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Watch: William and Kate's wedding anniversary: 10 years in 10 photos
As Prince William and Kate celebrate 10 years of marriage, the milestone anniversary also represents a significant point for the Duchess of Cambridge.
She has now spent a decade in the Royal Family, seeing all sides of royal life, including the highs of welcoming three children and the lows of her first royal funeral.
Since the departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, she has proved herself a great boon to the Royal Family, and is continuing to shape the kind of queen she will one day be.
Victoria Murphy, royal author and commentator, told Yahoo UK: "There is no doubt that Kate has absolutely proven herself to be an asset to the monarchy and William and Kate’s popularity ratings as they mark 10 years of marriage demonstrate that.
"I think her success within The Firm is in part the fact that from the start she was content to be led by the needs and desires of the institution – at least when it comes to her work life. Right from the beginning, in her engagement interview, she set the tone by saying she was keen to learn quickly and work hard.
"She has looked to William for guidance and very much allowed him and the people around them to guide her in the public aspects of the position. When it comes to life behind closed doors and how they raise their family, however, I think Kate has taken much more of a leadership role.
"The way they are raising their children, which we have got more of a glimpse into in the past year with plenty of images and interviews throughout lockdown, very much emulates the childhood that Kate enjoyed. I think she has been very sure of what she wants for her family life and not afraid to exert her influence there from the beginning, but in her royal work she has taken a very gradual approach, listening and learning as she went."
A YouGov poll conducted the day before their anniversary found three quarters of people believe Kate would make a good queen.
The YouGov survey of 5,055 adults in Great Britain found 43% thought Kate definitely will make a good Queen – while 33% said she probably will.
Royal biographer Penny Junor told PA: "I think she has been absolutely extraordinary and a model of what a future queen should be.
"She has got such poise and elegance and she’s not in competition with William. She doesn’t seem to be seeking fame.
"Everything about her is measured. She’s a grown-up. She seems to care a lot about everything she’s put her name to.
"And she’s very good with people but she’s not on an ego trip and I think that is absolutely crucial in that role."
Although Kate has been part of the Royal Family for a decade, it's only in the last few months that she has been able to tackle her own project.
She launched her Early Years survey in early 2020, but the results of it had to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In November 2020, she called for Early Years Development to be "on par with the other great social challenges and opportunities of our time" in a keynote speech which was hailed as a milestone moment for her.
Watch: William and Kate: 10 years of marriage
The project, which Kate promised to share more details of this year, will give her a focus in her royal life without treading on the toes of the future king.
Reflecting on how they adapted during coronavirus, Murphy said: "In some cases, the projects and issues they were already championing have remained relevant throughout the pandemic and that includes Kate’s long-standing work on how to help families in the earliest years of a child’s life.
"She’s been looking at this for several years and really considering the challenges and listening to lots of people working in this area in different ways. I think she’s someone who thinks things through very carefully before she decided how to act or what to say or do publicly and this considered approach has stood her in good stead as she has grown in her role.
"The early years work is clearly very important to her, and an area that she actually has a lot of credibility in now, because of the many years of background research that she has put in.
"I think when she first joined the royal family she was very keen to listen and learn but as she has grown in confidence and understanding she is now becoming more of a leader in certain areas – early years is definitely one of those."
Editor of Majesty Magazine Joe Little said: "Catherine was praised for her 'passionate' speech when announcing the findings of the 5 Big Questions survey that she took a great interest in. It underlined her commitment to her Early Years work and the importance she places on childhood development.
"Already a key player within the Royal Family, the duchess will become even more high profile when in due course she becomes Princess of Wales and later Queen Consort. By then, there will be less working members of the family than we have now."
Junor said Kate will probably take her cues from the way Prince Philip did his royal work alongside the Queen when she is Queen Consort alongside her husband.
She said: "I imagine she will be very reminiscent of Prince Philip.
"Someone who is quietly there doing her own thing, supporting William, but not in a competitive way because that was the problem with Charles and Diana. Diana stole the limelight."
Watch: How Kate Middleton Played Peacemaker for Prince William and Prince Harry at Prince Philip's Funeral
Kate may need to be a particular support for William while he finds himself at odds with his younger brother Harry.
It's been reported she might be playing a peacemaker role, a vital middle-person between them, as someone who is obviously close to William but once shared a great friendship with Harry too.
Murphy said: "I think Kate would of course want the brothers to get along and for any difficulties to be resolved. She is certainly very calm and rational and has the ability to compartmentalise.
"So I think she will be good at getting on with the job, whatever is going on behind the scenes."