Family of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
|Current region||Bucklebury, West Berkshire, England|
|Earlier spellings||Middeltone, Mideltuna, Middeltune|
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|Members||Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Michael Francis Middleton
Carole Elizabeth Middleton
Philippa Charlotte Middleton
James William Middleton
|Connected families||Lupton, Goldsmith|
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is a member of the Middleton family, the daughter of Michael and Carole Middleton and sister of Pippa and James. Shortly before her royal wedding to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in April 2011, a coat of arms was granted to her father, Michael Francis Middleton, the armigerous head of the family of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Michael Francis Middleton was born in 1949 in Leeds where he spent his early years in Moortown. His father, Peter Francis Middleton (1920–2010), was a pilot who flew alongside Prince Philip as the Duke's co-pilot on a two-month flying tour of South America in 1962. British Pathé newsreel film shows Middleton alongside the Prince during the tour.
Michael Middleton's grandfather, (Richard) Noel Middleton (1878–1951), was, according to a BBC documentary, a solicitor who met and married aristocrat Olive Lupton in 1914. In 1921, Noel became the director of the firm his wife Olive Middleton née Lupton (1881-1936) had inherited upon her father's death. Olive was a member of the Lupton family of Beechwood Estate who are described in the City of Leeds archives, as "woollen manufacturers and landed gentry; a political and business dynasty".
Like his father, Peter, and grandfather Noel, Michael Middleton was educated at Clifton College, the public school in Bristol. At Clifton, all three generations of Middleton men boarded at Brown's House. The archives at Clifton record that Michael Middleton was a college prefect, had represented the school at rugby in the 1st XV and had also gained his tennis colours. Middleton declined to follow in his father Peter's footsteps of studying at New College, Oxford University.
Following Clifton, Michael Middleton worked briefly as a British Airways (BA) flight attendant. Having graduated from the company's own internal course, he then worked for BA as a flight dispatcher.
It was reported in June 2014, that Michael's great grandfather, politician Francis Martineau Lupton, was the first cousin of Sir Thomas Martineau, whose nephew was World War II Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.
Royal biographer Katie Nicholl revealed in 2013 that Michael Middleton's family tree is linked, via his cousin, Lady Bullock (née Barbara Lupton) (d. 1974), to William Petty-FitzMaurice, 1st Marquess of Lansdowne, Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1782-83. Research also revealed that Middleton is a direct descendant of King Edward III.
Carole Elizabeth Middleton (née Goldsmith) was born on 31 January 1955 at Perivale Maternity Hospital in Ealing. The daughter of a builder, Ronald Goldsmith (1931–2003), and Dorothy Harrison (1935–2006), she was raised in a small house in Southall, and attended the local state schools.
The couple met when they both worked for British Airways (BA) as flight attendants. By 1979, Michael had been promoted within BA, becoming an Aircraft Dispatcher, one of British Airways' elite Red Caps, at London Heathrow Airport, where he kept track of the airline's fleet on the ground. The couple was married on 21 June 1980, at the parish church of St James in Dorney, Buckinghamshire. They bought a semi-detached Victorian house in Bradfield Southend near Reading, Berkshire.
The couple has three children (two daughters and one son). Following the birth of their daughters Catherine Elizabeth (born 1982) and Philippa Charlotte (born 1983), the family moved to Amman, Jordan, where Michael worked as a manager for BA from 1984 to 1987.
Business success and inherited wealth
Their third and youngest child, a son named James William, was born in 1987. It was at this time, when Catherine and Philippa were at a pre-school at St Andrew's School, Pangbourne, that Carole set up Party Pieces, a company which began by making party bags and which now sells party supplies and decorations by mail order. By 1995, the firm was being run by both parents and was moved into a range of farm buildings at Ashampstead Common. Also at this time the family purchased Oak Acre, a six bedroom Tudor-style manor house in Bucklebury, Berkshire. In 2002, Carole and Michael Middleton bought "with cash" a flat in Chelsea, London, in which their children lived. Carole and Michael Middleton are also the owners of a racehorse.
By 2012, the couple were the owners of nearby Bucklebury Manor, a Georgian mansion with an estate of some 18 acres. Their grandson, Prince George spent his first few weeks at Bucklebury Manor.
