Kate Middleton married Prince William in 2011

Princess of Wales: from commoner to future queen

Kate Middleton married Prince William in 2011 – Copyright AFP Juan BARRETO

Anna MALPAS

The Princess of Wales has shown herself to be the epitome of royalty since joining Britain’s most famous family, making level-headed public appearances while avoiding harsh criticism of her sister-in-law Meghan.

Katherine, who married current heir to the throne Prince William in 2011, stepped up the look when his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, hid from the public eye.

The couple, who are in their 40s, have played a prominent role during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and have consistently been the most popular members of the royal family since the late monarch in recent years.

She juggled royal duties, including a prominent role in the platinum jubilee celebrations, while being a mother to her three children.

Katherine received applause for easily comforting her youngest son Prince Louis when he became restless during a platinum anniversary earlier this year.

The former Kate Middleton is the daughter of businessman Michael and former flight attendant Carol Middleton.

She began dating William while studying art history at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

The couple have been together ever since, with the exception of a brief breakup in 2007, which Kate says made her “a stronger person.”

She briefly worked as a shopper for fashion chain Jigsaw before marrying at London’s historic Westminster Abbey in 2011, where she wore a lace-sleeved dress by Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton.

William’s decision to marry a “commoner” after a long relationship was in stark contrast to his father, the current King Charles III, in his 1981 marriage to 20-year-old aristocrat Diana Spencer, when he was 12 years her senior.

Since then, Kate has spoken little about her experience of joining the royal family, unlike her sister-in-law Meghan, who married William’s younger brother, Prince Harry, in 2018.

Harry and Meghan sensationally left frontline royal duties and moved to North America in March 2020, after which they spoke about life outside the palace walls.

Meghan, a former American television actress, told Oprah Winfrey in a March 2021 interview that she had a cold reception and described her being bullied by the tabloid press.

In the early days of her courtship, photographers also tracked Kate’s every move, drawing parallels to the media’s treatment of William’s mother, who died in 1997.

There were also reports that William’s friends made fun of her mother’s former profession and that courtiers said that Carol Middleton did not use enough “pathetic” phrases.

However, William spoke of his warm relationship with his wife’s parents.

– Kate vs Megan –

Kate gave birth to Prince George, next in line to the throne after William, in 2013, followed by Princess Charlotte in 2015 and Prince Louis in 2018.

She opened up about her struggles with severe morning sickness, stating on a podcast that she is “not the happiest of pregnant women.”

Prince Harry was often photographed at events with his brother and Kate, it seemed that in their company he was easy and warm.

When Meghan appeared on the scene, the couples seemed to be getting along well, suggesting that the foursome would be the face of the modern monarchy.

But rumors of a rift began to circulate shortly after Meghan and Harry’s show wedding in 2018 at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

In November of that year, The Sun newspaper reported that Meghan brought Kate to tears at the fitting of her daughter Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress.

In her high-profile interview with Oprah, Meghan claimed the opposite was true, but Kate apologized and sent her flowers.

However, she complained that Buckingham Palace never corrected the report.

Critics have accused the relentless British tabloids of targeting mixed-race Meghan in a way Kate hasn’t encountered – and Harry didn’t miss the moment.

In November 2016, shortly after their relationship became public, Harry said that “a line has been crossed”, accusing the comments of “racial overtones”.

After the pair were accused of royal racism, much attention was paid to the contrasting treatment of the two women.

– “Showcase Mannequin” –

Kate, however, drew criticism from feminist commentators due to her great looks even hours after giving birth.

Of course, the fact that she did not hide her postpartum belly was welcomed.

But British film star Keira Knightley said Kate’s well-groomed look makes women “look pretty” and “hide their pain.”

Writer Hilary Mantel even accused Kate of being like a “showcase mannequin with no personality of its own.”

However, Kate comes across as passionate when she talks about certain issues, especially child development and early influence.

“Our early childhood shapes our adult life,” she said.

In July 2021, she opened the Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood.

She is also known as a keen amateur photographer and has taken formal photographs of her family in their home and garden.

During the pandemic, William, who contracted Covid, and Kate publicly supported the introduction of a vaccine. They spoke to medical staff and those who were hesitant to get vaccinated.

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