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.
First Garter Day
In a sure sign that the couple had a future together, Kate attended William's first Garter ceremony back in 2008.
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.
First Photo Portrait
This one was a little bit easier — Kate and William posed for official engagement pictures by Mario Testino in December 2010.
First Official Engagement
Kate attended her first engagement when she accompanied William to a Christmas event for the Teenage Cancer Trust in 2010.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
First Painted Portrait
Kate's first official portrait was painted by Paul Emsley in 2013 and received mixed reactions, but Kate deemed it "amazing."
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.
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.
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.
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.