Reports revealed the Middleton's business as being very successful, resulting in the couple enjoying considerable wealth. This wealth, combined with the large trust funds Michael Middleton inherited from his grandmother Olive Middleton, had enabled the Middleton tradition of independent education to continue. Both daughters were sent to the independent Downe House, a girls' boarding school in Cold Ash, and finally the public school; Marlborough College, Wiltshire. Their brother James also attended Marlborough.
Shortly before his elder daughter's royal marriage, Michael was granted a coat of arms. This features three acorn sprigs, one for each of his children. The oak represents England and strength as well as the family's home district of West Berkshire. The white chevronels symbolise peaks and mountains, said to represent the family's love of the Lake District and skiing, and the gold chevron represents Carole Middleton's maiden name of Goldsmith.
The British press created the term Upper Middleton Class to describe the Middleton family's superior social position; other reports refer to the family as being "minted....with a smattering of blue-blooded antecedents".
The Middletons' first daughter, Catherine Elizabeth "Kate" Middleton, now known as HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, was born on 9 January 1982. After finishing at Marlborough, she went to study at University of St Andrews. It was here, while living at St Salvator's Hall, that she met Prince William. After a long relationship, and a six-month engagement, she married Prince William at Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011.
In December 2012, it was announced that Catherine and William were expecting their first child; Catherine gave birth to a son, Prince George of Cambridge, on 22 July 2013, who is third in line to the throne. The Duchess' second pregnancy was announced on 8 September 2014, and she gave birth to a daughter, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, on 2 May 2015.
Their second daughter, Philippa Charlotte "Pippa" Middleton, born on 6 September 1983, attended the same schools as her sister Kate and then studied English literature at the University of Edinburgh. There she shared a house with Lord Ted Innes-Ker, a son of the Duke of Roxburghe, and with Earl Percy, heir of the Duke of Northumberland. Following graduation, in 2008 she took an events management / marketing job with Table Talk, a London-based events catering company. She also writes for Spectator, Vanity Fair and The Party Times, an online magazine which is an offshoot of her parents' company.
James William Middleton, their youngest child and only son, was born on 15 April 1987. He was educated at St Andrew's School, Pangbourne, and Marlborough College. He started a degree in Environmental Resources Management at the University of Edinburgh before leaving in 2006 after one year to start his own cake-making business, the Cake Kit Company. His company was later reported to have lost nearly £17,000 by April 2012.
Middleton is a habitational surname originating from numerous different places in England and in southern Scotland. There are over 30 places similarly named which are derived from the Old English elements: midel + tūn (middle + enclosure, settlement); although some other places have different origins and derived from other elements, such as: micel (large, great), or *(ge)mȳthel (confluence). Early recorded instances of the surname are: de Mideltone in 1166, within the Eynsham Cartulary; de Midilton in 1221, within a charter to the Abbey of Arbroath; and de Midelton in 1327, within the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex.
Generations of Middleton Lawyers
Michael Middleton's family line came from Leeds in Yorkshire: his grandfather Richard Noel Middleton, great-grandfather John Middleton and great-great-grandfather William Middleton, were all solicitors in that part of England. Richard Noel was later the director of William Lupton and Sons Ltd., the wool manufacturing firm which his wife Olive, had inherited in 1921. Michael Middleton's niece, Lucy Middleton, is also a practicing solicitor in London.
Peter Francis Middleton and Valerie Middleton, née Glassborow
Michael's father was commercial pilot and RAF officer Peter Francis Middleton (1920-2010), who had studied English at New College, Oxford University. He left Oxford in 1940 to serve as a RAF fighter pilot during World War II. Commissioned as a pilot officer (on probation) in the RAFVR on 9 March 1941, he was confirmed in his rank and promoted to flying officer (war-substantive) on 9 March 1942. In May 1942, he was posted to the No 37 Service Flying School in Calgary, Canada. He spent two-and-a-half years as an instructor, training Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster pilots, receiving a promotion to flight lieutenant (war-substantive) on 9 March 1943. After joining the reservist 605 Squadron at Manston, near Ramsgate, Kent, in August 1944, Middleton flew a de Havilland Mosquito fighter bomber, nudging the wings of unmanned German V1 flying aircraft to divert them from hitting London. After the war, Middleton joined British European Airways as a pilot, but remained in the reconstituted RAFVR, receiving a reserve commission as a flying officer on 12 August 1949. Promoted to flight lieutenant on 1 March 1951, he relinquished his reserve commission on 12 August 1959.
