Why Kate Middleton Is Starting to 'Share a Bit More' About Her Family — and Doing It 'Carefully'

Royal biographer Sarah Gristwood shares how Kate Middleton "did need to raise the bar, and she has," amid recent royal family scandals

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits the Copenhagen Infant Mental Health Project
Kate Middleton. Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage

The royal spotlight is on Kate Middleton more than ever before — and she is stepping up to her role as future Queen.

With Queen Elizabeth's recent health setbacks as well as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle no longer serving as senior working royals, Kate has devoted herself even more to royal duties.

"The events of the last year have meant that Kate did need to raise the bar, and she has," royal biographer Sarah Gristwood tells PEOPLE in this week's issue.

While Kate, 40, emulates the stoic Queen in many ways, she also has modernized her royal role by connecting with people — especially when it comes to being a mother and raising a family, coinciding with Kate's work in early childhood development.

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"The changing times have required Kate to start to share a bit more," says Gristwood. "She's done it carefully enough to be relatable — nothing that would cause controversy and nothing that could be considered oversharing."

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton. IDA MARIE ODGAARD/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

From taking a ride down a slide at the LEGO Foundation Playlab during her overseas visit to Denmark last week to sharing that 8-year-old son Prince George has practiced his rugby tackling on her, Kate engages with the places she visits and the people she meets.

Kate — who is mom to Prince George, Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3 — even confessed that she feels "broody" while meeting with parents and their babies during a visit to the University of Copenhagen.

"William always worries about me meeting under one-year-olds," she candidly admitted. "I come home saying, 'Let's have another one.' "

Peter Fonagy, CEO of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families — of which Kate is a patron — adds that Kate "has really used her own experience [as a parent] as she talks to people, and that gets her a lot of credibility."

Kate Middleton, Prince William, family
Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

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Last week, it was announced that Kate and Prince William will head to the Caribbean next month for an official tour on behalf of the Queen on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee. Kate and Prince William will visit three countries where the monarch serves as head of state — Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas — starting on March 19.

A royal insider says that Kate "comes across exactly as she is: a grounded, smart human being. Watch her in action. She is damn good at it."

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