You've come a long way, Katie!
The new Us Weekly (out now) reveals how Prince William's bride-to-be Kate Middleton is ready for her royal closeup. Since she began dating the future King eight years ago, Middleton has transformed from "a university student into a woman," Simone Simmons, a close pal of the late Princess Diana, tells Us. "I call it that she lost her puppy fat!"
While in London, Middleton works out regularly at the Clarence House gym -- and gets beautified at Richard Ward Hair and Metrospa in the British city's Sloane Square.
"Kate is always perfectly manicured, and she will have blow-dries before she goes out," says Katie Nicholl, royal watcher and author of William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls. She adds that Middleton and William, also 28, likely got their teeth whitened in advance of their engagement announcement.
The ultimate testament to Middleton's grown-up glamour? She recently sat for a top-secret photo session with Mario Testino -- the same acclaimed star photographer who took iconic pictures of Princess Diana shortly before her death. (A St. James spokesperson confirmed that the photoshoot took place "privately with Prince William.")
Still, commoner Middleton sometimes finds herself overwhelmed by all the fuss. "Now, she has a full entourage in tow," Nicholl tells Us. "The enormity of what she's in is finally sinking in."
For much more on the royal engagement -- potential party venues, how Prince William is "determined" not to isolate his bride, Queen Elizabeth's tutelage, and more -- pick up the latest Us Weekly, on stands today!