Peter Middleton was specially chosen in 1962 as Prince Philip's co-pilot on a two-month tour of South America. The Duke piloted 49 of the tour's 62 flights, often with Middleton by his side. The Duke later sent Middleton a letter of thanks and a pair of gold cufflinks. British Pathe newsreel film shows Middleton alongside the Prince during the tour. Middleton met his granddaughter's fiancé, Prince William, on his 90th birthday and William attended Middleton's funeral in November 2010.
Michael's mother, Valerie Glassborow (1924–2006), who would later marry Peter Middleton, worked at the Second World War Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) in Bletchley Park, along with her twin sister, Mary. The codebreaking regularly penetrated the secret communications of the Axis Powers – most importantly the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers and is the birthplace of the world's first programmable, digital, electronic computer: Colossus. Valerie's Bletchley Park colleague and friend, Lady Body (née Marion Graham), recalled in 2014 that she had shared a "rather special moment" with Valerie: "Our superior officer, Commander Williams, came into the room smiling and he said, ‘Well done, girls. A signal has been intercepted from Tokyo to Geneva and it’s the signal that the Japanese are surrendering'. He told us that a message has gone to the King and the Prime Minister but that it could not be announced until Geneva has sent on the message to London."
Peter Middleton's mother, Olive Middleton (1881–1936), was a member of the Lupton family who, according to City of Leeds archives, were "woollen manufacturers and landed gentry; a political and business dynasty". It was reported in September 2013 that Baroness von Schunck, née Kate Lupton had been invited to the coronation of King George V in 1911. As Members of Parliament and local politicians, the Lupton family contributed to the political life of both the UK and to the civic life of Leeds, especially in the areas of education, housing, and public health, for several generations. Several members were Lord Mayors of Leeds. They were prominent Unitarians, a branch of English Dissenters, and worshipped at the Mill Hill Chapel, where a stained glass window commemorates the family.
Olive's father was Francis Martineau Lupton who, along with his four brothers, grew up at Beechwood, the family seat in Roundhay. Two of his brothers became Lord Mayor of Leeds – Sir Charles, (founder of the law firm DLA Piper) in 1915 and Hugh in 1926. In their official roles they played host to Royalty. In April 2014, it was reported that British Pathe had discovered newsreel footage from 1915 of Francis Martineau and his three brothers inspecting troops near Leeds. Also discovered was footage from 1927 of a royal visit in which Mary, The Princess Royal, and her husband Lord Harewood are being greeted by the incumbent Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Leeds, Hugh and Isabella Lupton.
Francis Martineau Lupton's mother was Frances, a pioneer of girls' education who co-founded Leeds Girls' High School. Her father was Thomas Michael Greenhow of Newcastle, where he founded the Newcastle Medical School in 1834. Her maternal family was the Martineau dynasty of Birmingham; her aunt, the sociologist Harriet Martineau being especially close to her. It was reported in February 2014, that London's National Portrait Gallery, of which Catherine is patron, holds nearly 20 portraits of her ancestors; siblings Harriet and Dr James Martineau, a friend of Queen Victoria.
The paternal Goldsmith family of Carole Middleton came from London. Carole's maternal family, the Harrisons, were working-class labourers and miners from Sunderland and County Durham two generations before.
According to genealogists Patrick Cracroft-Brennan and Anthony Adolph, the Middleton siblings descend, via their mother, from Elizabeth Plantagenet, King Edward IV's illegitimate daughter by Elizabeth Lucy, via Sir Thomas Blakiston Conyers, 9th Bt. of Horden, Durham. Thus, Catherine and Prince William's closest common ancestors are Sir William Blakiston of Gibside Estate and his wife Jane Lambton, making them eleventh cousins once removed, These findings echo Christopher Challender Child's research, published in 2011. It was reported in December 2014 that the famous Blakiston-Bowes Cabinet, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, provided proof that Catherine shared ancestry with Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Catherine and the Queen Mother share a common ancestor, County Durham's Sir William Blakiston, whose great granddaughter, Elizabeth Blakiston, married into the Bowes-Lyon family who were ancestors of the Queen Mother, née Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. The cabinet was made in Newcastle to celebrate the union of the two gentry families. Reports suggested that Catherine and the Queen Mother's blood cousinship was the reason why Catherine wore the Queen Mother's tiara when she wed Prince William.
