Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
|Duchess of Cambridge (more)|
|The Duchess of Cambridge at Trooping the Colour in 2012|
|Spouse||Prince William, Duke of Cambridge |
|Prince George of Cambridge|
|Catherine Elizabeth[fn 1]|
|House||House of Windsor (by marriage)|
|Mother||Carole Middleton née Goldsmith|
|Born|| 9 January 1982 |
Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, Berkshire, England
|Religion||Church of England|
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Catherine Elizabeth "Kate"; née Middleton; born 9 January 1982), is the wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. William is second in line to succeed his grandmother, Elizabeth II, as monarch of 16 Commonwealth realms (his father, Charles, Prince of Wales, precedes him). Upon William's accession, Catherine would become queen consort.
Catherine grew up in Chapel Row, a village near Newbury, Berkshire, England. She studied art history in Scotland at the University of St Andrews, where she met William in 2001. Their engagement was announced on 16 November 2010, and she attended many high-profile royal events before they married on 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey.
Catherine has had a major impact upon British fashion which has been termed the "Kate Middleton effect", and in 2012, was selected as one of The 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time magazine. On 3 December 2012, St James's Palace announced that the Duchess was expecting her first child. She was admitted to hospital in early labour on the morning of 22 July 2013, and gave birth to Prince George of Cambridge on the same day.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Public image and style
- 4 Relationship with Prince William
- 5 Royal duties
- 6 Violations of privacy
- 7 In popular culture
- 8 Titles, styles, honours and arms
- 9 Ancestry
- 10 Footnotes
- 11 References
- 12 Bibliography
- 13 External links
|The Royal Family of the |
United Kingdom and the
other Commonwealth realms
Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading on 9 January 1982, and christened at St Andrew's Bradfield, Berkshire, on 20 June 1982.:32 She is the eldest of three children born to Carole (née Goldsmith), a former flight attendant, and Michael Middleton, who also worked as a flight attendant prior to becoming a flight dispatcher for British Airways. Her parents were married on 21 June 1980, at the parish church of Dorney, Buckinghamshire. In 1987, they founded Party Pieces, a mail order company that sells party supplies and decorations. Party Pieces is a private company with an estimated worth of £30 million. The Middletons have another daughter, Philippa "Pippa", and a son, James. The family complained about press harassment of Pippa and Carole following Middleton's engagement.
The Duchess's paternal ancestors were from Leeds, West Yorkshire. Her paternal great-grandmother, Olive, was a member of the Lupton family, who, for a number of generations, were woollen cloth merchants and manufacturers, active in civic affairs. Her maternal ancestors, the Harrisons, were working-class labourers and miners from Sunderland and County Durham.
Michael and Carole Middleton worked for British Airways, in Amman, Jordan, from May 1984 to September 1986. In Jordan, Middleton went to an English language nursery school before returning to their home in Berkshire. Following her return from Amman, Middleton was enrolled at St Andrew's School near the village of Pangbourne in Berkshire, then briefly at Downe House. She attended Marlborough College, a co-educational independent boarding school in Wiltshire, and graduated in 2005, from the University of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland, with an undergraduate MA (2:1 Hons) in the History of Art.
Public image and style
Catherine became prominent for her fashion style and has been placed on numerous "best dressed" lists. She was selected by The Daily Telegraph as the "Most Promising Newcomer" in its 2006 list of style winners and losers. Tatler placed her at number 8 on its yearly listing of the top ten style icons in 2007. She was featured in People magazine's 2007 and 2010 best-dressed lists. Middleton was named as one of Richard Blackwell's ten "Fabulous Fashion Independents" of 2007. In June 2008, Style.com selected Middleton as their monthly beauty icon. In July 2008, Middleton was included in Vanity Fair's international best-dressed list. In February 2011, she was named the Top Fashion Buzzword of the 2011 season by the Global Language Monitor. In January 2012, she was voted 'Headwear Person of the Year.' Middleton was number one on Vanity Fair's annual Best Dressed lists in 2010, 2011, and in 2012 also its cover star. She was awarded the accolade of 'Best Celebrity Smile' in May 2012, after placing first in a poll by Bupa. In August 2013, she was voted the most stylish mother by readers of FashionPerks
Relationship with Prince William
In 2001, Middleton met Prince William while they were students at the University of St. Andrews. The couple began dating as early as 2002, although their relationship remained unconfirmed. On 17 October 2005, Middleton complained through her lawyer about harassment from the media, stating that she had done nothing significant to warrant publicity. In February 2006, it was announced that Middleton would receive her own 24-hour security detail supplied by the Royalty Protection branch (SO14). Many speculated that she and Prince William would soon be engaged, since she would not otherwise be entitled to this service.
