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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

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Catherine
Duchess of Cambridge (more)
Catherine Elizabeth Middleton (colorized).jpg
The Duchess in 2014
Born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton
(1982-01-09) 9 January 1982 (age 36)
Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, England
Spouse Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
(m. 2011)
Issue
House Windsor (by marriage)
Father Michael Middleton
Mother Carole Goldsmith
Signature Catherine's signature

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton; 9 January 1982[1]) is a member of the British royal family. Her husband, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is expected to become king of the United Kingdom and of 15 other Commonwealth realms, making Catherine a likely future queen consort.[2]

Catherine was raised in Chapel Row, a village near Newbury, Berkshire, England.[3] She studied art history in Scotland at the University of St Andrews, where she met William in 2001. Their engagement was announced in November 2010 before they married on 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey. The Duke and Duchess's children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis of Cambridge, are third, fourth, and fifth in the line of succession respectively.[4][5][6][7][8]

Catherine's impact on British and American fashion has been called the "Kate Middleton effect" in the media,[9] and in 2012 and 2013, she was selected as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" by Time magazine.[10][11]

Early life[edit]

Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading on 9 January 1982 to an upper-middle-class family.[12][13][14][15][16] She was christened at St Andrew's Bradfield, Berkshire, on 20 June 1982.[17][18][19] She is the eldest of three children born to Michael Middleton (b. 1949),[20] and his wife, Carole (née Goldsmith; b. 1955),[21] a former flight dispatcher and flight attendant, respectively, who in 1987 founded Party Pieces, a mail order private company that sells party supplies and decorations with an estimated worth of £30 million.[22][23][24] The family of her father Michael has ties to British aristocracy and benefited financially from trust funds which they had established over 100 years ago.[25][26][13][27] Her Middleton relatives were reported as having played host to British royalty "as long ago as 1926".[28][29] She has a younger sister, Pippa, and a younger brother, James.[30]

The family lived in Amman, Jordan, from May 1984 to September 1986; her father worked for British Airways (BA), and Middleton went to an English-language nursery school.[31][32] Following her return to Berkshire in 1986, she was enrolled aged four at St Andrew's School, a private school near the village of Pangbourne in Berkshire. She boarded part-weekly at St Andrew's in her later years.[33] She then studied briefly at Downe House.[34] She was a boarder at Marlborough College, a co-educational independent boarding school in Wiltshire,[35][36] 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.[37] Before going to university, she had a gap year, during which she travelled to Chile to participate in a Raleigh International programme, and later studied at the British Institute of Florence in Italy.[38] In November 2006, Middleton accepted a position as an accessory buyer with the clothing chain Jigsaw,[39] where she worked part-time until November 2007. She also worked until January 2011 at Party Pieces; her role within the family business included catalogue design and production, marketing and photography.[17][40]

Relationship with Prince William[edit]

Early relationship[edit]

Middleton at Windsor Castle in 2008

In 2001, Middleton met Prince William while they were both students in residence at St Salvator's Hall at the University of St Andrews.[41] The couple began dating in 2003, although their relationship remained unconfirmed.[42] On 17 October 2005, Middleton complained through her lawyer about harassment from the media, stating that she had done nothing significant to warrant publicity.[43]

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.[44] Middleton attended Prince William's Passing Out Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 15 December 2006.[45][46]

On 17 May 2008, Middleton attended the wedding of Prince William's cousin Peter Phillips to Autumn Kelly, which the prince did not attend.[47] 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.[48] In 2010, Middleton pursued an invasion of privacy claim against two agencies and photographer Niraj Tanna, who took photographs of her over Christmas 2009.[49] She obtained a public apology, £5,000 in damages, and legal costs.[50]

Breakup and reconciliation[edit]

In April 2007, Prince William and Middleton split up. The couple decided to break up during a holiday in the Swiss resort of Zermatt.[51] Newspapers speculated about the reasons for the split, although these reports relied on anonymous sources. Middleton and her family attended the Concert for Diana in July 2007 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 news sources stated that they had "rekindled their relationship".[52]

Engagement and marriage[edit]

The newly married Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the balcony of Buckingham Palace (2011)

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.[53][54] Clarence House announced the engagement on 16 November 2010.[53][55] Prince William gave Middleton the engagement ring that had belonged to his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. The couple married in Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011[56] (St. Catherine's Day), with the day declared a bank holiday in the United Kingdom. Estimates of the global audience for the wedding ranged around 300 million or more, whilst 26 million watched the event live in Britain alone.[57][58][59] On marriage, Catherine assumed the style "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge".[60]

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, whether boy or girl, would be next in line to the throne after their father.[61]

Motherhood and children[edit]

