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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Catherine Elizabeth "Kate"; née Middleton; born 9 January 1982), is the wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. The Duke of Cambridge is second in line to the thrones, after his father, of the 16 Commonwealth realms and the Duchess is expected to eventually become queen consort.

Catherine grew up in Chapel Row, a village near Newbury, Berkshire, England. She studied Art History in Scotland at the University of St Andrews, where she met the then Prince William of Wales in 2001. Their engagement was announced on 16 November 2010, and she attended many high-profile royal events before they married on 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey. Catherine has had a major impact upon British fashion which has been termed the "Kate Middleton effect", and in 2012, she was selected as one of The 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time. On 14 January 2013, St James's Palace announced that the Duchess was expecting her first child in July 2013.

She was admitted to hospital in early labour on the morning of 22 July 2013, and gave birth to Prince George of Cambridge on the same day.

Early lifeEdit

Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading on 9 January 1982, and christened at St Andrew's Bradfield, Berkshire, on 20 June 1982. She is the eldest of three children born to Carole (née Goldsmith), a former flight attendant, and Michael Middleton, who also worked as a flight attendant prior to becoming a flight dispatcher for British Airways. Her parents were married on 21 June 1980, at the Parish Church of Dorney, Buckinghamshire. In 1987, they founded and became owners of Party Pieces, a mail order company that sells party supplies and decorations. Party Pieces is a private company with an estimated worth of £30 million. The Middletons have another daughter, Philippa "Pippa", and a son,James. The family has complained about press harassment of Pippa and Carole since Middleton's engagement.

The Duchess's paternal ancestors were from LeedsWest Yorkshire. Her paternal great-grandmother Olive was a member of the Lupton family, who, for a number of generations, were Leeds-based woollen cloth merchants and manufacturers and who were also active in civic affairs. Her maternal ancestors, the Harrisons, were working-class labourers and miners from Sunderland and County Durham.

Michael and Carole Middleton worked for British Airways, in Amman, Jordan from May 1984 to September 1986. In Jordan, Middleton went to an English language nursery school before returning to their home in Berkshire. Following her return from Amman, Middleton was enrolled at St Andrew's School near the village of Pangbourne in Berkshire, then briefly at Downe House. She attended Marlborough College, a co-educational independent boarding school in Wiltshire, 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.

She supports Football League Championship football team Reading F.C..

CareerEdit

In November 2006, Middleton accepted a position as an accessory buyer with the clothing chain Jigsaw. She also worked part-time until January 2011 as a catalogue photographer, webpage designer and marketing officer for her parents' firm Party Pieces. Despite this, at one point she was nicknamed "Waity Katie" by the media for her apparent lack of work ethic and seeming lack of desire to work, in preference for awaiting a wedding proposal.In 2008, it was reported that she had quit her job at Jigsaw to become a professional photographer, intending to take private classes with photographer Mario Testino, who had taken several well-known photographs of Diana, Princess of Wales, and her sons. Testino later denied that Middleton was going to be working for him.Edit

Public image and styleEdit

Catherine became prominent for her fashion style and has been placed on numerous "best dressed" lists. She 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 their monthly beauty icon. In July 2008, Middleton was included in Vanity Fair's international best-dressed list. In February 2011, she was named the Top Fashion Buzzword of the 2011 season by the Global Language Monitor. In January 2012, she was voted 'Headwear Person of the Year'. Middleton was number one on Vanity Fair's annual Best Dressed lists in 2010, 2011 and in 2012 also its cover star. She was awarded the accolade of 'Best Celebrity Smile' in May 2012, after placing first in a poll by Bupa.

The Duchess is known for mixing couture pieces, often by British designers, with 'High Street' retail fashion. Designers worn by Middleton include Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueenIssa;Jenny PackhamBeulah LondonAlice TemperleyErdemBurberry; and Catherine Walker. High street labels worn by Middleton include ReissZara and L.K.Bennett.

Pregnancy and motherhoodEdit

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 traditional as she had been admitted to King Edward VII's Hospital Sister Agnes suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum and stayed there for three days. 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.

In January 2013, the Queen issued new letters patent enabling all children of the eldest son, as opposed to only the eldest son, of the Prince of Wales to enjoy the princely title and style of Royal Highness.

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 a boy, weighing 8 pounds 6 ounces (3.80 kg), at 16:24 BST that day. On 24 July 2013, Kensington Palace revealed that the baby would be named George Alexander Louis.

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