The single best part of every traditional fairy tale is the happy ending. When we were little, we read countless tales of common girls being rescued by dashing princes, who swept them off their feet, onto their trusty steads and off to live happily ever after. In the case of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, and loving and devoted wife to Britain’s future King, Prince William, our fairy tale contains a special twist. Calling Middleton a commoner is using the term quite liberally. Just the same, this anything but common young woman was the one to sweep the Prince off his feet and provide him with a happily ever after, rather than vice versa. The heartbreak of seeing young Princes William and Harry at the funeral of their mother, the late Princess Diana, inspired a global collection of tears, along with the hopes that those poor boys would one day go on to find joy and happiness in their lives. Those hopes were answered ten-fold on William’s wedding day to Middleton. She looked absolutely resplendent in a lace Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen dress, with Diana’s sapphire engagement sparkling on her finger. The ring seemed to signify that Middleton would help to carry Diana’s memory on into a future that all mothers wish for their sons, one filled with joy, love and laughter. From the moment she wed William, Middleton has been praised in the UK for never setting a wrong foot forward when it comes to her fashion choices Her keen ability to mix high end labels with more affordable brands has set Middleton’s style apart from other royals. This blending of high and low fashion pieces keeps her looking appropriately stylish and trendy, while at the same time making her seem accessible and down-to-earth. When it comes to designers, not surprisingly 34-year-old Middleton favors British talents including Alice Temperley, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and Jenny Packham. Middleton’s “high street” purchases immediately fly off the shelves minutes after she's first photographed wearing them. UK’s mainstream brands such as Reiss, Zara and Whistles have all reported record sales since being championed by the Duchess. Another thing that Middleton has received high marks for in the down-to earth department is her willingness to recycle pieces she has worn before without worry about having already been photographed in them. The fashion icon isn't afraid to wear her favorite looks time and time again, for example her J Brand jeans, Stuart Weitzman wedges and navy blazer outfit. Kate has recycled the look over the course of 3 years -- wearing it at the London Olympics in 2012, Sports Aid in 2013 and the Royal New Zealand Air Force base in 2014. Middleton’s recycling isn’t limited to her casual attire either. On too many occasions to count she has worn the same designer evening dresses to multiple events. This refreshing practice of non-pretentiousness even extends to the couple’s children, two-year-old Prince George and one-year-old Princess Charlotte. Middleton’s desire to take official royal photos of the tots herself, as opposed to commissioning a royal photographer has resulted in delightfully sweet and natural looking shots. Middleton may be an amateur photographer, but her work has received kudos from the Queen’s photographer, Hugo Rittson Thomas. 'I thought they were wonderful pictures, beautifully shot,' he has said. ‘She captured the joy, happiness and youth of her children which is a wonderful thing and sometimes hard to do as a parent.'

Hillary Shawaf

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