‘Very competitive’ Kate had to surpass major hurdle to become Royal Family ‘all-rounder’

Kate Middleton plays piano at Christmas carol concert

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The Duchess, now a prominent feature of the royal households for over a decade, has come into her own in recent months, establishing herself as a Queen-in-waiting. She has completed solo visits across the country and hosted the festive carol service at Westminster Abbey in December.

She took to the stage, even treating the audience to a piano performance in a showcase of her musical talent.

But this emergence was not without difficulty – Kate had to “overcome her shyness” and replace the urge to sidestep the spotlight with “confidence and poise”, said royal expert Ingrid Seward.

The Duchess, who turns 40 on Sunday, is now settled into the life of being in the limelight, said Ms Seward.

She told The Mirror it was the counsel of the Prince of Wales that had likely steered Kate in the right direction.

The Duchess has worked to balance adjusting to the life of the Royal Family, and the attention that brings, with what she wants to achieve in her position, Ms Seward said.

She continued: “On the advice of Prince Charles, you don’t have to rush into taking on hundreds of charities, you can take your time and enjoy your family, and I believe having her family has helped her gain confidence.”

Ms Seward detailed that, even from childhood, Kate was adept and intelligent in approaching new or different situations.

“But while it is not in Kate’s nature to push herself forward, she has always been very competitive, since her school days when she played in the netball and lacrosse teams.”

She added: “From a young age Kate was an all-rounder.”

Part of Kate’s royal demeanour is down to how her ability to try her hand at anything and everything was cultivated in her childhood, said Ms Seward.

She said: “Kate is a product of her mother, she was brought up to do everything to perfection.

“She learnt to sail as a young girl and rock climb and ski.

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“She loved cooking, dressing up and making clothes.

“She learnt the piano, her father taught her to play tennis to a high standard.

“All these skills came because her ambitious mother encouraged her to learn them.

“There’s nothing she can’t turn her hand to.”

Even more than the purely practical, Ms Seward relayed how she believed the same attitude was applied to the Duchess’s people skills and personality.

She said: “She is patient, and has the ability to listen.

“And she has discovered she has this ability with people, she is very good with the very young and the very old.

“That is like Diana was.”

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