22 of Kate Middleton's First Royal Milestones

The last five years of her life must at times seem like a surreal whirl for the Duchess of Cambridge. She has become a wife, a mother twice over, a member of the royal family, and one of the most famous women in the world. There have been so many different aspects of her life to get used to — not least all the royal firsts that she has clocked up so far. Here we take a look at some of the most significant and gear up for plenty more to come.

01
First Garter Day
Getty | Pool/Tim Graham Royal Photos

First Garter Day

In a sure sign that the couple had a future together, Kate attended William's first Garter ceremony back in 2008.

02
First Interview
Getty | Chris Jackson

First Interview

Talk about jumping in at the deep end! Kate's first duty as a newly minted royal-in-waiting in 2010 was to give an interview on TV.

03
First Photo Portrait
Getty | Handout

First Photo Portrait

This one was a little bit easier — Kate and William posed for official engagement pictures by Mario Testino in December 2010.

04
First Official Engagement
Getty | Mark Cuthbert

First Official Engagement

Kate attended her first engagement when she accompanied William to a Christmas event for the Teenage Cancer Trust in 2010.

05
First Borrowed Diamonds
Getty | Dan Kitwood

First Borrowed Diamonds

Kate's first borrowed diamonds from the royal vaults were courtesy of the Cartier Halo tiara for her wedding day.

06
First Trooping the Colour
Getty | Mark Cuthbert

First Trooping the Colour

Unlike Garter Day, Trooping the Colour is a classic case of "no ring, no bring," so no girlfriends or boyfriends are allowed on the balcony — only husbands or wives. Kate made her debut two months after her wedding day in 2011 and jetted off to a friend's wedding straight after in the same outfit.

07
First Royal Tour
Getty | Samir Hussein

First Royal Tour

No sooner than the ink was dry on their wedding certificate, Kate and William were off on their first royal tour together — covering 11 days in Canada and LA during July 2011.

08
First Tree-Planting
Getty | Samir Hussein

First Tree-Planting

On the same tour of Canada, Kate performed what is one of the constants of royal life — a tree-planting. In this case it was an eastern hemlock, situated next to the pin oak that William's parents, Charles and Diana, had planted nearly 30 years earlier.

09
First Solo Engagement
Getty | Handout

First Solo Engagement

In October 2011, after six months of royal life, Kate performed her first solo engagement — standing in for Prince Charles at an In Kind Direct charity event.

10
First Remembrance Sunday
Getty | Chris Jackson

First Remembrance Sunday

A staple of the royal calendar is the service on Remembrance Sunday, and Kate's first went off without a hitch in November 2011.

11
First Christmas at Sandringham
Getty | Chris Jackson

First Christmas at Sandringham

It was clear that Kate was slotting right into the family when they appeared for their usual walk to church on Christmas Day 2011.

12
First Charity Patronage
Getty | Jorge Herrera

First Charity Patronage

After months of research and advisory meetings, Kate's first charity patronages were announced in January 2012. Of the five, the first that she backed up with an engagement was on Feb. 10, attending a Lucian Freud exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

13
First Engagement With the Queen
Getty | LEON NEAL

First Engagement With the Queen

While William was away for military training in the Falklands, Kate performed a clutch of solo engagements, but the queen also invited both Kate and Camilla along for a Diamond Jubilee tour of Fortnum and Mason in March 2012.

14
First Engagement With Prince Charles
Getty | WPA Pool

First Engagement With Prince Charles

Also while William was away in 2012, Kate accompanied her father-in-law, Prince Charles, to Dulwich Picture Gallery, where they got stuck into some arts and crafts.

15
First Speech
Getty | WPA Pool

First Speech

Kate's first speech was also given while William was away and rounded off her inaugural set of engagements linked to her new patronages. On March 18, she appeared at The Treehouse — part of East Anglia Children's Hospices.

16
First Buckingham Palace Garden Party
Getty | WPA Pool

First Buckingham Palace Garden Party

Rather than overload the new royal's calendar in the first year of marriage, it was over 12 months after their wedding before Kate made her first appearance at one of the queen's annual tea parties alongside Charles and Camilla in May 2012.

17
First Painted Portrait
Getty | AFP

First Painted Portrait

Kate's first official portrait was painted by Paul Emsley in 2013 and received mixed reactions, but Kate deemed it "amazing."

18
First Ship Launch
Getty | Chris Jackson

First Ship Launch

Another staple of the royal repertoire! While heavily pregnant with Prince George, Kate launched a cruise ship called The Royal Princess in June 2013.

19
First Photo With the Next Heir to the Throne
Getty | John Phillips

First Photo With the Next Heir to the Throne

Just over a month later, the duchess marked a more significant milestone when she posed outside the doors of St. Mary's Hospital with William and their hours-old baby boy, Prince George.

20
First Royal Film Performance
Getty | Max Mumby/Indigo

First Royal Film Performance

One film is picked for a Royal Film Performance every year, and in 2014 it was the biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. William and Kate were chosen as the royal attendees, and the evening was made all the more poignant when it was announced to the audience that news had just come through of Mandela's passing.

21
First State Banquet at Buckingham Palace
Getty | WPA Pool

First State Banquet at Buckingham Palace

Although Kate has participated in many state events during her royal life so far, it wasn't until October 2015 that she attended her first state banquet at Buckingham Palace. It was held for the Chinese president, Xi Jinping.

22

First Magazine Cover

Following in the footsteps of the rest of the family — including just this year alone the queen for Vanity Fair and William for Attitude — Kate has now posed for her first official magazine cover. She was chosen for the centenary edition of Vogue, which hit the shelves in June 2016.