No engagement was forthcoming and Middleton was not granted an allowance to fund this security. Media attention increased around the time of her 25th birthday in January 2007, prompting warnings from both The Prince of Wales and Prince William and from Middleton's lawyers, who threatened legal action. Two newspaper groups, News International, which publishes The Times and The Sun; and the Guardian Media Group, publishers of The Guardian, decided to refrain from publishing paparazzi photographs of her. Middleton attended at least one event as an official royal guest: Prince William's Passing Out Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 15 December 2006.
On 17 May 2008, Middleton attended the wedding of Prince William's cousin Peter Phillips to Autumn Kelly, which the prince did not attend. On 19 July 2008, she was a guest at the wedding of Lady Rose Windsor and George Gilman. Prince William was away on military operations in the Caribbean, serving aboard HMS Iron Duke. In 2010, Middleton pursued an invasion of privacy claim against two agencies and photographer Niraj Tanna, who took pictures of her over Christmas 2009. She obtained a public apology, £5,000 in damages, and legal costs.
Breakup and reconciliation
On 14 April 2007, The Sun newspaper broke a "world exclusive" suggesting that Prince William and Middleton had split up. Other media outlets, such as the BBC, confirmed the story as the day progressed. The couple decided to break up during a holiday in the Swiss resort of Zermatt. Clarence House declined to comment about the relationship's end, according to The Times, stating, "We don't comment on Prince William's private life". Newspapers speculated about the reasons for the split, although these reports relied on anonymous sources.
The original report in The Sun quoted a "close friend of the couple" as saying that Middleton felt Prince William had not been giving her enough attention. The paper highlighted reports that Prince William had been spending time with other young women and that Prince William, aged 24 at the time of the split, felt he was too young to marry. A report in the Daily Mail blamed a desire by royal courtiers not to "hurry along" a marriage announcement, and Prince William's desire to enjoy his bachelor status within his Army career. The Mail also suggested that a friend of Prince William's encouraged the Prince to take a "careless approach" to relationships. The same article suggested that Middleton had "expected too much" in wanting Prince William to demonstrate his commitment to her.
In June 2007, Middleton and Prince William insisted they were "just good friends" following reports of a reconciliation. Middleton and her family attended the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium, where she and Prince William sat two rows apart. The couple were subsequently seen together in public on a number of occasions and several news sources, including the BBC and the Daily Mail, stated that they had "rekindled their relationship". She also joined Prince William and the Prince of Wales on a deerstalking expedition at Balmoral and attended the wedding of Prince William's cousin, Peter Phillips, even though Prince William, due to a prior commitment, did not. In April 2008, Middleton accompanied Prince William when he was awarded his RAF wings at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell. On 16 June 2008, she attended Prince William's investiture into the Order of the Garter, along with the Royal Family.
Engagement and marriage
Prince William and Catherine Middleton became engaged in October 2010, in Kenya, during a 10-day trip to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to celebrate Prince William's passing his RAF helicopter search and rescue course. Clarence House announced the engagement on 16 November 2010. Prince William gave Middleton the engagement ring that had belonged to his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. He said about his decision to give his fiancée his mother's ring, "It's very special to me. As Kate's very special to me now, it was right to put the two (Catherine and Diana) together. It was my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today and the excitement, and the fact that we're going to spend the rest of our lives together." The couple married in Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011, (St. Catherine's Day) with the day declared a bank holiday in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Estimates of the global audience for the wedding ranged around 300 million or more, whilst 26 million watched the event live in Britain alone.
In October, several months after the wedding, Commonwealth leaders pledged that they would implement changes in British royal succession law to adopt absolute primogeniture, meaning that the first child of the Duke and Duchess would be eligible to take the throne regardless of whether it is male or female.
Pregnancy and motherhood
On 3 December 2012, St James's Palace announced that the Duchess was pregnant with her first child. The announcement was made earlier in the pregnancy than is traditional as she had been admitted to King Edward VII's Hospital Sister Agnes suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum and stayed there for three days. On 14 January 2013, St James's Palace announced that the child was due to be born in July 2013, and that the condition of the Duchess was improving.
In January 2013, the Queen issued new letters patent enabling all children of the eldest son, as opposed to only the eldest son, of the Prince of Wales to enjoy the princely title and style of Royal Highness.
The Duchess was admitted to St Mary's Hospital in London in the early stages of labour on the morning of 22 July 2013, and gave birth to a boy, weighing 8 pounds 6 ounces (3.80 kg), at 16:24 BST that day. On 24 July 2013, Kensington Palace revealed that the baby would be named George Alexander Louis.
