Kate Middleton

Like millions of young women, Kate Middleton dreamt of marrying her Prince Charming someday. But unlike most girls, she actually realized that dream. Before Middleton became known all over the world as a potential ... Read more »
Born: 01/09/1982 in Berkshire, Reading, GB

Biography

Like millions of young women, Kate Middleton dreamt of marrying her Prince Charming someday. But unlike most girls, she actually realized that dream. Before Middleton became known all over the world as a potential future Queen of England, she was just an art history student at Scotland's St. Andrew's University who enjoyed socializing with friends and playing sports. That all changed in 2001, after Middleton, a commoner, started dating Prince William Windsor, the eldest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. At first, they managed to keep their romance a secret from the press, but after photographs of the two vacationing together were leaked, all bets were off. Middleton and the Prince's relationship was not all-smooth sailing, however, due in part to the intense media scrutiny. After years of having an on-again, off-again relationship, Prince William proposed to Middleton in November 2010. The royal engagement not only set off a massive media frenzy leading up to their April 29, 2011 wedding day, but it also marked the beginning of Middleton's new life as a modern-day, real-life princess.

Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born on Jan. 9, 1982 in Berkshire, England to commoners Michael and Carole Middleton, who owned a mail-order business selling toys and games for children's parties. The eldest of three children, Middleton attended Marlboro College, an exclusive school in Wiltshire, England. Her former classmates described Middleton, who was captain of the hockey team, as popular, talented and sporty. In 2001, she went on to study art history at St. Andrew's University in Scotland, where she met Prince William Windsor, the first-born son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. The two hit it off and became fast friends. But their relationship grew into something more after the Prince saw Middleton modeling a sheer outfit during a school fashion show, and reportedly told a friend, "Kate's hot." Soon, the two spent more time together and eventually moved into an apartment with two other university students. At first, the couple managed to keep their relationship private, following an agreement between the Royal Family and the British press that allowed regular updates about the Prince while he was studying in exchange for his privacy. But the media blackout did not last too long, particularly after photographs of the couple vacationing at a Swiss ski resort surfaced. In December 2006, Middleton attended Prince William's graduation from the Royal Military Academy, which many considered her first appearance as the Prince's girlfriend at a high-profile public event attended by Queen Elizabeth II and other senior royals.

In early 2007, the couple reportedly split up, due to the intense media pressure and Prince William reportedly feeling "suffocated." During that time, Middleton worked as an accessories buyer for the exclusive fashion chain, Jigsaw, in Kew, London. Conversely, Prince William was often photographed flirting and dancing with other girls at nightclubs. His partying upset Middleton initially, but soon she too was also spotted hitting clubs, seemingly all smiles for the cameras. The couple reunited two months later, and she reportedly moved into the royal residence at Clarence House by the end of the year, fueling rumors of an engagement. In June 2008, the couple seemingly confirmed their relationship when they attended the Prince's birthday at a charity polo event. With their relationship back on track, the media started hounding Middleton again about a possible royal wedding. She quit her job at the clothing chain and reportedly spent all her time shopping and attending social events while waiting for a proposal, earning her the nickname "Waity Katie."

In November 2010, Prince William finally proposed to Middleton using his late mother's sapphire engagement ring while they vacationed in Kenya. From the moment the engagement and plans to marry at Westminster Abbey were announced, the media frenzy reached an all-time high, reminiscent of the furor created when "Shy Di" married her prince in July 1981 to a then record-breaking viewing audience. Worldwide, there was round-the-clock coverage of William and Kate's wedding plans - everything from who made the guest list to what wedding dress would Middleton wear. In the days leading up to the April 29, 2011 wedding, there was also an onslaught of wedding- and royal-themed television shows, particularly in America, including a critically panned made-for-TV movie "William and Kate" (Lifetime, 2011) that showed supposed highlights of the couple's relationship.The fairy tale dreams of a nation - if not the world - at last came to fruition on April 29, 2011 in the greatest royal spectacle England had enjoyed since William's parents' wedding 30 years prior, when Kate and William were married in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Declared a national banking holiday, the ceremony and celebration boasted a guest list that included luminaries like the Sultan of Brunei, Sir Richard Branson and Sir Elton John, and was covered obsessively on such British television specials as "The Royal Wedding" (BBC, 2011).

After a period of speculation and intense secrecy, it was later revealed that Middleton and William had enjoyed a brief honeymoon on the secluded Indian Ocean island of Seychelles before returning home to resume their official duties as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Over the year that followed, Kate and William maintained their profile with a series of scheduled events and promotional trips. The royal couple was named as the official ambassadors for the 2012 Summer Olympics, held in London, and the Duchess delivered her first public speeches in the fall of 2012 while on a publicity tour of Southeast Asia as part of the ongoing Diamond Jubilee, celebrating the Queen's 60th year on the throne. The festive atmosphere was tarnished somewhat by a minor scandal that erupted while Middleton was still on her publicity tour in September. After expressing their dismay and personal outrage, the royals successfully filed an injunction against the French tabloid Closer after the magazine published surreptitiously taken photos of Middleton sunbathing topless while the couple vacationed at a chateau near the French Riviera. A tempest in a teapot, the fleeting embarrassment was soon forgotten when in December 2012, it was announced that the couple was expecting their first child. The news was greeted enthusiastically by the global press, with many outlets making mention of the recent reevaluation of royal law by Parliament that would ostensibly allow the couple's firstborn child to be the successor to the throne, regardless of sex. On July 22, 2013, Middleton gave birth to a baby boy, and the proud parents named the newborn heir George Alexander Louis.

Relationships

Prince Charles

Father-In-Law

Michael Middleton

Father
Owned mail order company Party Pieces with wife Carole

Carole Middleton

Mother
Owned mail order company Party Pieces with husband Michael

Pippa Middleton

Sister
Born Sept. 6, 1983; served as Maid of Honor at sister's wedding to Prince William

James Middleton

Brother
Born April 15, 1987

Camilla Parker Bowles

Mother-In-Law

Prince William of Wales

Husband
Met during a 2001 fashion show at St. Andrew's University Engaged October 2010; officially announced engagement Nov. 16, 2010 Married April 29, 2011 in Westminster Abbey

Prince Henry of Wales

Brother-In-Law
Born Sept. 15, 1984

Milestones

2013

Gave birth to George Alexander Louis, also known as Prince George of Cambridge

2012

In December, announced pregnancy with her and Prince William's first child

2012

Named one of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World" by Time magazine

2011

Officially became a patron of The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry, which was renamed The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry

2011

Married Prince William on April 29, 2011 in Westminster Abbey, London; given title Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge; also named The Countess of Strathearn

2010

Became engaged to Prince William while on vacation in Kenya October 2010; he gave her 12-carat sapphire engagement ring that once belonged to his late mother Diana; engagement announced to public on Nov. 16, 2010

2006

Landed job as an accessory buyer with the clothing chain Jigsaw

2006

Attended Prince William's graduation from the Royal Military Academy; considered her first appearance as the Prince's girlfriend at a high-profile public event

2001

Enrolled at St. Andrew's University in Scotland to study art history; met future husband Prince William Windsor during a fashion show

Attended Marlboro College, an exclusive school in Wiltshire, England

Bonus Trivia

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In September 2012, French tabloid Closer released topless sunbathing photos of Middleton, taken during a private holiday in Provence with her husband Prince William. The royal couple took legal action against the publication.

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On Dec. 1, 2012, Buckingham Palace confirmed Middleton was pregnant with her and Prince William's first child.

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