When it came to finding a royal wife and getting down on one knee, Prince William was determined not to make the same mistakes as his parents.
He ignored pressure from his family and the public, and waited until he knew he was definitely ready – and that Kate was fully aware of what she was letting herself in for.
But this resulted in his future wife getting the unflattering nickname ‘Waity Katy’, with many assuming she put her whole life on hold waiting for Wills to pop the question.
However, she did go out and get herself a number of good jobs before she became a working princess.
Author Robert Lacey claims Kate had her eye on that sapphire engagement ring the entire time, saying her plan was to “lead William in handcuffs to the altar” – but says she also had a back up plan.
He also claims that there was an ulterior motive to her “camouflage” career path.
Writing in his new biography Battle of Brothers, he says: “While Kate’s medium-to-long-term objective was quite simple – to lead William in handcuffs to the altar – for the time being, she had to devise her own independent career path as camouflage.
“This was a matter of both personal and public tactics.
“In neither respect would it help Ms Middleton to appear the slightest bit needy – and of course there was the ultimate unthinkable possibility that she might end up getting dumped!”
Other experts also claim that Kate started preparing for her royal life before she officially becoming royal, including changing her clothes.
Speaking on Channel 5’s documentary William & Kate: Too Good To Be True, royal author Tom Quinn explains that Kate started to change her wardrobe.
He said: “Her clothing almost began to reflect what people saw in her character, a kind of restraint, kind of modesty almost.
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“I think that did come about because William and Kate were coming towards the point where they would announce their engagement.
“It was Kate starting to behave in ways which would be seen more appropriate for a future Queen.”
She’s also said to have emailed her friends in 2008 asking them to stop calling her Kate, and to instead refer to her as Catherine – which is what William calls her now.
Writing for the Sunday Express at the time, columnist Adam Helliker said: “With Prince William’s engagement now a surefire certainty (even Ladbrokes has stopped taking bets on whether it will happen after a flurry of well-placed wagers) there are intriguing signs that Kate Middleton is preparing for her future role.
“It looks like she’s taking it very seriously indeed too.
“I hear that in the past few weeks the former accessories buyer has quietly informed friends that she would like to drop the informal ‘Kate’ and in future wishes to be known by her full name: ‘Catherine’.”
The request reportedly came by email, and royal expert Daniela Elser says Kate’s friends were “a little taken aback”, reports the Express.
She claimed the duchess was “gentle” and “very jokey” despite the awkward nature of it.
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One of the pals told Mr Helliker: “Everyone knows it’s about to happen with Kate and William, but we were a little surprised about the request to call her Catherine.
“There is a distinct feeling she has started to become very aware of her position.”
However Prince Charles’ press secretary Paddy Harverson denied the reports at the time.
It is believed William would have called her Kate when they met at the University of St Andrews, but that her full name is more ‘royal’.
Kate uses her full name in all her official royal correspondence, and signs off her emails with ‘C’.