How Kate Middleton “Lost Her Puppy Fat” During Courtship

Kate Middleton

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!"

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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.

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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.")

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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!

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