Kate proving great ambassador for royals

(CBS News) LONDON -- From the moment she said "I do," Kate Middleton has charmed Britain and the world.

And the monarchy now seems more popular.

Kate - now formally known as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, married Prince William a year ago Sunday.

And a new survey shows they -- and she in particular -- make the whole royal family more likeable.

Newspapers in England seem to mention William almost in passing when writing about their anniversary. But the obsession is all about Kate.

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge: A fashionable royal year
Pictures: Kate's royal looks
Pictures: The Duchess of Cambridge
Pictures: Prince William and Kate

From the day of the royal wedding, everything changed for Kate Middleton.

'Kate the Commoner' has become more like Catherine the Great.

She's been transformed from blushing bride to royal ambassador.

"What they've carefully done with the brand of Kate,' says public relations expert Mark Borkowski, "is they've reinvented ordinary. ... She's a middle-England woman, no fancy designers ... very, very understanding of this country and the pressures it's under."

Complete coverage: The Royal Wedding
Royal wedding photo galleries

When William went away for military service, Kate stepped up her royal duties, joining the queen on her official engagements.

"The Duchess of Cambridge was very much the queen's companion on that trip," points out Sunday Telegraph Royal Correspondent Roya Nikkhah, "and then, of course, you had the 'Ladies' Day Out."'

That was a visit to a London department store with the queen and Prince Charles' wife, Camilla.

Kate's confident -- if a little shaky -- debut as a public speaker came soon after.

About the only slight hiccup to a picture-perfect year came from Kate's little sister, Pippa, whose friend was snapped waving what looked like a gun at paparazzi in Paris.

But there is one royal duty that's still outstanding.

Rumors of a royal baby reached a fever pitch this week when a "broody" Prince William was seen holding the baby of a soldier at a charity event.

One onlooker even had the nerve to ask if they were practicing!

Buckingham Palace won't say how or where William and Kate will be celebrating their anniversary, but we do know it will be in private, probably on the queen's estate of Balmoral, in Scotland.

To see Charlie D'Agata's report, click on the video in the player above.

  • Charlie D'Agata

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.