06/15/2011 at 09:45 AM EDT
What learning curve?
She's been a royal for just six weeks, but the newly minted Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
, has quickly proved "she's a natural," a palace insider tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story.
Gliding her way through an intense regimen of public engagements since her wedding
to Prince William
, Kate, 29, is "completely taking it in her stride," adds the insider.
Still, Kate's recent high-profile appearances might have proved overwhelming were it not for a few key counselors: her stepmother-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who has offered guidance on life as a royal wife; Helen Asprey, a longtime member of William and Prince Harry's personal staff, who now accompanies Kate to most engagements; and Prince William, 28, who makes sure to keep careful watch over his new wife.
"It's very much the 'home team' advising," says a palace source.
Next up for the newlywed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge: an 11-day tour
of Canada, including a weekend stopover of Los Angeles, kicking off on June 30.
For much more on Princess Kate's new life, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday