Images Europe
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Image: The Limited Edition Princess Catherine Engagement Doll is pictured during its launch at Hamleys toy shop in London

A royal doll

The Limited Edition Princess Catherine Engagement Doll launched at Hamleys toy shop in London on April 7. The doll has been dressed and accessorized by seven award-winning British designers; some proceeds from each purchase go to the Help for Heroes charity.

Luke Macgregor / X01981
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Image: Combination photo shows the fiancee of Britain's Prince William, Kate Middleton, flipping a pancake in Belfast

Fat Tuesday

Kate practices her kitchen skills on March 8, 2011 while accompanying William on his first official visit to Northern Ireland. She's flipping pancakes to mark Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day, when the British indulge in sugar, fat, eggs and other foods that are not eaten during Lent. As Kate greeted the crowd that gathered in Belfast, one woman gave her a daffodil pin after Kate said she liked it. Kate held the pin in her hand while she flipped flapjacks with the other.

Cathal Mcnaughton / X02612
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Prince William And Kate Middleton Visit The University Of St Andrews

Wedding gift

St. Andrews established a new scholarship in honor of William and Kate. The university presented the scholarship to the couple as a wedding gift in February 2011.

Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images Europe
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Prince William and Kate Middleton visit St Andrews

A return to where the romance began

In February, Prince William and Kate return to their alma mater, University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where Kate first stole the prince’s heart. They make the trip six years after their graduation to launch a campaign marking the 600th anniversary of the university’s founding. Prince William is the patron of the campaign.

Wpa Pool / Getty Images Europe
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Kate Middleton (L) and Britain's Prince

Commoner greets the public

Smiling Kate meets members of the public – and potential neighbors – as she and Prince William attend a naming ceremony for a new lifeboat in Anglesey on February 24, 2011.

Phil Noble / AFP
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Kate Middleton, the fiancee to Britain's

Anglesey’s new residents

Kate and Will make a visit to Anglesey in February 2011; the island off the coast of Wales is where they're said to live as husband and wife.

Phil Noble / AFP
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England v France - RBS 6 Nations

Two royal engagements

Kate and William's isn't the only royal relationship taking the plunge. Here, Prince William’s younger brother, Prince Harry, attends a rugby match with his cousin, Zara Phillips, who is engaged to rugby player Mike Tindall.

Clive Mason / Getty Images Europe
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Kate Middleton, the fiancee to Britain's

Life as a royal is bubbly

Prince William and Kate make their first official appearance since their engagement. In February 2011, Kate dedicates the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's (RNLI) new lifeboat with a bottle of Champagne.

Phil Noble / AFP
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Teenage Cancer Trust Christmas Spectacular

Charitable Catherine

Kate has attended charity events on the prince's arm, but royal watchers are waiting to see if she dives into that kind of work like William and his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, did. William is the patron or president of at least 20 organizations, and Diana was the president or patron of more than 100 charities during her marriage to Prince Charles.

Rui Vieira / EMPPL PA Wire
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Britain's Prince William and his fiancée

Eight years to age 28

After eight years, Prince William and Kate, now referred to as Catherine, announce they will finally say “I do.” William popped the question at 28 – the youngest age that he said he would marry.

Ben Stansall / AFP
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Clarence House Announce The Engagement Of Prince William To Kate Middleton

From countryside to castle

Kate Middleton was raised in a middle-class family in Bucklebury, 60 miles outside London. Kate’s father, Michael, was an airline pilot and her mother, Carole, was a flight attendant before they started their own party supply business, Party Pieces, and became self-made millionaires. The Middletons made sure their daughters received a good education, sending them to some of the United Kingdom’s best schools. Prince William has described Kate’s parents as loving, caring, fun and welcoming.

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Image: Kate Middleton

Styles and smiles

Over the years Kate has worn a bright smile to match her many hats. Her style sense is closely watched, and signature pieces include long jackets, boots and the occasional feathered fascinator. While Prince William became a lieutenant in the British Army, Kate worked as an accessories buyer for British clothing chain Jigsaw.

