Prince William's heart belongs so strongly to Kate Middleton, it's believed that he once gifted her a birthstone-encrusted ring signifying their bond while they were dating.

"This beautiful, delicate ring is understated in style, but the very personal message hidden within it from a future King makes it an enormously romantic royal jewel," jeweller Eddie LeVian told The Express.

This adorable token was presented to Kate, 40, before her 2005 graduation – she left the University of St Andrews with an undergraduate MA in art history – featuring pearls (representing William's birthstone) and garnets (representing Kate's), which are symbolic of love, purity and protection.

Now that's what you call smitten.

In other royal news, expert Katie Nicholl has suggested that Kate's effortless grace throughout the recent State Banquet at Buckingham Palace can be attributed to her close relationship with the late Queen Elizabeth II.

"[William and Kate] made sure they went to Balmoral every summer to spend time with the Queen and so that their children could spend time with her," revealed Katie. "And those were precious, valuable moments for Kate to develop a close relationship with the Queen.

"They did have a good relationship. Part of that relationship was mentoring and the Queen being able to pass on her advice, her values and her guidance."

According to the author of The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth's Legacy and the Future of the Crown, Kate, is therefore "well-prepared" for these types of special events.

"A lot of it comes down to her own innate confidence but there isn’t a princess training manual and the success of being a princess comes from experience and mentoring," Katie went on to point out.

“She had a wonderful mentor in William but I think she also had a phenomenal mentor in the Queen. It was very much in the late Elizabeth II’s interest to make sure that the future Princess of Wales and future Queen was prepared.

"I remember being told ahead of William and Kate’s wedding in 2011 that the Queen had made her own private office and her ladies in waiting available to Catherine, so she could go and talk to them first-hand about what it was like to do royal engagements and how one should behave. And she took up that offer and made sure she benefitted from that experience."

In her aforementioned book, Katie also claims that the Queen allowed the future Duchess of Cambridge the rare privilege of bringing her camera to Balmoral on her very first visit, due to Kate's love of photography.

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