Kate Middleton has faced the world with a smile, just days after her split with Britain's Prince William was announced. The beautiful brunette put on a brave public face and was seen out with her friends and smiling outside her home holding a tennis racket on Monday.
Sources close to the 25-year-old have revealed that the break-up of her relationship with William was more of a mutual decision than has been reported.
It has been claimed that the prince was feeling "nailed down" and "too young to marry," but Kate's friends allege that both parties were involved in the decision to part ways.
A source told Britain's Daily Express newspaper: "Everyone is focusing on how William felt trapped and dumped her. The truth is it was not like that at all. It was by mutual consent."
Another of Kate's friends said the break-up was "William's loss", and Kate is a "gorgeous, great fun and a catch."
According to reports, the people closest to her are not surprised that Kate - who dated the prince for four years after meeting him at the university - is putting on such a strong face.
One said: "Kate is made of sterner stuff."
Sources told Britain's The Sun newspaper that Kate, who works for high street fashion label Jigsaw, has been encouraged by friends to take some time away and distance herself from reporters. But Kate is eager not to hide away and to carry on with her life.
A source said: "Kate has decided the last thing she wants is to hide away. She is a strong girl, with her family behind her. There is no way she wants people's sympathy."
Kate's tactics have drawn comparisons with the late Princess Diana, who put on brave public front following her divorce from Prince Charles - William's father.