Catherine Elizabeth "Kate" Middleton (born 9 January 1982) is the fiancée of Prince William of Wales. Their wedding is to take place on 29 April 2011. Middleton grew up in Chapel Row at Bucklebury, Berkshire, and after attending Marlborough College, studied at the University of St Andrews, where she met Prince William in 2001. They started a relationship, which was marred by excessive media scrutiny, leading them to break it off for several months in 2007.
They continued to be friends and later in 2007 they reunited. Since then, Middleton has attended many high-profile royal events. She has been admired for her fashion sense and has been placed on numerous "best dressed" lists. Once their relationship became public, Middleton received widespread media attention and there was much speculation that they would eventually marry.
Middleton was born at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.:32 She is the eldest of three children born to Carole Elizabeth (née Goldsmith), a flight attendant, and Michael Francis Middleton, who also worked as a flight attendant prior to becoming a flight dispatcher for British Airways. Her parents married on 21 June 1980 at the Parish Church of Dorney, Buckinghamshire, and in 1987 founded Party Pieces, a mail order company that sells party supplies and decorations.
In November 2006, Middleton accepted a position as an accessory buyer with the clothing chain Jigsaw. In September 2007, it was reported that Middleton was planning to give up her job as an accessory buyer to become a professional photographer. It was announced that she intended to take private classes with photographer Mario Testino, who had taken several well-known photographs of Diana, Princess of Wales and her sons. Middleton and Testino apparently were introduced by Prince William. Testino later denied that Middleton was going to be working for him.
Middleton has been featured in several best-dressed lists and 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 its monthly beauty icon. In July 2008, Middleton was included in Vanity Fair's international best-dressed list. In February 2011, Middleton was named the Top Fashion Buzzword of the 2011 season by the Global Language Monitor.
Prince William and Kate Middleton became engaged in October 2010 in Kenya, East Africa, during a 10-day trip to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to celebrate William's passing his RAF helicopter search and rescue course. Clarence House announced the engagement on 16 November 2010. The couple are to marry in Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011, with the day declared a bank holiday in the United Kingdom.
Middleton will be the first queen-in-waiting for more than 350 years to not be a member of the English nobility. As such, while she may inherit or acquire various titles bestowed on William and his family, she has no titles of her own. Similarly, William currently holds no titles other than the style of "Royal Highness", as a British prince; the wife of a son or grandson of the Sovereign is entitled to the same style. Thus, upon marriage she will take the title of "Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales",also taking her husband's name.
Middleton was formally introduced to public life on 24 February 2011, two months before the wedding, when she and William attended a lifeboat naming ceremony in Trearddur, North Wales. On 16 February 2011, Clarence House announced that Middleton's and William's first royal tour of Canada would take place in July 2011.
A Lifetime TV movie entitled William and Kate aired in the U.S. on 18 April 2011. Middleton is played by Camilla Luddington and William by Nico Evers-Swindell.