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William and Kate toast two colourful years of marriage

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It is exactly two years since Prince William wed Kate Middleton and converted her at a stroke into Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Since they married, the royal couple have had to navigate some difficult times, notably long-range shots of topless Kate taken during a holiday in France and other intrusive pictures of the couple in Mustique, not to mention author Hilary Mantel's assessment of Kate as a "plastic princess".

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Despite these challenges, William and Kate have taken on the world together and the public have warmed to a couple who seem anchored in shared love and mutual companionship. Nowhere is this more evident than in their joint engagements. On a recent trip to Scotland, Kate, who is expecting her first child in July, seemed oblivious to gathered photographers as she gazed lovingly at her husband.

"Be yourself," William advised his wife at the start of her royal journey, and since their wedding at Westminster Abbey, these words have been the Duchess's mantra, and the future Queen has shown a natural elegance and warmth that has charmed the nation.

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On the actual day of her second anniversary, Kate will be at work, visiting terminally ill children and volunteers at the Naomi House hospice in Hampshire as part of Children's Hospice Week. Afterwards, she and the Prince will doubtless take some time to celebrate their loving and mutually supportive relationship.  

Report: Judy Wade/Thomas Whitaker Images selected by Andrew Morton

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