Once upon a time.....a beautiful young girl fom a hard working middle class family did well at school, got good grades, went to university, met a prince, fell in love, and became a princess.....
We know of course that Kate Middleton is the fiancee of Prince William, the future King of England and that makes Kate a future Queen, so, let's face it, she's going to be part of all our lives for the forseeable future, so let's get to know her a bit better.
She was born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton on 9 January, 1982, in Reading, Berkshire, the oldest of three children. Her parents are Michael and Carol who, since 1987, have owned and run a successful mail order company called Party Pieces which sells party supplies and decorations.
Kate's family on her father's side were independently wealthy members of the Lupton family from Yorkshire, in the North of England. Kate's great great grandfather, Francis Martineau Lupton, was a wealthy Leeds mill owner and philanthropist, who, when he died in 1921, left a huge fortune in a family trust which is still paying an undisclosed income to his descendents today.
There is no doubt that, even before they began their party business, the Middletons were very comfortably off.
Kate has one sister, Philippa Charlotte, known as "Pippa", and one brother James William. Pippa is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and is a well known socialite. She has been working in London for a company which organizes events and parties but is now going to work for her parents' company.
James is a close friend of Prince William. He has recently caused embarrassment to the Royal Family by getting involved with a "Get Rich Quick" company which is currently under investigation by The Financial Services Authority .
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Kate went to school in the village of Pangbourne in Berkshire in South East England, then after a brief stint at the privately run Downe House school, she went to Marlborough College, a co-educational independent school at Marlborough in Wiltshire in South West England, where she was a popular and talented student. She went on to study History of Art at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, graduating with an Honours Degree.
It was at St Andrews that she met fellow student Prince Wiliam. They both started out on the same History of Art course in 2001, although William later switched to geography. For several years, they shared accommodation with friends and since then her life has become increasingly intertwined with his. In his first year William found it extremely difficult to adjust to university life and Kate was a big help in persuading him to continue. In 2005 they both graduated with honours and were part of the same graduation ceremony.
Kate on Amazon
It was later that year that their relationship was given publicity when they went on holiday together to Klosters and were photogrphed on the slopes. The media pack descended on Kate and they've been at her shoulder ever since.
In 2006 Kate begn working as an accessory buyer in London for womenswear fashion chain Jigsaw, and she became a walking advert for them as she often wore their cardigans, floral print skirts and dresses.
Kate Has Lunch with the Queen
The couple had a split in 2007 but reunited soon after, and the romance went from strength to strength. Shortly afterwards Kate resigned her job at Jigsaw and began working for her parents' company. This gave her more time and freedom to join the Prince on foreign trips, and to be by his side at family events as their relationship once again grew strong. Sure enough, in October 2010, during a holiday in Kenya William proposed, after asking Kate's father for his daughter's hand following their eight-year courtship.
In November 2010, Clarence House confirmed that William and Kate were engaged and would marry at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011, which has been declared a public holiday in the UK in celebration.
According to royal convention the wife of a son or grandson of the Sovereign is entitled to the style title or attribute of "Royal Highness". If William is not given a title before the wedding Kate would take her husband's first name on marriage and become Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales. A princess. ....Once upon a time....
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Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on January 26, 2011:
Great insights. I learned allot. Graduated in the same class. Skiing and more.
Love learning the English customs - fascinating about the title.
Thank you for allowing me to travel to England just a bit from my Internet chair.