It's Pippa! Athletic, Outgoing and Ambitious

05/11/2011 at 08:00 AM EDT

Pippa Middleton -- Cover Story in People Magazine
Pippa Middleton
Pippa Middleton knows how to make a memorable first impression.

With one wedding (her sister Kate's) and one dress (an ivory Alexander McQueen that flaunted all her enviable curves), Philippa Charlotte Middleton, 27, managed to snag the spotlight as much of the world looked on.

Athletic, ambitious and well educated, she is described by multiple friends as "more outgoing" than her reserved older sister, 29.

At Scotland's Edinburgh University, "Pippa would always have male admirers," a fellow student tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story.

Preferring to party at the private country estates of her blue-blooded friends, she maintained a discreet public profile. Still, it's clear the younger Middleton sister has a fun-loving streak – not unlike her sister's new brother-in-law, Prince Harry.

Says Katie Nicholl, author of The Making of a Royal Romance: "It's a bit like Harry and William. Harry can afford to be a little more carefree. Pippa can as well."

For much more on Pippa, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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