Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, has blossomed on the public stage throughout the pandemic and has become a reassuring face to an increasingly concerned population. However, almost a decade on from her wedding — which marked the start of her career as a working royal — reports show that this has not always been the case. Kate had a reputation for being much more timid when she was younger, and it was her sister Pippa who was said to be the more outgoing, ambitious sibling.
Journalist Kathryn Knight described Kate’s sister as “a young woman who is rapidly establishing a reputation as one of London’s most ambitious young socialites”, back when she was just 26.
She claimed Pippa assisted her sister, as her “closest confidante” and that together they made a “formidable double act”.
Some even dubbed them “wisteria sisters”, which Ms Knight explains means “highly decorative, terribly fragrant and with a ferocious ability to climb”.
However, Pippa appeared to be at risk of dominating the spotlight over her sister at one stage.
She was voted Tatler’s most eligible bachelorette in 2008 — years before Kate looked set to walk down the aisle with Prince William.
Ms Knight explained: “Those who know the Middleton sisters are not surprised.
“Kate may have bagged Prince Charming, but it is Pippa, they say, who has always been the most ambitious of the two.”
A family friend told the MailOnline: “Kate was jealous of Pippa — in fact, I think Kate feared being eclipsed by her a bit.
“The two sisters are close, but there was always a sense of rivalry between them.
“Probably still is.”
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Pippa is allegedly now pregnant with her second child by her husband James Matthews, a former professional origin driver, a hedge fund manager and the heir to the Scottish title of Laird of Glen Affric.
His current title is James Matthews of Glen Affric the younger.
Mr Matthews’ brother, Spencer, is also a reality TV star who married Irish model Vogue Williams, and both share an element of their family life with the public.
Interestingly, Pippa showcased her first child Arthur in 2018 on the steps of the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital — the same place Kate gave birth to her children, following a tradition set by Princess Diana.
Pippa has developed her own celebrity status, and even writes magazine columns for Waitrose, and has written a book called, ‘Celebrate: A Year of British Festivities for Families and Friends’.
Another insider told The Scotsman in 2008 that Pippa has “more natural effervescence” than Kate, and is “socially much more at ease and was always popular with everyone”, particularly their brother James’ friends.
However, there are alternative reports which show how tight-knit the Middleton family is, as they have even become a form of “salve” from the spotlight for William.