Genealogical research by William Addams Reitwiesner, also published in 2011, found that Catherine is descended from Sir Thomas Fairfax (c. 1475–1520) and his wife Agnes Gascoigne, an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales, and a descendant of King Edward III, via Michael Middleton's grandmother Olive Middleton née Lupton. This ancestry makes Catherine and Prince William fourteenth cousins once removed.
|Ancestors of the Middleton siblings|
Television and film portrayals
William & Kate, a television movie about Catherine's romance, was released on 18 April 2011, with Catherine and William played by Camilla Luddington and Nico Evers-Swindell respectively. Other members of the Middleton family were played by: Christopher Cousins (Michael Middleton), Serena Scott Thomas (Carole Middleton), Mary Elise Hayden (Pippa Middleton), and Calvin Goldspink (James Middleton). A number of television programmes were also shown in the UK before 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.
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Michael Middleton, her (Kate Middleton's) father, spent his first two years (until the age of two) living at Moorland in Leeds
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He (R. Noel Middleton) attended Clifton College in Bristol as a boarder before heading to Leeds University and qualifying as a solicitor. He met and married aristocrat Olive Lupton.
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In 1921, Mrs Olive Middleton and her sister, Miss Anne Lupton, inherited both the woollen cloth manufacturing business from their father, Francis Martineau Lupton, and a stake in another firm, the New Briggate Arcade Company.... solicitor Mr R. Noel Middleton (died 1951) was the director of William Lupton and Sons Ltd, Est. 1773
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As landed gentry, Beechwood typically provided for the Lupton family's enjoyment of polo, hunting and tennis
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The (Lupton) relations... were very much landed gentry and we now know that some of them had titles
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Leeds politician, Francis Martineau Lupton, (who) was the first cousin of Lady Airedale's mother – Baroness von Schunck (nee Kate Lupton). Francis Martineau Lupton was the great great grandfather of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
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Noel's wife, Olive Middleton, was a member of the Lupton family who, according to City of Leeds archives, were "woollen manufacturers and landed gentry; a political and business dynasty."
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Michael left Brown's in 1967, and with his two brothers, was the third generation of Middletons at Clifton.
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He (Michael Middleton) became a prefect himself, represented the school at rugby in the 1st XV and (gained) his tennis colours.
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Kate’s grandfather studied English at New College in 1939, before leaving to train as a pilot during the Second World War
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He (Michael Middleton) worked as a flight attendant prior to becoming a flight dispatcher (trainee) for British Airways[dead link]
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Mike began his career as an air steward and then became a flight dispatcher
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(Michael Middleton's family were) linked to earls, countesses, a former Prime Minister – William Petty-FitzMaurice, (the first) 1st Marquess of Lansdowne, who served as Prime Minister...
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Her (Duchess of Cambridge's) father Michael is a descendant of Edward III
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38561 -- (Kate Middleton's ancestor), Lady Fairfax, nee Agnes Gascoigne has several descents from King Edward III
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Further research found that in 1917, Barbara Lupton had married Sir Christopher Bullock, a Cambridge scholar and descendant of William Petty FitzMaurice
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Dispatcher; comprises the Red Caps. These men and women can be described as Flight Managers. Each Red Cap takes ownership of a flight
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This (flat) was bought with cash for £780,000 in 2002 and is worth some £1.2 million now (in 2011). Land Registry records show there is no mortgage on it.
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It was in the Lake District in the summer of 1936 that Peter’s mother Olive Lupton was rushed to hospital with peritonitis, dying on September 27, aged only 55, leaving behind a large trust fund for her descendants
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...tunnelling their way into the higher echelons were the Upper Middletons, a new social grouping. Named in honour of their most famous family...
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The Upper Middleton classes, or UMs, have their eyes on the prize: royalty at best...
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- "Learn about the family history of your surname". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 30 May 2011. This website cited the following book for the surname Middleton: Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508137-4.
- "Middleton". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 30 May 2011.[dead link] This website cited the following book for the place name Middleton: "A Dictionary of British Place-Names". Oxford University Press. 2003.
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He (Mr R. Noel Middleton) practised as a solicitor in Leeds, but after the First World War joined William Lupton and Co. Ltd., the Leeds and Pudsey woollen manufacturers, of whom (he) became director.
