Friday, Nov. 11, 2011

Kate Middleton

Her rise from girl next door to Britain's Duchess of Cambridge has been nothing short of a fairy tale. But Kate Middleton hasn't been afraid to add modern twists to her story. For her April 29 wedding to Prince William, Middleton ditched the horse-drawn coach for a Rolls-Royce to take her to Westminster Abbey, and she has since made headlines for doing her own makeup and grocery shopping. Middleton's fashion influence is a matter of empirical evidence; her outfits have sold out within days of her appearance in them, while spawning hard-to-get knockoffs. Meanwhile, her interest in charity work has drawn comparisons to Princess Diana, whose legacy she's well on her way to following as a global style and cultural icon. But perhaps what is most inspiring about Middleton is the number of barriers she has broken down by just being herself: she'll be the first commoner to become Queen of England as well as the monarchy's first college-educated Queen.