Middleton was formally introduced to public life on 24 February 2011, two months before the wedding, when she and Prince William attended a lifeboat-naming ceremony in Trearddur, Anglesey, in North Wales. A day later they appeared in St Andrews to launch the university's 600th anniversary celebrations. On 16 February 2011, Clarence House announced that the Duke and Duchess's first royal tour of Canada would take place in July 2011.
In May 2011, shortly after the wedding, Clarence House announced that the Duke and Duchess would extend their tour to visit California. This was to be the Duchess of Cambridge's first visit to the United States.
The Duchess's first official engagement after the wedding came in May, when she and her husband met with Barack Obama, the President of the United States, and First Lady Michelle Obama. In June 2011, the Duke and Duchess presented medals to members of the Irish Guards.
On 26 October 2011, she undertook her first solo event for In Kind Direct, stepping in for the Prince of Wales, who was in Saudi Arabia. On 2 November, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the UNICEF Supply Division Centre for supplying food to malnourished African children in Copenhagen, Denmark.
On St Patrick's Day, 17 March 2012, the Duchess carried out the traditional awarding of shamrocks to the Irish Guards at their base in Aldershot; this was her first solo military engagement. On 19 March, she gave her first speaking engagement for the opening of the Treehouse, a new children's hospice opened by East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH), a charity of which she is a patron.
The Duchess has involved herself with the charities supported by her husband and his brother, Prince Harry. On 29 September 2011, the Duchess officially became a patron of The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. In November 2011, April 2012, and November 2012, she and the Duke attended the biannual Princes' Charities Forum, which unites the various charitable interests of the two princes. In June 2012, The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry was renamed The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, to reflect Catherine's contribution to the charity.
The Duke and Duchess were announced as Ambassadors for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, alongside Prince Harry. The Duchess attended both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics. On 29 August 2012, the Duchess attended the Paralympic Opening Ceremony accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Cambridge. As part of her role, the Duchess attended numerous sporting events throughout the games.
In September 2012, the Duke and Duchess embarked on a tour of Singapore, Malaysia, Tuvalu, and the Solomon Islands as part of the Royal Jubilee celebrations. During this overseas visit, the Duchess made her first official speech abroad, while visiting a hospice in Malaysia, drawing on her experience as patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices. The royal couple also made time to meet up with an old acquaintance, Sasidharan Muniandy, who was a member of the Victoria League Commonwealth Society which comes under the patronage of Her Majesty The Queen.
After the birth of her son, Prince George, she made an appearance in late August 2013 to runners preparing for an ultra-marathon on the isle of Anglesey, Wales, where they have a residence. Her first official public appearance after the birth was for a gala awards dinner at the Tusk Trust's Tusk Conservation Awards, at the Royal Society, in London. There, she wore a floor-length silver sequined gown by British designer Jenny Packham (she had worn one of her dress designs when leaving the hospital with the Duke of Cambridge and Prince George).
In March 2011, William and Catherine set up a gift fund held by The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry to allow well-wishers who want to give them a wedding gift to donate money to charities they care about instead. The gift fund supported 26 charities of the couple's choice, incorporating the armed forces, children, the elderly, art, sport and conservation. These causes are close to their hearts and reflect the experiences, passions and values of their lives so far.
- The Art Room
- The National Portrait Gallery, London
- East Anglia's Children's Hospice
- Action on Addiction
In October 2012, the Duchess gave her royal backing to the M-PACT programme (Moving Parents and Children Together), one of the only UK programmes to focus specifically on the impact of drug addiction on families as a whole.
In April 2013, the Duchess added three new patronages:
The Natural History Museum is a patronage formerly held by Diana, Princess of Wales.
Violations of privacy
In 1997, William's mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a road accident in Paris while being chased by paparazzi. This incident has influenced the Duke's attitude towards intrusive media attention. Both the Duchess and her husband have been clear that, when off-duty, their privacy should be respected, yet the media, at times, has violated the couple's wishes.
In 2009, before her engagement to William, Middleton was awarded £10,000 damages and an apology from the photographic press agency Rex Features Ltd after she was photographed playing tennis on Christmas Eve when on holiday in Cornwall.
On 13 September 2012, it was reported that the French edition of "la presse people" magazine Closer and that the Italian gossip magazine Chi, had both published photographs of the Duchess sun-bathing topless while on holiday at the Château d'Autet (a private château on a 260-ha estate some 71 km north of Aix-en-Provence). Analysts from The Times believe that the photograph was taken from the D22 (Vaucluse) road half a kilometre from the pool – a distance that would require an 800-mm or a 1000-mm lens. On 17 September 2012, the couple laid a criminal complaint to the French Prosecution Department and launched a claim for civil damages at the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nanterre; the following day the courts granted an injunction against Closer prohibiting further publication of the pictures and also announced that a criminal investigation would be initiated. Under French law, punitive damages cannot be awarded but such intrusions of privacy are a criminal offence carrying a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine of up to €45,000 for individuals and €225,000 for companies.