Dylan Martinez / X00177
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Gatcombe Horse Trials - Saturday

Kate’s social circle

Kate attends the Gatcombe Park Festival of British Eventing with friends in August 2005. She has proven herself to be a multitasker over the years, balancing academics, friends, family and her relationship with the heir to the British throne.

Matt Cardy / Getty Images Europe
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The Chakravarty Cup Polo tournament

Go Wills

Kate is a familiar face on the sidelines of the polo field, where she has often been seen cheering on Prince William.

Barry Batchelor / EMPPL PA Wire
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Kate Middleton is pictured in Windsor in

Duty calls

Kate has supported William in all of his royal duties. Here, she attends the Annual Garter ceremony at Windsor Castle in June 2008 where Prince William was made a Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter by the queen, becoming the 1,000th in history.

Steve Parsons / AFP
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Britain's Prince William (R) is inspecte

Game changer

Although Kate is regularly spotted at the prince’s ceremonies and polo matches, her attendance at Prince William’s graduation from The Royal Military Academy was seen as a game changer. This was the first time she attended an important event with the queen and other senior royals. Many saw it as a coming-out for the prince’s girlfriend.

Adrian Dennis / AFP
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Prince Harry (L) and Prince William (2nd

Split but not broken

Prince William and Kate were said to have split in April 2007. Just a few short months later, she attended the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium in London, sitting with her brother only feet away from the prince. She was among the 70,000 people who joined Princes William and Harry for the concert in memory of their late mother.

Leon Neal / AFP
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Kate Middleton (L) arrives at Sandhurst

Mum’s mishap

Kate is poised, as usual, at William's Royal Military Academy graduation ceremony. When the cameras focused on the Middletons during the Sandhurst parade, Kate's mother, Carole, was spotted chewing gum -- a major faux pas.

Tim Ockenden / AFP
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Rare sight

Kate Middleton and Prince William embrace after their graduation from St. Andrews University in June 2005. The pair has followed in the queen's footsteps and not shown much affection in public. This Middleton family picture captures a more relaxed and loving couple.

THE MIDDLETON FAMILY
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Top notch education

In June 2005, Kate graduated from St Andrews University in Scotland, where she studied art history. She went to high school at boarding school Marlborough College.

THE MIDDLETON FAMILY
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Kate Middleton Brownies Days

Sweet scout

The Duchess of Cambridge was a Brownie in 1990 at St. Peter's Church Hall, wearing a traditional Brownie uniform which included a yellow sweatshirt, brown or tan skirt and a yellow necktie.

Like Princess Diana, Duchess Kate revealed her first charities for which she will lend her official patronage — and many of them help children in need. One charity in particular seems especially close to the her heart: the Scout Association, for which she will serve as a volunteer leader with the youngest scouts — Beaver Scouts and Cub Scouts — near the home she shares with Prince William in north Wales.

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Image: An undated handout picture obtained in L

Camera ready

Kate Middleton, 5, smiles for a family photo. Little did she know she was preparing for a life in front of the cameras.

- / AFP
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Image: An undated handout picture obtained in L

Reaching the summit

In this Middleton family photo, 3-year-old Kate scales up a rock on a family vacation in the Lake District in England. The official royal wedding site lists hill-walking as a favorite hobby of Kate's.

- / AFP
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Cultured Catherine

Kate began learning about other cultures as a child. At age 2, she moved with her family to Amman, Jordan, for two and a half years. Kate's experiences abroad might help her relate to the many people who circulate through the palace gates. Kate is photographed here with her sister, Pippa, and father in Jerash, Jordan.

THE MIDDLETON FAMILY
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Mining Middletons

Kate is not a coal miner's daughter, but she is the great-granddaughter of a miner. Kate's family has deep roots in the coal mines of northern England. Her great-grandfather, Tom, pictured front left, worked in the coal pits. Kate's family connection to coal mining only adds to the commoner-turned-princess mystique.

Scott Heppell / AP
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