Catherine Elizabeth, "Kate" Middleton (born 9 January 1982) is the girlfriend of Prince William of Wales. Since their relationship first began, Middleton has received widespread media attention and there has been constant speculation that they will eventually marry.
Born in 1982, Middleton grew up in Berkshire, and after attending Marlborough College went to the University of St Andrews. She met Prince William, also studying there, in 2001. They soon started a relationship, media attention quickly followed, and in 2005 her lawyer complained of harassment. In April 2007, it emerged in the press that William and Middleton had split up. They continued to be friends, and later in 2007 the pair 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.
Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born on 9 January 1982 at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, the daughter of Michael Francis Middleton (born 23 June 1949) and Carole Elizabeth (née Goldsmith; born 31 January 1955). Middleton, an airline pilot, and Goldsmith, an air stewardess, had married on 21 June 1980 at the Parish Church in Dorney, Buckinghamshire. Kate Middleton's paternal family came from Leeds in West Yorkshire, and her great-grandmother Olivia was a member of the Lupton family, who were active for generations in Leeds in commercial and municipal work.Carole Middleton's maternal family, the Harrisons, were working class labourers and miners from County Durham. In 1987, the Middletons founded their own company, Party Pieces, a mail order firm that sells party supplies and decorations. They have since become millionaires.
Kate Middleton grew up in Bucklebury, Berkshire, and attended St. Andrew's School in Pangbourne, Berkshire followed by Marlborough College in Wiltshire.
Michael and Carole Middleton have two other children, Philippa "Pippa" Charlotte (born 6 September 1983)and James William (born 15 April 1987). Pippa Middleton, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, has received press coverage since her sister became famous, with focus on her relationships and lifestyle.
Relationship with Prince William
Middleton's unsubstantiated status as the girlfriend of Prince William brought her widespread media coverage in the UK and abroad, and she was often photographed on her daily outings. On 17 October 2005, she complained through her lawyer about harassment from the media, stating that she had done nothing significant to warrant such publicity.
In February 2006, it was announced that Middleton would receive her own 24-hour security detail supplied by the Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department. This fueled further speculation that she and Prince William would soon be engaged, since she would not, otherwise, be entitled to this service. No engagement occurred, and Middleton was not granted an allowance to fund this security. However, media attention greatly increased around the time of Middleton's 25th birthday in January 2007, prompting warnings from both Prince Charles and Prince William and from Middleton's lawyers, who threatened legal action. As a result, 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.
Middleton attended at least one event as an official royal guest, Prince William's Passing Out Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 15 December 2006.
Despite no official engagement, Woolworths prepared commemorative merchandise to be ready should an engagement announcement occur.
End of relationship and reconciliation
On 14 April 2007 The Sun newspaper broke a 'world exclusive' suggesting that Prince William and Kate Middleton had split up.Other media outlets such as the BBC confirmed the story as the day progressed. The couple decided to break up during a holiday in the Swiss resort of Zermatt.
Clarence House made only one comment about the relationship's end, according to The Times, stating, "We don't comment on Prince William's private life." Newspapers speculated about the reasons of the split, although these reports relied on anonymous sources. The original report in The Sun quoted a "close friend of the couple" as saying that Middleton felt William had not been paying her enough attention. The paper highlighted reports that William had been spending time with other young women, and said the Prince, aged 24 at the time of the split, felt he was too young to marry.
A report in the Daily Mail blamed a desire by royal courtiers not to "hurry along" a marriage announcement, and William's desire to enjoy his bachelor status within his Army career. The Mail also suggested that William's friend Guy Pelly encouraged the Prince to take a "careless approach" to relationships. The same article suggested that Middleton had "expected too much" in wanting William to demonstrate his commitment to her.
In June 2007, Middleton and Prince William insisted they were "just good friends" following reports of a reconciliation. Middleton and her family attended the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium; however, she and William sat two rows apart. Since then, the couple has been seen together in public on a number of occasions, and according to several news sources including the BBC and the Daily Mail, have now "rekindled their relationship". Middleton also joined William and Charles on a deerstalking expedition at Balmoral and attended the wedding of William's cousin, Peter Phillips even though William, due to a prior commitment, did not. On 16 June 2008, Middleton attended the event of William's investiture into the Order of the Garter along with the Royal Family.
In April 2010 a report in the Daily Mail citing Tina Brown speculated that an engagement between Middleton and Prince William will be announced on June 3 or 4, and that a wedding will take place in November 2010. This has been denied by other sources close to the Royal Family.
2006 - present
In November 2006 Middleton accepted a position as an assistant accessories buyer with clothing chain Jigsaw.
In September 2007 it was reported that Middleton was planning to give up her job as an accessories buyer to become a professional photographer. Some months later, it was announced that she intended to take private classes with internationally renowned 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 or had ever worked for him. In December 2007, it was also reported that Middleton had moved in with Prince William at Clarence House, the residence of the Prince of Wales in London. Clarence House later denied this.
On 17 May 2008, Middleton attended the wedding of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly, which Prince William missed to attend the wedding of his close friend. On 19 July 2008, Middleton attended the wedding of Lady Rose Windsor and George Gilman. Prince William was away on military operations.
On 28 February 2010, The Times reported that Kate Middleton was pursuing an invasion of privacy suit against a photographer called Niraj Tanna of Ikon Pictures who took pictures of her over Christmas, although they were never published in Britain.
Middleton has been featured in numerous best dressed lists. Middleton was selected by The Telegraph as the "Most Promising Newcomer" in their 2006 list of style winners and losers. Tatler placed her at #8 on their yearly listing of the top ten style icons in 2007. She was also featured in People Magazine's 2007 best dressed list. Middleton was named as one of Richard Blackwell's ten "Fabulous Fashion Independents" of 2007. In June 2008 style.com selected Middleton as their monthly beauty icon. In July 2008 Middleton was named to Vanity Fair's international best dressed list.