In December 2012, two Australian radio hosts, Michael Christian and Mel Greig, called King Edward VII's Hospital Sister Agnes where the Duchess was an in-patient for hyperemesis gravidarum. Pretending to be the Queen and the Prince of Wales, Greig and Christian telephoned the hospital and spoke to a nurse, enquiring about the Duchess's condition. Following a hospital inquiry and a public backlash against the hoax, the nurse who put the call through, Jacintha Saldanha, committed suicide. The radio hosts subsequently apologised for their actions.
In its second breach of privacy, in February 2013, Chi published the first photos of Catherine's exposed baby bump, taken during her vacation on the private island of Mustique. The British press have refused to publish the paparazzi shots out of respect for the couple.
In popular culture
Following international attention regarding the wedding, Lifetime aired a TV film entitled William & Kate on 18 April 2011, in the US. The film premiered in the UK on 24 April 2011. Middleton was played by Camilla Luddington and Prince William by Nico Evers-Swindell. TV programmes were also shown in the UK prior to the wedding which provided deeper insights into the couple's relationship and backgrounds, including When Kate Met William and Channel 4's Meet the Middletons.
A second TV film was produced that covers similar ground to William & Kate. That film, titled William & Catherine: A Royal Romance and filmed in Bucharest, stars Alice St. Clair as Kate Middleton and Dan Amboyer as Prince William. Of note in this second television film is the appearance of Jane Alexander as the Queen and Victor Garber as the Prince of Wales. The film aired on 27 August 2011, in the United States on the Hallmark Channel.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
- 9 January 1982 – 29 April 2011: Miss Catherine Elizabeth Middleton
- 29 April 2011 – present: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge
Unlike the majority of royal brides, and in contrast to most previous consorts-in-waiting for over 350 years, Catherine's immediate family is neither aristocratic nor royal. On the morning of their wedding day on 29 April 2011, at 8:00 am, officials at Buckingham Palace announced that in accordance with royal tradition and on recognition of the day by the Queen, Prince William was created Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus.
Honorary military appointments
- Ontario: Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Award, University of Waterloo, Waterloo
In a study of Catherine's ancestry, William Addams Reitwiesner uncovered the ancestors she likely shares with her husband Prince William; the closest relationship is via Prince William's mother and Catherine's father through a common descent from Sir Thomas Fairfax and his wife Agnes (or Anne) Gascoigne, daughter of Sir William Gascoigne and his wife, née Lady Margaret Percy. If true, the couple would be fifteenth cousins. Sir Thomas Fairfax and Agnes Gascoigne are related via Catherine's great-grandmother Olive Lupton, daughter of a Leeds cloth merchant Francis Lupton and his wife Harriet (née Davis) – Fairfax likely being an ancestor of Lupton. In turn, Lady Margaret Percy is descended from Edward III. The uncertainty of the link stems from the lack of a definitive proof that William Fairfax was the Duchess of Cambridge's ancestor and in fact the William Fairfax who was the son of Thomas Fairfax, but there is strong circumstantial evidence based on the coat of arms used by William Fairfax that this is the case – Catherine's ancestor used Thomas' coat of arms differenced by a martlet, the heraldic technique of signifying that he was the fourth son. The New England Genealogical Society reported that the US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is a distant relative of Catherine.
|Ancestors of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge|
Source: David White, Somerset Herald, College of Arms
- As a titled royal, Catherine holds no surname, but when one is used, it is Mountbatten-Windsor. Many media outlets, however, refer to her by her maiden name, Catherine (or Kate) Middleton.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge|
- "Official website of the British monarchy – HRH The Duchess of Cambridge". Royal Household.
- "The Duchess of Cambridge". The Prince of Wales.
- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge News and Diary, Life in Pictures, Focus, The Duke of Cambridge, The Duchess of Cambridge, For Children
- Works by or about Kate Middleton in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Kate Middleton collected news and commentary at The Guardian
- "Popular girl who caught royal eye", BBC News, 31 March 2005
- "Royal wedding: Family tree", BBC News, 13 April 2011
- Cracroft's Peerage
- Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at the Internet Movie Database
|Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom|
|Preceded by |
The Princess Royal
HRH The Duchess of Cambridge
|Succeeded by |