Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born on 9 January 1982 as the daughter of Michael and Carole Middleton in Reading at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. Her younger sister Pippa was born in 1983, and her younger brother James was born in 1987.
Catherine was baptized at the parish church of St. Andrew’s Bradfield on 20 June 1982. Between 1984 and 1986, the family lived in Amman, Jordan, where her father worked, and Catherine attended a local nursery school there. After returning to the United Kingdom, the family moved to Bradfield Southend. The year following their return, Catherine’s parents founded the company Party Pieces, which is now worth millions. In 1995, the family moved to a manor house in Bucklebury. Catherine attended the St. Andrew’s School in Pangbourne until 1995 when she went to Marlborough College in Wiltshire, where she studied chemistry, biology and art at A-level. She also played several sports while she was there.
She left Marlborough College in July 2000 and took a gap year, during which she studied in Florence and undertook a Raleigh International programme in Chile. After her gap year, she enrolled at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, where she met her future husband, Prince William. During their second year at the university, she and William shared a flat with two other friends and reportedly began dating in 2003. She graduated in 2005 with a 2:1 in History of Art. Prince William graduated that same year with a 2:1 in Geography.
After graduation, Catherine began to work part-time for a clothing chain called Jig Saw and also worked for her family business with marketing and photography. During this time, Catherine was often hounded by the paparazzi, and she was photographed daily as she went about her life. This forced her to complain to the police on several occasions.1 She was also taunted with a cruel nickname. She and Prince William briefly broke up in 2007, but by June 2010, they were living together in Wales, where Prince William undertook his RAF search-and-rescue training.
Prince William proposed to Catherine in October 2010 during a 10-day trip to Kenya, and the engagement was subsequently announced by Clarence House on 16 November 2010. He gave her the engagement ring that had belonged to his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Catherine and Prince William were married on 29 April 2011 in Westminster Abbey. Prince William was created Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, and Baron Carrickfergus upon marriage2, so that Catherine would become known as Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge.3 Although she is not entitled to be called “Princess Catherine”, she does have the status of a Princess as was confirmed by the palace upon the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of York (the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth). “In accordance with the settled general rule that a wife takes the status of her husband Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on her marriage has become Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York with the status of a Princess.“4
Catherine wore a satin and lace wedding dress by Sarah Burton by Alexander McQueen. She wore the Cartier Halo tiara loaned to her by The Queen. Her wedding bouquet included myrtle, Lily of the Valley, Sweet William and hyacinth. Her diamond earrings were a gift from her parents. Prince William wore the uniform of the Irish Guards mounted officer. They received a country home called Anmer Hall as a wedding gift from the Queen. Catherine was soon pregnant with her first child. The announcement came on 3 December 2012, after she was admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital with hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness. This returned with her subsequent pregnancies and led to her having to cancel official engagements. Her first child, Prince George, was born on 22 July 2013, followed by Princess Charlotte on 2 May 2015 and Prince Louis on 23 April 2018.
Since becoming a royal, Catherine has devoted her time to many charitable causes. Her charity work focuses mainly on issues surrounding young children, mental health, sport, addiction, and art. She also undertakes official visits, locally and abroad, on behalf of the Queen. Upon the death of her grandmother-in-law Queen Elizabeth II, she automatically became Duchess of Cornwall. The following day, the new King Charles III created her husband Prince of Wales, and Catherine assumed the feminine form – becoming Princess of Wales.