Kate Middleton headed to princess school

When you're a commoner joining a royal family, there's a lot to learn -- especially when you're in line to become queen some day.

So it's no surprise to hear that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is taking special training classes.

Pictures: William and Kate's gala date night
Pictures: Prince William and Kate Middleton
Pictures: William and Kate at the races

What, exactly, do those classes entail?

CBS News royal contributor Victoria Arbiter said on "The Early Show" that Clarence House, the royal home in London, has confirmed that "Kate will be taking part in a series of lessons and meetings in coming months at St. James Palace with experts in charitable causes, government officials, media training and the arts. And all of this is being done in an effort to  give her a solid foundation. Her role within the royal family is going to stepped up next year, and she has got some important decisions to make."

Arbiter added, "We're seeing such a tight circle around Kate. And it's really quite wonderful to see. We've got to remember that William witnessed firsthand the stress that his mother experienced (with the royal family)."

"Early Show" co-anchor Chris Wragge asked where the duchess needs to improve.

"From what we have seen, she appears to perform beautifully at every stage," Wragge said.

Arbiter said, "You're right, that it's been perfect so far -- and that's been beautifully orchestrated. But you know, Kate hasn't had to publicly speak yet. She hasn't done an engagement on her own. And nor have her patronages for her charities been announced yet. So, she has been taking part in private meetings, and those charities have been told to keep mum until any official announcements are made. But she'll get to choose what she wants to be involved in."

Arbiter added, "There will definitely be guidelines in what would be appropriate, but she gets final say. There's no point of being a patron of the ballet company if you hate going to the ballet. She has to be very involved in all of her charities. But based what we saw from the wedding list (of charities) there will be conservation, veterans issues, the arts, children and arts and everything will compliment what William is already supporting."

The couple will make the decision together about what charities to support, Arbiter said.

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