Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, marked her 40th birthday in style over the weekend with three new official portraits taken by Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi. Over her four decades, she's gone from a commoner to a member of the royal family — a massive change that we've decided to look back on in honor of her birthday.
Catherine "Kate" Middleton was born on Jan. 9, 1982, to Carole Middleton, an airline steward, and Michael Middleton, a flight dispatcher. She met her future husband, Prince William, in 2001, when they both began their studies at St. Andrew's University in Scotland. The two became friends, and in their second year, Kate, William, and two other friends moved into an off-campus apartment together. They started dating in 2003 — reportedly after William was entranced by Kate modeling a revealing dress in a charity fashion show. Although they broke up in 2007, the two were soon back together and William proposed marriage in 2010. Their royal wedding on April 29, 2011, was watched by tens of millions of people around the world. William and Kate are now the parents of three children and preparing for their roles as the future Prince and Princess of Wales — and, eventually, king and queen consort. Here's a look back at Kate's journey to royal life.