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On This Day: The Duchess of Cambridge was born

On 9 January 1982, Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, was born at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. The eldest of three children, her father Michael Middleton was a flight dispatcher for British Airways, and her mother, Carole, was a former flight attendant. Her sister Pippa was born in 1983 and their brother James was born in 1987.

Catherine was baptized at St Andrew’s Bradfield, a local parish church, on 20 June 1982. From May 1984 to September 1986, her family lived in Amman, Jordan. During that time she attended an English-language nursery school. Once the family returned to Berkshire, Catherine was four years old when she enrolled at St Andrew’s School, a private school in the area.

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In her later years, she spent part of her weeks boarding at St. Andrew’s and eventually became a boarder at Marlborough College, a co-educational independent boarding school in Wiltshire. She was very active in sports and was captain of the women’s field hockey team.

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After college, Catherine took a gap year to study at the British Institute of Florence in Italy. She also traveled to Chile and worked as a deckhand at the Port of Southhampton. Little did she know that by attending the University of St Andrews, her life would change forever.

In 2001, Catherine met her future husband Prince William while they were students in residence at the St Salvator’s Hall. A year later, she reportedly caught William’s eye at a university charity fashion show, wearing a see-through lace dress. In 2003, the couple would begin dating and during their second year, they shared a flat with a couple of friends. From 2003 to 2005, they resided at Balgove House on the Strathtyrum estate before their 2005 graduation.

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Catherine briefly studied psychology before switching her focus to art history. During her time at the university, she achieved a gold Duke of Edinburgh Award which recognises young people for completing a series of self-improvement exercises. She was also an active member of The Lumsden Club which held fundraisers and community projects every year.

In November 2006, Catherine began part-time work as an accessory buyer for the clothing chain, Jigsaw. She also found herself getting involved with a number of charity events including organising an 80’s-themed roller disco fundraiser for Place2Be, an organisation focusing on improving mental health in schools. Prior to her relationship progressing with William, Catherine shared a flat with her younger sister Pippa in Chelsea.

In 2007, William and Kate split up. However, Catherine and her family were seen a few months later in July 2007 at the Concert for Diana. Hosted by her sons Prince William and Prince Harry, it was an event to remember and honour the late Princess 10 years since her passing. Catherine and William sat just a couple rows apart and rumors of rekindling their romance began to go around.

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In June 2010, the couple moved into a cottage on the Bodorgan Estate in Anglesey, Wales where William was doing his Royal Air Force search-and-rescue training. In October of that year, William proposed to Catherine with Diana’s ring during a 10-day trip to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya. The couple had traveled to celebrate William passing his search-and-rescue course.

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In November 2010, Clarence House officially announced their engagement. The build-up to the wedding itself attracted media attention similar to the media attention when William’s parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer married in 1981.

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On 29 April 2011, an estimated 300 million people watched Catherine and William get married. That number includes an estimated 26 million people just in Britain. Upon their marriage, The Queen granted them the titles “the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.” As a wedding gift, the couple was given a country home, Anmer Hall, on the Sandringham Estate.

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To date, Catherine and William have had three children together. Prince George (b. 2013), Princess Charlotte (b. 2015), and Prince Louis (b. 2018.) The family officially reside at Kensington Palace.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.