It doesn’t take much for Princess Charlotte to steal the show! Whether she’s sticking her tongue out at photographers at her Uncle Prince Harry‘s wedding, making faces at Queen Elizabeth‘s Trooping the Color birthday parade or turning somersaults on the grass at one of her dad’s polo matches, the 3-year-old daughter of Prince William and Kate Middleton is a force of cuteness that’s impossible to resist.

“Charlotte is outgoing and oozes confidence,” a royal insider exclusively told Closer Weekly in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now. “Standing in front of hundreds of paparazzi doesn’t faze her in the slightest. She actually enjoys being in the spotlight!”

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That’s a good thing since Charlotte is unlikely to ever be overlooked. The fourth in line to the throne behind her grandfather Prince Charles, 70, dad William, 36, and brother Prince George, 5, Charlotte is growing up in the public eye and living a fairy-tale life. She was baptized by the Archbishop of Canterbury using water from the River Jordan, received gifts from the likes of President Barack Obama (a stuffed animal that looked like his dog, Bo) and already has traveled all over the world to Poland, Germany and the Caribbean island of Mustique.

While her parents work hard to keep their “feisty” daughter grounded and humble, Charlotte’s strong personality has captured hearts, both far and near. “The queen has already picked up on signs that Charlotte is her mini-me,” the insider said. “She’s confident that her great-granddaughter will grow up to be a great leader and role model.”

By all accounts, everyone was excited by the birth of Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge. “The queen was really thrilled that it was a little girl,” Kate, 37, once said. “She was one of our first visitors.”

Charlotte has been unique from the start. After a 2011 change to the 300-year-old British rules of succession, previously based on gender, she was born fourth in line to the throne. Unlike her brothers, who were baptized in London, her christening took place at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, where her late grandmother Princess Diana had been baptized.

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Despite all this setting Charlotte apart, Will and Kate, who are very much hands-on parents, are doing their best to make sure their children have as “normal” lives as possible. “As far as we’re concerned, within our family unit we are a normal family,” Will has said. So, Charlotte wears George’s hand-me-downs, several of the kids have been taken to school by Kate herself, and Charlotte and George spend time with their mom in the kitchen, where they love to “get their hands messy,” Kate has said. “Charlotte’s favorite pastime is baking cakes,” the insider added. “She has her own little apron and follows Kate around the kitchen.”

Charlotte has a good role model in her mom, who’s involved in a number of children’s charities and advocates for kids’ mental health. “I think every child should have the best possible start in life,” Kate once said. “My parents taught me about the importance of qualities like kindness, respect and honesty. That is why William and I want to teach our little children just how important these things are as they grow up.”

Since the family moved to Kensington Palace in London in mid-2017, Charlotte’s life has changed a bit. She started at the Willcocks Nursery School last January, where the insider shared she’s “very popular and is very passionate about art and music.”

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Charlotte makes friends easily, too. “She has a strong personality and is the kind of little girl who knows what she wants and doesn’t let anything get in her way,” the insider told Closer. She’s displayed her fun-loving spirit at public events, including at the July christening of her little brother, Prince Louis, whom she adores — “Charlotte is always asking to hold him,” the insider revealed. At the church she boldly told the paparazzi, “You’re not coming!”

Even Kate admitted, “Charlotte is cute but she’s got a feisty side!” But she’s not spoiled. “Kate doesn’t usually allow the kids to watch TV and puts emphasis on outdoor play,” the insider noted. And when Charlotte gets too boisterous, Kate reportedly told a friend, “she hopes George will keep Charlotte in order.” Naturally, she and George “bicker over toys,” the insider admitted. “William jokingly calls his daughter ‘Little Miss Bossy Boots,’ as she’ll often tell George what to do.”

While Charlotte behaves as any 3-year-old might, her life is unusual. “She’s learned the royal wave and curtsy,” said the insider. And like her fashion-icon mom, Charlotte’s a trendsetter. The Little Alice London blue dress she wore to visit her newborn brother in the hospital sold out every size in just 24 hours!

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Because of her influence, Charlotte’s worth to the British economy is estimated at more than $5 billion, slightly more than her brother George’s $3.6 billion. Charlotte is still too young to understand her impact, and Will and Kate are giving their kids a strong sense of family and appreciation for simple joys so that when they come of age the royal trappings don’t go to their heads. “The Cambridges spend a lot of time with Carole and Michael Middleton at their family home in Berkshire,” away from the hum of the royal palace, Katie Nicholl, author of Kate: The Future Queen, told Closer.

Both the high-powered attention and the warm family time are just life as usual for the royal tot. Whether she’s baking cakes with her mom or taking horse-riding lessons, a passion she shares with her “Gan-Gan” the queen, Charlotte is enjoying her early life as a little princess as much as her family enjoys watching her grow. “I think she’s going to be trouble when she’s older,” Will once joked. But Kate said what they’re all thinking: “It’s very special having a little girl. I feel very, very lucky.”

For more on your favorite stars, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more exclusive news!

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