In his wedding speech Prince Charles described the Duchess of Cambridge as "the daughter I never had".And it's clear that Camilla is taking on something of a mother role to Catherine as she adjusts to her new royal role.
Watching the two interact this week at the Garter Day celebrations – their wide smiles and their easy manner with each other – it's obvious how close they've become.In the run up to the royal wedding, the Duchess of Corwall was spotted giving Kate pointers over lunch.And now she is at Kate's side as the new royal gets used to public events, guiding her every step of the way.The two ladies looked faultlessly elegant as they watched the Garter Knights parade at St George's chapel, Windsor.Showing off her third hat in as many days, Kate picked another Philip Treacy creation, pairing it with a matching grey coat.There's been much made of the fact the willowy brunette has become a 'royal recycler', re-using outfits seen before.But she's obviously been shown the way by the other Windsor ladies. A case in point was Sophie, Countess of Wessex – who was wearing the same hat that she chose for the 2009 Garter ceremony.One thing that was definitely slightly different, however, was Sophie's figure. The 46-year-old is looking trim after hiring a personal trainer and working out daily so she can look good at public events.
The royal ladies were watching their other halves – and the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne take part in the procession to the chapel from Windsor Castle.Barring the Queen - who is sovereign of the order - all are Knights of the Garter. They were decked out in the traditional blue velvet cape and a black ostrich plume-adorned hat.RecipIents of the honour - the most senior British order of chivalry - are generally chosen by the Queen because they have held public office, have contributed to national life or who have served the monarch personally.There are a maximum of 24 companion knights at any one time and their number is usually made up of senior politicians, members of the royal family and eminent public figures.New knights are invested in Windsor Castle's Garter Throne Room then 'installed' during a service in St George's Chapel.Prince William became the 1,000th knight in 2008, and Kate was there proudly watching.This year there were two new members invested into the order - Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the president of the Supreme Court, and Admiral Lord Boyce, a former leader of the UK's Armed Forces.