The world used to know her as Kate Middleton, but now we should address her rather as Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge, or Catherine Elizabeth Mountbatten-Windsor. The wife of the British heir to the throne, Prince William, the mother of two princes and one princess, is celebrating her 39th birthday today. However, this is not the only reason to celebrate. This year, it's exactly twenty years since the moment that turned her life upside down.
Kate was born on January 9th, 1982 in Reading, England, to Carole Middleton and her husband Michael, a former flight attendant and air traffic controller. After all, even her grandfather, Peter Middleton, was a pilot, and in 1962 he was even a co-pilot of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, on his two-month trip to South America.
The Middletons had been associated with the royal family before
It was almost as if the Middletons were drawn to the royal family long before Kate met Prince William. It's from the father's side of the family tree that the Middletons can be described as an aristocratic family. Kate's great-grandfather, Richard Noel Middleton, and his older brother William, just before the First World War, married the niece of the Baron of Airedale or rather the Baroness Florence of Airedale's cousin, moreover, the Middletons are already referred to in historical records as friends of the royal family.
Return to Britain
Although it's not very common with her parents' profession, Kate was born to upper-class parents. Between the ages of two and four, she lived with her parents and younger sister Phillip Charlotte (Pippa) in Amman, Jordan, and her brother James William was born when they returned to Britain.
Successes and wealth
The year 1987 was important for the family for one more reason: in addition to giving birth, Carole founded Party Pieces, a company that made money for her family, among other things also for the Oak Acre family home in Bucklebury, but also for an apartment in London's Chelsea, where Kate and Pippa lived during their studies.
“When I was growing up, I was very lucky. My family was the most important thing to me. They provided me with somewhere safe to grow and learn, and I know I was fortunate not to have been confronted by serious adversity at a young age,”
the Duchess of Cambridge revealed herself.
Studies and meeting Prince William
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Before moving to London, Kate studied at schools in the south of England. However, she chose the third oldest university in Great Britain, St Andrews in the Scottish city of Fife, as her university and alma mater, where she first studied psychology, then focused only on art history. At the time, she lived at St Salavator’s Hall, which became fateful for her. In 2001, twenty years ago, she first met Prince William there.
A wedding watched by the whole world
The courtship lasted ten years, during which the couple dated. Kate also revealed what made her really scared during that period.
"I was quite nervous about meeting William’s father,"
she admitted once.
The couple got married in 2011 and this year it will be ten years since the wedding. The ceremony, which took place at the famous Westminster Abbey, took place on April 29th, St. Catherine's Day. Not only did she receive the title of Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge that day, but she also had the title of Countess of Strathearn of Scotland, and the even lesser-known address of the Baroness of Carrickfergus came from Northern Ireland.
Countess, Baroness and Duchess in one day
The complete proper name for Kate is therefore Her Royal Highness Princess Catherine Elizabeth, Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn and Baroness of Carrickfergus. She took all the titles from her husband, because she herself, despite her aristocratic background, had none. This is a rather rare situation in the history of Great Britain for the wife of the heir to the throne. Within the royal family, she herself doesn't use any surname, in case the surname is necessary, she again states only the surname of her husband - Mountbatten-Windsor.
“I’m still very much Kate,”
points out Kate Middleton, our today's birthday girl.
A dream of a big family
Two years after the wedding, the heir to the throne, Prince George, was born, another two years after that, Princess Charlotte, and in 2018, the last descendant, Prince Louis. In an earlier interview, Kate revealed that she would like a large family and at least three children. That has already come true for her. However, the question is whether the couple wouldn't want even more children.