Kate Middleton faces her most significant test yet as she completes her first decade as a working royal, a royal expert has claimed.
The eyes of the world will be upon her as she attends the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh with her husband Prince William, says royal expert Laura Elston.
She says the Royal Family is "not known for its open displays of emotion while on a public stage," and the duchess has yet to experience the challenge of grieving for a family member with the world watching.
The tension between Prince William and his brother Prince Harry will only make the day more of a challenge for Kate, says Ms Elston.
"Being so close to her own siblings, Pippa and James, and having witnessed first-hand the special bond between William and Harry, she has found the whole situation difficult and upsetting", a source told the Daily Telegraph.
They added: "She is certainly someone who shies away from conflict, and will be hoping to soothe the tensions."
Ms Elston, the Press Association's official Court Reporter, says William's former university flatmate, turned future Queen, "adapted to her royal role with ease after her wedding, and has attended many solemn memorials and commemorations, including Remembrance Sunday events and a service to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan".
Prince Harry and William have 'no time to build bridges' and 'won't meet before funeral'
The Duchess, 39, will be able to sit with William to support him, in keeping with Covid-19 regulations, because they are from the same household.
However, it's not clear whether Wills and Harry will be able to find time to talk and clear the air.
The proceedings will be a royal funeral like no other for all those attending – with Windsors from different households having to sit two metres apart as they socially distance, including the Queen who will sit alone, with all guests wearing face masks and forbidden from singing under coronavirus rules.
Taking part in the procession in the grounds of Windsor Castle is sure to bring back memories of the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales for William. He was just 15 when he walked through central London behind his mother's coffin after her death in a car crash in 1997.
William was also among the mourners walking behind the Queen Mother's cortege in 2002.
He has spoken of the kindness his grandfather Philip showed to Kate.
"I will always be grateful that my wife had so many years to get to know my grandfather and for the kindness he showed her," he said in tribute.
The Cambridges have had a difficult past year, dealing with the fallout from Megxit and the Sussexes' subsequent Oprah interview.
William has had an ongoing rift with Harry, and Meghan said Kate made her cry in the run-up to her wedding in a disagreement over flower girl dresses, and that the palace failed to correct reports it was the other way round.
Kate and William's young children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will not be at the funeral, with guests limited to just 30 because of the pandemic.
A number of royal newcomers will be present. Jack Brooksbank, Princess Eugenie's husband, officially joined the family in 2018, while Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Beatrice's husband, wed the princess last summer.
Both Eugenie and her cousin Zara Tindall have only recently given birth and will be dealing with the challenges having a new baby brings.
Eugenie's son August is only nine weeks old and Zara's third child Lucas was born just three-and-a-half weeks ago.
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