William and Catherine with their first son the day after his birth (2013)

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 usual as she had been admitted to King Edward VII's Hospital suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness. She stayed in the hospital for three days.[62][63] 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.[64] 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 Prince George later that day.[4][5]

The Duchess's second pregnancy was announced on 8 September 2014.[65] As with her first pregnancy, the Duchess suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum and was required to cancel official engagements.[66] On 2 May 2015, the Duchess gave birth to Princess Charlotte.[6][67]

The Duchess's third pregnancy was announced on 4 September 2017. She was again forced to cancel engagements due to hyperemesis gravidarum.[68] Prince Louis was born on 23 April 2018.[69]

Public life[edit]

Catherine and William celebrating Canada Day in Ottawa (2011)

Middleton's first public appearance with Prince William following the announcement of their engagement was at a fundraising event organised by the Teenage Cancer Trust in December 2010.[70] She 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.[71] A day later they appeared in St Andrews to launch the university's 600th anniversary celebrations.[72] In March 2011, the couple toured Belfast.[73] Their last public engagement before the wedding was a visit to Darwen Aldridge Community Academy.[74][75] On 16 February 2011, Clarence House announced that the couple's first royal tour of Canada would take place in July 2011.[76] In May 2011, shortly after the wedding, Clarence House announced that the Duke and Duchess would extend their tour to visit California.[77] This was to be the Duchess's first visit to the United States.[78]

Catherine and William meet the Obamas at Buckingham Palace two weeks after their wedding (2011)

The Duchess's first official engagement after the wedding came in May, when she and her husband met Barack Obama, the President of the United States, and First Lady Michelle Obama.[79] 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.[80] On 2 November, the Duke and Duchess visited the UNICEF Supply Division Centre for supplying food to malnourished African children in Copenhagen, Denmark.[81][82] 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.[83] 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.[84]

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.[85] The Duke and Duchess were announced as ambassadors for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, alongside Prince Harry.[86] As part of her role, the Duchess attended numerous sporting events throughout the games.[87] In September 2012, the Duke and Duchess embarked on a tour of Singapore, Malaysia, Tuvalu, and the Solomon Islands as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.[88] During this overseas visit, she 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.[89][90]

After the birth of Prince George, the Duchess carried out her first engagement in late August when she accompanied the Duke to meet runners preparing for an ultra-marathon on the isle of Anglesey, where they had a residence.[91][92] At the beginning of March 2014, details were announced of the half-month-long tour to New Zealand and Australia that the couple and son would be taking from 16 to 25 April.[93] The tour was Catherine's first visit to the area and Prince George's first major public appearance since his christening in October 2013.[94] The tour began in New Zealand where they visited Wellington, Blenheim, Auckland, Dunedin, Queenstown and Christchurch. It ended in Australia where they visited Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Brisbane, Uluru, Adelaide, and Canberra.[95] In June 2014, the couple visited France to attend the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings at Gold Beach.[96]

On 21 July 2014, it was announced that the Duchess would be making her first solo trip, visiting the island of Malta on 20–21 September 2014, when the island was celebrating its 50th independence anniversary.[97] Her trip was cancelled, with the Duke taking her place, after the announcement of her second pregnancy in early September.[98] In December 2014, the couple visited the United States and attended a charity dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[99] In April 2016, the Duchess and her husband undertook a tour to India and Bhutan.[100] The Duke and Duchess toured Canada again in September 2016.[101] Countries visited by the couple in 2017 include France, Poland, Germany, and Belgium.[102][103][104][105] The Duchess also visited Luxembourg City in May 2017 for the Treaty of London commemorations.[106] In January 2018, the couple visited Sweden and Norway.[107]

Charity work[edit]

Patronages[edit]

The Duchess of Cambridge at the National Portrait Gallery in 2014

In March 2011, the Duke and Duchess 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.[108][109] 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.[110][111]

The Duchess of Cambridge's charity works mainly focus on issues surrounding young children, addiction, and art.[112] She has a number of patronages: The Art Room, National Portrait Gallery, East Anglia's Children's Hospice, Action on Addiction, Place2Be, Natural History Museum, Anna Freud Centre, Sportsaid, and The 1851 Trust.[113][114][115] The Duchess, who was an art student, takes interest in art and handpicked the Art Room and the National Portrait Gallery herself, the first of which "helps disadvantaged children express themselves" through art therapy.[116] In her capacity as patron of Action on Addiction, the Duchess has occasionally made visits to its centres, spending time with recovering addicts.[117] The Duchess is joint Patron of 100 Women in Hedge Fund's Philanthropic Initiatives, along with Prince William and Prince Harry.[118] She is also a local volunteer leader with the Scout Association in north Wales,[119] of which the Queen is patron and the Duke of Kent is president.[112] It aims to provide activities to over 400,000 young people in the UK.[112]

