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Princess-in-waiting has lot to learn fast

Kate Middleton's forthcoming marriage to Prince William will bring about huge changes to her world.

The 28-year-old is preparing to leave her old life behind and make the transition to becoming a member of the Royal Family.

For a number of years she has been working in a project managing role in her parents' mail order company, which sells paraphernalia for parties and celebrations.

Miss Middleton is now handing over any remaining work to colleagues.

It is expected she will soon begin "learning the ropes" of being a royal from her fiance William. She will join him at events and on engagements so she can follow his lead.

The time spent publicly with William will also allow her to build up her confidence before she goes solo.

She will have to master the art of small talk to deal with the endless "grip and grin" line-ups of dignitaries and members of the public, while the smell of fresh paint will waft from the spruced-up buildings she tours on official visits.

The university graduate from a middle-class background will also be expected to take on royal patronages and develop associations with some of the charities who will be clamouring for her support.

Later will come official overseas tours and as an HRH (Her Royal Highness), she will travel the globe first class, be required to keep up appearances at all times and will have to take on her fair share of official engagements.

Royal fans will treat her adoringly, while the newspapers will watch her every move.

Her speeches, her slip-ups and her wardrobe will all be reported in minute detail.

As a royal, she will also enjoy the high level security provided for William and his family and be assigned her own personal protection officer, paid for by taxpayers.

The couple will be hoping this will bring an end to the harassment they say Miss Middleton has faced from the paparazzi.