Kate Middleton still finds meeting world leaders ‘challenging’, source claims

Kate Middleton "still finds it challenging" to mix with big world leaders and other figures because "she's a natural introvert," according to a source.

Speaking ahead of the Duchess of Cambridge's 40th birthday this week, royal insiders and people close to her opened up to Hello! about the personality of Prince William's wife.

Although there were suggestions that Kate "wasn't born to be a public figure," she has taken her decade in the spotlight in her stride, but another source suggests she still gets a bit uncomfortable entertaining world leaders at Buckingham Palace or mixing with well-known figures.

The source said: "Hers is an understated presence. But she's quietly growing in confidence. She still finds it quite challenging to mix with those sorts of players, because she's a natural introvert. But she's really growing into the role."

The source adds, however, that Kate is very involved in projects and brings plenty to the table.

"It's not what you expect from a future Queen," they said.

"She's very focused – she always arrives with loads of notes and ideas and articles that she's seen, but she's very self-deprecating and funny too. She's had a bit more time in the last couple of years with the kids getting a bit older. She gets a lot out of it."

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are proud parents to three children; Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, who is three-years-old.

The Duchess will celebrate her 40th birthday on Sunday along with her family, but back on the same day in 2009, things were a lot different.

William had made the shock announcement that he would be leaving to join the RAF in September 2008, a decision that left his then-girlfriend stunned and upset.

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After having recently finished with the Household Cavalry, he was faced with the decision of whether to return the post, change directions in his military career, or quit the forces and begin royal duties full-time.

Rumours had been circulating for months beforehand that the Prince would be proposing to Kate soon, but she instead found out that she would be spending long months without her sweetheart.

According to The Mirror, it is thought he chose the RAF as it would give him extra time and freedom before starting royal life.

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