Kate Middleton’s ascension from nouveau-riche commoner to almost-princess may seem like a Cinderella story, but Prince William’s girlfriend has been in control of the situation every step of the way. With a royal wedding looking likely, Vanity Fair’s Vicky Ward examines the poise and powerful personality of the woman who would be queen.
Middleton piqued William’s interest when they were friends in college, and as their relationship went from top-secret to tabloid fodder, Kate stayed cool. And she played her cards right to ensure their 2007 breakup was temporary. “She knew that by giving him time and space she could probably get him back, and she did so by being very clever, stepping out at his favorite clubs, looking glamorous and fabulous,” a gossip columnist says.