Today is the 32nd birthday of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. To mark the occasion, we have compiled 32 facts about the woman who will one day be our Queen.
- Catherine was born on 9th January 1982 at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, England.
- Her parents are Michael Middleton and Carole Middleton. Michael once worked as a pilot and Carol was an air hostess, both for British Airways which is how the couple met.
- As a titled member of the Royal Family, Catherine no longer holds a legal surname – she has been known to refer to herself as ‘Mrs Cambridge’, however.
- She is one of the most influential fashion figures in the world and her style has had such an effect on people’s fashion, it has been dubbed the ‘Kate effect’.
- She has 1 brother and 1 sister, both younger than her. Pippa Middleton (whose first name is fully ‘Phillipa’) and James Middleton (whose middle name is William).
- She graduated in 2005 from the University of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland, with an undergraduate MA (2:1 Hons) in the History of Art.
- She met her husband, Prince William at St Andrew’s University when they were both housed in St Salvator’s Hall.
- In November 2006, Catherine accepted a position as an accessory buyer with the clothing chain Jigsaw. She also worked part-time until January 2011 as a catalogue photographer, webpage designer and marketing officer for her parents’ firm Party Pieces.
- Although she is regarded as the first commoner to marry into the Royal Family for around 350 years, this is not true if one uses the standard definition of commoner (anyone who doesn’t hold a title in their own right) meaning most members of the Royal Family who married into it were commoners before, including Diana, Princess of Wales.
- Catherine holds 4 different titles, 3 of which are used in different countries and one is her marriage title. In England and around the world, she is The Duchess of Cambridge; in Scotland she is The Countess Of Strathearn and in Northern Ireland she is Baroness Carrickfergus. She also holds the title of Princess William.
- On 3rd December 2012, St James’s Palace announced the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant, over 7 months later, she gave birth to Prince George of Cambridge, now 3rd in line to the throne.
- Prince William and the then Catherine Middleton became engaged in October 2010 in Kenya, East Africa, during a 10-day trip to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to celebrate Prince William passing his RAF helicopter search and rescue course. Clarence House announced the engagement on 16 November 2010.
- Their wedding was held on 29th April 2011 at Westminster Abbey, Catherine wore a wedding dress designed by Sarah Burton.
- 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.
- On St Patrick’s Day (17 March) 2012, the Duchess carried out the traditional presenting of shamrocks to the Irish Guards at their base in Aldershot, with her husband being Colonel of the Irish Guards.
- 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.
- 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.
- According to the Royal Geneaologist and Burke’s Peerage editor William Bortrick, there is an aristocratic branch on Michael Middleton’s family tree.
- At one point she was nicknamed “Waity Katie” by the media.
- Her engagement ring belonged to William’s mother Diana, Princess Of Wales – Prince William says giving Catherine this ring was his way of keeping his mother close to it all.
- After the wedding ceremony, on April 29 last year, the new Duchess of Cambridge’s bouquet was placed on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey after the service, continuing a tradition started by the late Queen Mother.
- It was rumoured that at Marlborough College Kate had a poster of her future husband William on her wall. But she has quashed speculation by revealing it was in fact the “Levi’s guy” who adorned her bedroom.
- At the age of 13, she went to the £15,000-a-year Marlborough College in Wiltshire.
- Kate was christened at the parish church of St Andrew’s Bradfield in Berkshire on 20 June 1982.
- She was confirmed into the Church of England at the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace in 2011, before marrying Prince William in April of that year.
- She followed wedding tradition, and for ‘something blue’ had a blue ribbon sewn into the interior of her dress.
- During her tour of California and Canada during the summer of 2011 she wore more than 25 outfits, winning much support from the world’s fashion press.
- Kate and William’s first official event together after they got engaged was at Anglesey in February 2011 – dedicating a new RNLI lifeboat.
- The Duchess of Cambridge is not yet officially a full-time working royal, though she does regularly perform engagements.
- The birth of Prince George of Cambridge in July 2013 was the first birth of an ‘HRH’ since 1990 when Princess Eugenie of York was born and the first future King to be born since 1982.
- One day, Catherine will become Duchess of Cornwall when Prince Charles accedes to the throne and if Prince William is made Prince of Wales, she’ll be known as HRH The Princess of Wales. When Prince William accedes to the throne, she’ll become Her Majesty The Queen [Queen Catherine].
- Aged 31, Catherine was the oldest first time mother to an heir to the throne in recent history when she gave birth to Prince George on 22nd July 2013