In October 2012, the Duchess gave her royal patronage 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.[120] In December 2015, she assumed the patronage of the RAF Cadets[121] for youths 12–19 years of age. The Duke of Edinburgh, who had been patron of the RAF Cadets for 63 years, formally handed over during an audience at Buckingham Palace.[122] In 2017, she became patron of The Lawn Tennis Association,[123] All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club[124] and Action for Children.[125]

In January 2018, locks of her hair were reportedly donated to the Little Princess Trust, a charity which makes wigs for children diagnosed with cancer.[126] In February 2018, the Duchess became the patron of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.[127][128] She also launched Nursing Now, a three-year worldwide campaign determined to raise awareness about the profile of nurses stating that the campaign was personal to her as both her grandmother and great grandmother were volunteer nurses.[129][127][128][130] In March 2018, it was announced that the Duchess of Cambridge would become the first royal patron of the Victoria and Albert Museum.[131][132]

Advocating for mental health[edit]

Catherine, who has tried to tackle issues surrounding mental health, makes regular visits to charities and hospitals such as St Thomas' Hospital and Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute to spend time with mothers and children who deal with mental issues and disabilities.[133] In order to encourage people to open up about their mental issues, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry initiated the mental health awareness campaign "Heads Together" in April 2016, and the Duchess later voluntarily talked about her problems as a mother, and admitted that she suffered a "lack of confidence" and "feelings of ignorance" during certain periods of time.[133][134][135]

The Duchess of Cambridge also launched the Mentally Healthy Schools, a project which helps the students and staff with access "to reliable and practical resources to improve awareness, knowledge and confidence in supporting pupils' mental health."[136] Benita Refson, president of Place2Be, one of Catherine's patronages, has praised the Duchess' work saying that she would help "shine the spotlight on child mental health."[137] In February 2016, she travelled to Edinburgh to promote the work of Place2Be, launched Children's Mental Health Week, and contributed to the HuffPost UK as a part of the Young Minds Matter movement, an effort "to raise awareness for children's mental health issues."[138][139] The Duke and Duchess later met with members and representatives of Young Minds and Youthscape to promote their mental health campaign.[140] In recognition of their work with charities concerned with children's mental health, the Duchess and her husband were awarded the Gold Blue Peter badge, an award which was previously granted to the Queen.[141] During a speech at the Royal Foundation forum in 2018, the Duchess stated that she would continue her work to raise awareness for mental health and said that "The mental health of children and adults is one area where a long-term view will make all the difference to future generations."[142]

Public image and style[edit]

Middleton became prominent for her fashion style and has been placed on numerous "best dressed" lists.[143][144] She was selected by The Daily Telegraph as the "Most Promising Newcomer" in its 2006 list of style winners and losers.[145] Tatler placed her at number 8 on its yearly listing of the top ten style icons in 2007.[146] She was featured in People magazine's 2007 and 2010 best-dressed lists.[147] Middleton was named as one of Richard Blackwell's ten "Fabulous Fashion Independents" of 2007.[148] In June 2008, Style.com selected Middleton as their monthly beauty icon.[149] In July 2008, Middleton was included in Vanity Fair's international best-dressed list.[150] In February 2011, she was named the Top Fashion Buzzword of the 2011 season by the Global Language Monitor.[151] In January 2012, she was voted 'Headwear Person of the Year.'[152] Middleton was number one on Vanity Fair's annual best dressed lists in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013; she also appeared as the cover star in 2012.[153][154] The Duchess was named to the International Best Dressed Hall of Fame List in 2014.[155] In June 2016, she took part in her first magazine shoot for Vogue's centenary issue appearing on the cover of the magazine.[156] While Catherine wears many new designers, she has also worn dresses by Catherine Walker, who designed many of Diana's favourite evening gowns and day suits.[157]

The Duchess who attended the 71st British Academy Film Awards did not participate in Time's Up movement which had called for women to wear black on the red carpet.[158] The decision was based on the royal protocols which forbid a member of the royal family to take part in political movements, yet she wore a black sash and carried a black handbag to the event as a variation to the informal black dress code.[159][160] In March 2018, together with the Countess of Wessex, the Duchess hosted the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange reception at Buckingham Palace during the 2018 London Fashion Week.[161][162]

Privacy and the media[edit]

In 1997, William's mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a road accident in Paris while being chased by paparazzi.[163] This incident has influenced the Duke's attitude towards media attention.[164] Both the Duchess and her husband have asked that, when off-duty, their privacy should be respected,[164] yet the media has not always gone along with 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.[165]

