Every little girl in the world dreams, at some time or the other, of a fairy tale wedding... a Prince Charming on a white steed... a bouquet of red roses and an imposing castle in the background. Unfortunately, not every little girl is a Kate Middleton.

Just about a year ago - on 29 April, to be precise - Kate lived that fairy tale - she married Prince William and became Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. It is true time flies... for we are now on the brink of celebrating the first anniversary of one of the most popular royal couples in the world.

It took William eight years to propose... and he wed his princess with the same engagement ring his late mother, Princess Diana, married his father... and the event changed both William's and Kate's worlds.

Over the years Kate has evolved from an easy-going young college girl, not so very different from the tens of thousands of such young women across the world... one who excelled at sports, participated in dramatics and took delight in music... to an elegant and ever so charming lady and uncovered an innate talent, given to few of us, of looking impeccably stylish and gorgeous in everything she wears.

The Duchess has impressed the world with her unique style, sporting a wardrobe of colourful dresses, basic pumps, simple jewellery and the occasional skinny jeans.

Catherine has charmed the world with a perfect royal look for every ocassion.

We do sometimes forget the rapidity with which she found herself elevated to celebrity status... it cannot have been easy for the young graduate... but she has handled herself with poise and dignity.

In a recently released poll, conducted by People magazine, Kate was voted the tenth Most Beautiful Woman of 2012 and was also voted as the Hat Person of the Year by the Headwear Association.

The queen of pop, Madonna, once revealed she too was a fan of Kate's fashion sense.

"She is a lovely girl with a great sense of style," Madonna was quoted as saying in People Online, "Her wedding dress by Alexander McQueen was very beautiful... I like her choices. She's elegant and still knows how to have some fun. I'm a fan of her style."

Incidentally, did you know the demand for the Reiss dress she wore when on a state visit to the US was so high it caused the designer's Web site to crash?

"Middleton mania has influenced every designer, most notably through lace sleeves from the famous Alexander McQueen gown of Royal Wedding day," Jessica Vince wrote in the Daily Mail.

Take a glimpse of the transformation of Kate Middleton to the Duchess of Cambridge...

A rare photograph of Kate as a little girl, scrambling up and down grassy slopes... without a care in the world.The Middleton Family
Another rare photograph of the Middleton family, on vacation.The Middleton Family
Kate through the years... the young Middleton already displaying the poise and grace the world lauds her for today.The Middleton Family
Catherine Middleton at college... with classes and examinations and, no doubt, strict and demanding schedules. Not so very unlike the pressures of being married into the Royal Family, one would imagine.The Middleton Family
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walk after their wedding ceremony in Westminster AbbeyReuters
Prince William and his new wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, are seen on their way to Buckingham palace after they got married in Westminster Abbey in London April 29, 2011. Prince William married his fiancee, Kate Middleton, in Westminster Abbey on Friday.Reuters
Britain's Prince William and his bride Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, pose for an official photograph, with their bridesmaids and pageboys, on the day of their wedding, in the throne room at Buckingham Palace, in central London April 29, 2011.Reuters