Her images of Prince George and Princess Charlotte caused a sensation around the world, and now the Duchess of Cambridge has received the ultimate accolade for her photography skills, with an honorary membership to the Royal Photographic Society.
Commending Kate for her "long-standing interest in photography and its history", RPS Chief Executive Dr Michael Pritchard FRPS said the Society was "pleased to recognise her talents and enthusiasm through honorary membership", adding: "We look forward to a continuing relationship with her."
Kate's first photos of Princess Charlotte were shared all over the world
The Duchess has been a keen photographer for many years, and in 2015 captivated the public with the first official pictures of her newborn daughter Princess Charlotte. The proud mother bucked tradition by choosing to author the images herself – an unprecedented move in the history of royal portraiture. Captured at the family home, Anmer Hall in Norfolk, the pictures of Charlotte being cradled by big brother Prince George were shared all around the world, and demonstrated Kate's confidence and skill behind the lens.
The 34-year-old – a history of art graduate - began publishing her photographs in 2008 while working for her parents Michael and Carole Middleton's Party Pieces website, and in 2012 released a series of photos from the royal tour of South East Asia and the South Pacific. They included a striking image of a misty Mount Kinabalu – the highest point in Borneo – and a black and white picture of an orangutan.
The Duchess also captured son Prince George on his first day at nursery
She has also released pictures to celebrate milestones in her children's lives, including Prince George's first day at nursery, and Princess Charlotte's first birthday.
Kate accepted the honour last month, and joins distinguished names including David Bailey, Sir Don McCullin and Annie Leibovitz, who has twice photographed the Queen. She is now entitled to submit her work to a panel of experts for consideration for a distinction. If accepted, she would become a licentiate of the society, entitling her to use the letters LRPS after her name.
Kate continues a long-standing royal tradition of amateur photography. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert became the Royal Photographic Society's first patrons months after its formation in 1853, and commissioned its head to teach the royal children photography. The Queen is the current patron, granting the Society a royal charter in 2004.