Kate Middleton was born on January 9, 1982, in Reading. She is the eldest of three children. Kate has a brother, James, and a sister, Pippa.
Her parents met when her mother was a flight attendant and her father a flight dispatcher for British Airways. While working for British Airways they lived for two years in Amman, Jordan. Eventually, Carole and Michael Middleton built a multimillion dollar mail-order party supply company.
The already affluent family was able to provide its children with first class education at Great Britain’s top boarding schools. Kate attended St Andrew’s School in Berkshire and later Marlborough College in Wiltshire. (She was the first member of her family to attend college.) Later, Kate enrolled into the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland to study History of Art. There – while Middleton dated Rupert Finch – she met Prince William.
Prince William, the older son of Prince Charles and Lady Diana and the next – after his father – heir to the British throne seems to have inherited many fine traits of his mother. He is respectful of his family’s royal heritage but at the same time he’s young and in tune with the realities of today.
Kate and William shared several classes and became friends. Prince William invited a group of friends – including Kate – to share an off-campus apartment with him. It was during this time – when they were roommates – that Kate Middleton modeled a Charlotte Todd’s skirt / dress at the university’s charity fashion show that Prince William’s begun to look at her in a different way. In 2002, Kate Middleton’s then-boyfriend graduated and left the university. Their relationship eventually fizzled.
In 2003, Prince William and Kate fell in love. They started dating but kept their romance secret.
In June 2003 Kate graduated with honors and a bachelor’s degree in art history. Her first job was as accessories’ buyer for the British clothing chain Jigsaw. After that Kate’s begun working part-time for Party Pieces, her parents’ company.
In 2004 the pair’s secret relationship was discovered by the media and that’s when Kate became the target of paparazzi and gossip magazines. Middleton, her comings and goings, her friends, family, the way she dressed and her romance with the prince became tabloids’ headlines and frequently, subject to scrutiny.
Over time, the relationship of William and Kate had a few ups and downs, including a public split in 2007. Suffice to say, the split didn’t last (they’ve been seen together just a few months later) and the relationship survived.
The pair dated for seven years and apparently got not just to know but value each other. Clearly, they’re in sync and doing things their way. (Many made fun of their long relationship prior to engagement and even called Kate “waiting Katie”. As much as no one knows the reasons for their delayed engagement and wedding, it could have been cold feet as much as fears of paparazzi whose relentless pursuit of Lady Diana led to her tragic death.)
When William and Kate vacationed together in Kenya in October 2010, Prince William popped the question. Clarence House announced the couple’s engagement in November. (Prince William gave Kate his mother’s engagement ring, a meaningful gesture of his commitment.)
Shortly before the wedding, Queen Elizabeth conferred on Prince William the title of His Royal Highness, The Duke of Cambridge. After the wedding, Kate Middleton as his wife took on the title of Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge.
The royal wedding – watched on TV by 300 million people – took place in Westminster Abbey on April 29 2011. Kate worn a spectacular wedding gown designed by Sarah Burton.
The wedding had all the markings of a fairytale with a few modern touches the young couple insisted on: Kate didn’t arrive in a carriage but in a motor vehicle; the couple left their wedding reception in a car driven by William himself. The spontaneous kisses exchanged by Prince William and Kate following the wedding and in full view of the public may have violated the official protocol but made them seem more like the rest of us and less like stiff royals of the past.
The couple honeymooned on the Seychelles. Upon return they settled in a secluded area of North Wales, where Prince William was stationed with the Royal Air Force. They insisted on leading a normal life. They had no servants, Kate shopped for groceries in a local market and both were seen hanging out in a local pub. They were well liked by their new neighbors who were very protective of the young couple’s privacy.
Kate and William have begun creating new image of royalty, early on. They met outside royal circles; are the same age; lived together before getting married, but most importantly perhaps, they sent a clear message that they’re not pampered royals who can’t survive without extravagant purchases, an entourage and an army of servants. In many ways, they are like us.
They’ve both grown and evolved since…
(Return to US Celebrity Blog to read part two of the story to learn more about their new digs, Kate’s transformation and her winning fashion style.)