One that comes with quite the hefty promotion.
Viewed for years in certain circles as Prince William‘s soft-spoken, mild-mannered college sweetheart who set her sights on the young prince long before they crossed paths in their freshman dorm, she’s long since done away with that tired narrative.
Nearly a decade after officially accepting her post, she’s more than proved her worth as a senior royal, deftly filling the void left by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s swift departure and carving out her space in the areas of early education, child development and mental health awareness, proving she’s ready to embrace the role that awaits.
Describing the duchess, who will quietly mark her 39th birthday Jan. 9, a source told People, “If she needs to step up to the plate, she does it—and she always has.”
If that means juggling an increased workload—responsibilities of representing the royals’ future now largely resting on her slim shoulders—while homeschooling George, 7, and Charlotte, 5, and chasing around after 2-year-old Prince Louis, consider it handled.
“She is an adoring mother, and she is contributing publicly in the way we would want her to,” a royal household source told People. “You see it more and more. The young student has turned into our future Queen.”