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Inside Kate Middleton and sister Pippa's special relationship

By Mulenga Hornsby

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The world looked on with fascination in 2011 as a refreshingly down-to-earth girlmarried Britain’s royal heir. And amid all thepomp and ceremony, Kate MIddleton’ssister and maid-of-honor Pippa Middleton alsogenerated admiring comments in her own right,coming dangerously close to upstaging the bride.

MORE: Pippa Middleton's wedding: All the details

Such is their closeness, though, that Kate willhave been amused rather than unsettled by theattention paid to her little sister. Now, as Katehelps Pippa prepare for her own big day, we lookat the special bond of this much talked-about sibling duo.

Kate has always been by her little sister's side and has been a primary support as Pippa prepares to walk down the aisle on May 20

When you are as famous as the Duchessof Cambridge is now, it must be comforting to havesomeone you can rely on 100 per centwithout questioning their motives. And asKate has recently found out following the resignation of her trusted private secretary of many years, while many people come andgo, your sister will always be there for you.

WATCH: Young Kate and Pippa as bridesmaids at their uncle's wedding

On May 20, 2017, in a neat reversal of roles, Kate, two years Pippa's senior, will provide a supporting act when the events plannerand media personality marries herown Prince Charming, hedge fund manager James Matthews. The sisters will have been putting their heads together to plan thesociety wedding of the year ever since Jamesproposed with an exquisite four-carat ring, said tobe worth £200,000 (around $244,000).

The two sisters' relationship close hasn't changed a bit since Kate married into the royal family

MORE: Get to know Kate and Pippa's brother James Middleton

Growing up, the girls were part of a close-knitclan, including little brother James Middleton, born in 1987, who all helped out in the family business andreveled in country walks and cozy Christmascelebrations at which their father Michael wouldamuse them by wearing costumes, one yeareven making an entrance as a sumo wrestler. The girlsattended the boarding school Marlborough Collegetogether, both playing on the hockey team, wherePippa had the added distinction of being captain.

Pippa made headlines as maid-of-honor at Kate's 2011 wedding to Prince William

Their relationship hasn’t changed one bit since Kate married into the House of Windsor,with the Middletons still vacationing together in Mustique and attending society events like Wimbledon, often with Prince William in tow. The Middleton girls’ charm has much to dowith the example of their supremely calm and collected,elegant mother Carole, who never seemsoverawed by her daughter’s royal in-laws.Together she, Kate and Pippa make a formidable trio who stay right up to date on each other’s lives, and love to exchange clothes and make-up tips.

GALLERY: 6 royal sister acts that you need to know

Little sister Pippa made sure to keep the future Duchess busy right after her brief split with Prince William back in 2007 Photo: Getty Images

In an interview on NBC in 2014, Pippa spoke ofher family, saying: “We can be normal with eachother and that’s kept us all affixed to the ground.”Of her bond with Kate, she said: “We have a verynormal sisterly relationship. We’re very close andwe support each other and get each other’sopinions.”

GALLERY: 32 times Pippa Middleton wowed us all

Among the “normal” stuff they’vealways chatted about is their love lives. When Katesplit up with William in 2007 it was to Pippa sheturned, with her sister lifting her mood with funnights out. Thankfully, the separation was brief butit meant that Kate understood when Pippa laterhad romantic disappointments of her own. And now, as the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate is ready again to play a supporting role – this time as her baby sister happily walks down the aisle.

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