Kate Middleton reportedly had to overcome a major hurdle in her life so that she could become of the royal family’s strongest allies.

According to royal commentator Ingrid Seward, Middleton used to be very shy and timid. But when she joined the royal family, she learned how important it is to be confident and have poise.

Throughout the years, the Duchess of Cambridge also worked to adjust to her new life as a royal. So, during one of her conversations with Prince Charles, Middleton listened intently when her father-in-law advised her not to take on too many charities.

The future king also told Middleton that having and enjoying her time with her family is the key to becoming a successful and influential member of the royal family.

Growing up, Prince William’s wife also had a unique way of handling things. She was intelligent and always wanted to push herself forward. She’s also very competitive to the point that she always joined sports tournaments and other activities.

Since Middleton’s mom, Carole Middleton raised her to be an all-rounder, the Duchess of Cambridge brought this trait along with her when she joined the royal family.

Growing up, the mom of three played the piano, loved to cook, learned to ski and make clothes, and more.

“All these skills came because her ambitious mother encouraged her to learn them. There’s nothing she can’t turn her hand to,” Seward said via Express.

Meanwhile, Middleton has also been making headlines because of her upcoming 40th birthday. There are predictions that the Duchess of Cambridge’s 40th birthday would be huge but not because of the party that she might have.

Instead, royal commentator Katie Nicholl told Closer UK that Middleton’s 40th birthday will mark a transition in the future queen consort’s life.

Not only will Middleton focus more on her future role as queen consort, Queen Elizabeth and the other members of the royal family will rely on her more.

“I think this year she’ll come into her own even more, especially as it’ll be a tough year for the royals. Harry and Meghan’s interviews this year have caused chaos for the royals and Harry’s new memoir will likely reveal even more intimate details about the royal family and cause further issues,” Nicholl said.

Middleton will turn 40 on Jan. 9.