Olympics bring out a fresh new side of Kate
While her husband Prince William goes back to work for RAF search and rescue in Wales, the Duchess of Cambridge will pick up the family Games torch. Field hockey, more track, synchronized swimming, diving and the closing ceremony are all on her itinerary.
Which begs another question: Has the Games had enough of Kate? Again, apparently not.
Her every appearance is exhaustively recorded, even though she is mostly just sitting in a sit in the stands, happy to fulfill her role as a Team Great Britian ambassador. Throw in some visits to the athletes village and with Games volunteers, and she's had a pretty full week.
What is compelling is how she is reacting to it all. She is, after all, just a spectator, not the main show. That simple reality seems to have been enough to free her from the usual formality and ceremony that accompanies regular Royal Family activities.
What we get, then is a Kate that we haven't seen before.
The little hug she and William had following Britain's world record efford in team sprint cycling was telling ... this is a couple that is comfortable stepping outside the expected behaviour. Perhaps taking a page from Prince Harry during his casual and fun Caribbean tour earlier this year, the Duke and Duchess have discovered they don't always have to act like monarchs in waiting.
The Queen is of a different generation; that doesn't make her less compelling, but certainly she has kept a reserved and guarded public persona throughout her reign and back to her days as princess.
But even she has discoverd that earning people's loyalty and respect doesn't require being aloof. The next generation is taking that to heart and living it out in these Games.
Kate will win no medals at these Games. But she has undoubtedly won a few more fans.
The many faces of Kate were revealed during a hectic week of Olympic viewing. When she is not undertaking official royal business the Duchess clearly just wanted to let her hair down and enjoy the Games, even when things got a little tense, like at the swimming finals Friday (right).
Prince William and Kate in in the Mexican wave mood during the tennis match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Nicolas Almagro of Spain at Wimbledon on Aug. 2. (Getty Images)
Just in case a royal wasn't at an event, there have always been a few fans with masks to fill the game. Above, British fans put on their royal masks during the Olympic women's soccer game between Great Britain and Canada on Friday. And even when Kate had to step back into more formal wear for royal duty last week, she still managed a fresh look. Right, her turn at a charity event came with a new hairstyle.