On 13 September 2012, it was reported that the French edition of "la presse people" magazine Closer and the Italian gossip magazine Chi, had both published photographs of the Duchess sun-bathing topless while on holiday at the Château d'Autet[164] (a private château on a 260-ha estate 71 km[166] north of Aix-en-Provence). Analysts from The Times believed 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.[167] On 17 September 2012, the Duke and Duchess filed a criminal complaint with the French prosecution department and launched a claim for civil damages at the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nanterre;[168] 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.[169] Under French law, punitive damages cannot be awarded[170] 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.[171][172] In September 2017, Closer was fined €100,000 and its editor Laurence Pieau and owner Ernesto Mauri were each fined €45,000.[173]

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 on the Duchess's ward, enquiring about her condition. Following a hospital inquiry and a public backlash against the hoax, the nurse who put the call through to the ward, Jacintha Saldanha, committed suicide.[174] The radio hosts subsequently apologised for their actions.[175]

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 refused to publish the paparazzi shots.[176] While the Duchess was visiting the Blue Mountains in Sydney a picture was taken of her bare bottom as her dress blew up. Many newspapers outside the UK published the picture.[177]

On 14 August 2015, Kensington Palace published a letter detailing what they stated were the dangerous and invasive efforts of the media to get paparazzi pictures of Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The letter was written by Jason Knauf, communications secretary to the Cambridges, and sent to media standards organisations in various countries.[178]

In popular culture[edit]

Following international attention regarding the wedding, Lifetime aired a TV film entitled William & Kate on 18 April 2011, in the US.[179] The film premiered in the UK on 24 April 2011.[180] Middleton was played by Camilla Luddington[181] and Prince William by Nico Evers-Swindell.[182] 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[183] and Channel 4's Meet the Middletons.[184]

Another TV film covering similar ground to William & Kate, titled William & Catherine: A Royal Romance and filmed in Bucharest,[185] starred Alice St. Clair and Dan Amboyer as the title characters. Jane Alexander appeared as the Queen and Victor Garber as the Prince of Wales. The film aired on 27 August 2011, in the US on the Hallmark Channel.[186]

In 2014, she was already being regarded as a British cultural icon, with young adults from abroad naming her among a group of people that they most associated with UK culture, which included William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth II, David Beckham, J. K. Rowling, The Beatles, Charlie Chaplin, Elton John and Adele.[187][188]

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

Royal monogram

Catherine is, by marriage, a princess of the United Kingdom and entitled to the style of Royal Highness.[189] She is usually styled as "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge".[190] When in Scotland, she is referred to as the Countess of Strathearn.[191] Northern Ireland is represented by a third title, Lady Carrickfergus.[190][a]

Honours[edit]

Medals
Commonwealth honours
  • Tuvalu 1 October 2016: Tuvalu Order of Merit[192]

Honorary military appointments[edit]

Canada Canada
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Honorific eponym[edit]

Awards

Arms[edit]

In September 2013, the Queen granted a conjugal coat of arms to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, consisting of their individual arms displayed side by side, beneath a helm and coronet denoting the duke's status as grandson of the sovereign.[197] Below is shown the earlier grant of the duchess's personal arms, impaled with those of her husband.

Ancestry[edit]

Potternewton Hall Estate – home of Olive Middleton (née Lupton) and her cousin, Baroness von Schunck (née Kate Lupton).

Middleton's father, Michael, and her paternal ancestors were from Leeds, Yorkshire. Her paternal great-grandmother, Olive, was a member of the Lupton family, who are described in the City of Leeds Archives as "landed gentry, a political and business dynasty"; previously unpublished pictures revealed in March 2015 that Olive Middleton had grown up on her family's Potternewton Hall Estate alongside her cousin, Baroness von Schunck (née Kate Lupton).[30][201][202][203][204] Middleton's paternal ancestors also include her great-great-grandfather, politician Francis Martineau Lupton (1848–1921), whose first cousin, Sir Thomas Martineau, was the uncle of World War II Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.[205]

Middleton's maternal ancestors, the Harrisons, were working-class labourers and miners from Sunderland and County Durham.[206] Ancestors through her maternal line include Sir Thomas Conyers, 9th Baronet (1731–1810), who was a descendant of King Edward IV through his illegitimate daughter Elizabeth Plantagenet.[207] Other ancestors are Sir Thomas Fairfax (1475–1520) and his wife Anne Gascoigne, who was a descendant of King Edward III.[208][209]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Even with the title Lady Carrickfergus, she is still mostly referred to as the Duchess of Cambridge in Northern Ireland, as per given sources.

References[edit]

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