A version of this story appeared in the April 30 edition of CNN’s Royal News, a weekly dispatch bringing you the inside track on the royal family, what they are up to in public and what’s happening behind palace walls. Sign up here.

London (CNN) – It was an image that got lost on the day of Prince Philip’s funeral but was powerful enough to go viral in the days that followed – the Duchess of Cambridge captured by a photographer peering through a black veil in the back of a limousine on the way to the service. It is as regal as it is human and speaks to the royal she has become.

It’s a very different image compared to those from more than a decade earlier. The then Kate Middleton was hounded by paparazzi everywhere she went when her relationship with William was first revealed in 2004. Royal sources say it got so bad she was forced to leave London for a while.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge during the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle on April 17.

The newspapers were obsessed with what they saw as a story of social ascent – the middle-class girl who landed her prince while at university on the rugged east coast of Scotland. She was reportedly ridiculed by William’s friends, who were said to whisper “doors to manual” behind her back – a reference to her mother’s former job as a flight attendant. It was also a jibe that glossed over Carole Middleton’s journey as an entrepreneur, someone who established a very successful business and put all her children through one of the country’s top private (and most expensive) schools. Meanwhile in the tabloid media, Catherine faced numerous cruel monikers such as “Waity Katie” due to the length of their courtship.

The coverage became less sniffy after she walked down the aisle at that blockbuster wedding 10 years ago this week.

In the years since, we’ve seen first-hand how she has adapted to performing on the global stage, most recently when she undertook a royal tour of Pakistan with William in 2019. The duchess spoke with us while visiting a home for orphaned children in Lahore. It was during that conversation, with her husband by her side, where we saw a glimpse of the confidence Kate has developed. It was her first news interview, and while she appeared nervous to begin with, she found her stride and has done several others since. She further demonstrated her poise later in the trip, checking in on some nervous members of the traveling press pool with her husband following a particularly turbulent flight.