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Peter Middleton’s first close encounter with the Royal Family was when he acted as First Officer to the Duke of Edinburgh on a two-month flying tour of South America that Prince Philip made in 1962. The second was at his 90th birthday in September when he met Prince William, who was about to become engaged to his granddaughter Kate...The Duke piloted 49 of the tour's 62 flights, often with Middleton by his side... (The Duke later sent Middleton) a letter of thanks and a pair of gold cufflinks...
- Rayner, Gordon (21 June 2013). "How the family of 'commoner' Kate Middleton has been rubbing shoulders with royalty for a century". Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
In 1962 the Duchess’s grandfather Peter Middleton, an airline pilot, acted as first officer to the Duke of Edinburgh on a two-month flying tour of South America.....He (Peter Middleton) passed away in 2010 at the age of 90 and both Kate and Prince William attended his funeral
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‘Well done, girls. A signal has been intercepted from Tokyo to Geneva and it’s the signal that the Japanese are surrendering......(he) did say a message has gone to the King and the Prime Minister but it cannot be announced until Geneva has sent on the message to London....
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(May 1857) My (H. Martineau) niece, Mrs (Frances) Lupton and her husband came for two days
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'This ups the game a little – making the pair 11th cousins once removed.'
- Turner, Robin (31 July 2013). "Prince George related to Llywelyn the Great, claims genealogist". WalesOnline. Media Wales. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
'This means that Prince George's parents William and Kate are related to each other through Edward IV'
- Child, Christopher Challender (Fall 2011). "A Gratifying Discovery: Connecting Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, to Sir Thomas Conyers, 9th Bt. of Horden, Durham" (PDF). American Ancestors (New England Historic Genealogical Society) 12 (4): 35–36. Retrieved 15 October 2013.[dead link]
- Perring, Rebecca. "Proof Kate Middleton IS related to Queen Mother: Duchess to view cabinet proving ancestry". UK Daily Express, 8 December 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- Cliff, Martha. "Kate really was destined for royalty! The Duchess of Cambridge shares an ancestor with the late Queen Mother historian reveals". UK Daily Mail, 9 December 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
Kate's direct ancestor, Sir Thomas Blakiston Conyers, also attended the funeral of his Gibside cousin Mary Bowes, Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne. Mary Bowes was the great great great grandmother of the Queen Mother.
- Richardson, Katie (8 December 2014). "Duchess of Cambridge shares Queen Mother's County Durham ancestor according to new research". The Northern Echo. p. 7.
It makes sense that Kate wore the Queen Mother's tiara when she married Prince William – both women share a great deal; Durham ancestry, the vast Gibside Estate and the same famous cabinet
- Stieber, Zachary (8 December 2014). "Queen Elizabeth Mother Related to Kate Middleton, New Research Shows". Epoch Times. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- Reitwiesner, William Addams (2011). Child, Christopher Challender, ed. The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton. Scott Campbell Steward. Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society. pp. 116–119. ISBN 978-0-88082-252-7.
- "The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton" (PDF). New England Historic Genealogical Society. 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
Prince William and Kate Middleton are fourteenth cousins once removed through Diana, Princess of Wales (pp. 116–17), and fifteenth cousins twice removed through Charles, The Prince of Wales (pp. 118–19)[dead link]
- Cracroft-Brennan, Patrick (28 April 2011). "Royal Wedding: William and Kate are (very) distant cousins". Channel 4. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
'This makes William and Kate fourteenth cousins once removed through his mother and fifteenth cousins through his father.'
- "The arms of Miss Catherine Middleton". College of Arms. 1 May 2011.
- William and Kate Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 19 February 2011
- Rewind TV: When Kate Met William; Kate and William: Romance and the Royals; The Suspicions of Mr Whicher; The Crimson Petal and the White The Observer, 1 May 2011
- TV review: Meet the Middletons; Help! My House is Infested; The Reckoning The Guardian, 18 April 2011
- Hall, Coryne (October 2013). "Well Connected". Majesty (London: Rex Publications Limited) 34 (10): 38–39.
The Duchess of Cambridge may have working-class ancestors but she has distinguished ones too.
- Ancestry of the Duchess of Cambridge – William Addams Reitwiesner and Michael J. Woods.
- "Royal wedding: Family tree", BBC News, 13 April 2011
- Cracroft's Peerage – Catherine Middleton
- The Ancestry of H.R.H. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, by Anthony Adolph