Catherine, the Princess of Wales is a woman who feels like she was to the manor born. Taking to royal duties like a natural, Kate has grown into the Princess of Wales role – and being the future Queen Consort – in the public eye.
From her iconic fashion sense (she has an epic dress collection and incredible designer heels stash) that inspires many to want to dress like the Princess to historic moments like her wedding day to Prince William, Kate might not be royal by blood but she sure has made her mark on the history of the Royal Family.
Let’s dig a little deeper into 35 fascinating and illuminating facts about future Queen Catherine.
35 surprising facts about Kate Middleton
1. Kate Middleton has a rare star sign for the Royal Family
Born on January 9, 1982, Kate is the only Capricorn in the Royal Family. (Taurus and Leo tend to be the most recurrent signs throughout the royals, for what it’s worth). Last January marked Princess Catherine’s 41st birthday, while her 40th birthday was celebrated with the release of three official portraits.
2. She had a well-travelled childhood
The Princess of Wales lived in Jordan for two-and-a-half years as a child and went to nursery there. Her father, Michael Middleton, was a flight dispatcher for British Airways and he and Carole Middleton met at work when she was a flight attendant.
3. Kate’s nickname at primary school was Squeak
The future Queen holds many titles, but one of her earliest is surprising. She revealed in 2012 that she was nicknamed Squeak after her school’s guinea pigs. There were two – one called Pip and one called Squeak. Kate’s sister, Pippa, was nicknamed Pip leaving Squeak free for Kate’s nickname.
4. Her middle name has a solid royal connection
Kate’s middle name is Elizabeth, the name of both the late Queen and the Queen Mother. A perfectly regal name that is very apt for a future Queen Consort. Princess Charlottes’ middle name is also Elizabeth, along with Diana after her late grandmother.
5.She may be the future Queen of England, but she has a connection to America’s Founding Father –
That’s right, the Princess of Wales is the eighth cousin, seven times removed of none other than George Washington.
6. She used to be a church choir girl
Touchingly, Princess Charlotte is taking after a childhood passion of Kate’s, as the young princess also loves to sing. In fact, Catherine even revealed the hymn that little Charlotte loves to sing in the morning before school.
7. She played Eliza Doolittle in a school production of My Fair Lady
Her childhood love for singing saw the future Queen Consort take centre stage for a school production of the Loewe and Lerner classic musical. Of course, she performed a rendition of the iconic Wouldn’t It Be Loverly.
8. Prince William wasn’t her childhood crush
Unlike many other girls her age at the time, Kate had a poster of the Levi’s Jeans model on her wall instead of the eligible prince and denied rumours that she had a photograph of Prince William on her wall during the couple’s 2010 engagement interview.
9. Kate Middleton set an athletic record as a child, and it remains unbeaten
She set the high jump record of 1.5 metres at her primary school and it hasn’t been beaten since. It’s little wonder that Kate was sporty from a young age as she’s known to love keeping fit now and is an especially keen tennis player and runner.
10. The Princess of Wales has an eclectic education
She studied biology, chemistry and art for her A Levels before going on to study Art History at the University of St Andrews. The Scottish university is where she ended up meeting her now-husband, Prince William, and is also attended by Prince William’s young cousin, Lady Louis Windsor.
11. Kate went to school with one of her future royal relatives
The now Princess of Wales was a student at Marlborough College, a prestigious co-ed boarding school in Wiltshire, in her teenage years. Prince William’s cousin, Princess Eugenie, also counts among their alumni – although Kate and Eugenie didn’t attend at the same time.
12. She graduated with a 2:1 in Art History from St Andrews University in 2005
A great accomplishment, but her time at university might be more notable for it being where she met Prince William. The couple have shared that their relationship began as a friendship before it blossomed into romance.
13. But she also made plenty of time to party at university
Think she was all prim and proper? Kate proved she knew how to have her fun as she actually co-founded a female drinking society at St Andrews University. Other fun times Kate enjoyed at university include cooking with Prince William in their shared home and, of course, taking part in that iconic charity fashion show.
14. She’s a keen sports player
Not only has she taken on a former tennis world number one, Kate played netball, hockey, and is known to love wild swimming. She opened up about her keenness for a chilly dip during Mike Tindall’s The Good, The Bad and The Rugby podcast, admitting that for her it’s “the colder, the better”.
15. Her cousin is a famous burlesque dancer, with a very appropriate act
Katrina Darling is Kate’s distant cousin. Private wealth manager by day, burlesque star by night, Kate’s cousin has an act called God Save the Queen!
16. The Kate Effect actually started out young
Whenever the Princess of Wales wears something, it tends to sell out. This has been dubbed The Kate Effect, and the first example of it in action was when her £40 Topshop dress sold out after she wore it for her 25th birthday. These days it’s the likes of her double-breasted Zara blazers, Veja trainers and £60 Spells of Love earrings that give royal fashion fans big inspiration.
17. Her favourite dessert is a classic
Kate is a girl after our own hearts, as she’s reported to love the no fuss Sticky Toffee Pudding. A chef who worked at the Old Boot Inn in Berkshire’s Stanford Dingley where Kate has been seen dining revealed that she would always order the British classic for dessert when she paid a visit.
18. Kate’s favourite interior designer has designed both Kensington Palace and Anmer Hall
Ben Pentreath has helped the Princess of Wales redesign two of her royal residences, which favour neutral palettes and a lovely mix of high-low, with the Princess loving high-street brands like Anthropologie and Zara Home. Fans got a first look when photos of the Obama’s visit were released.
19. She might be a Princess, but she’s held some regular jobs
Kate is no stranger to hard work. Kate’s previous jobs include being a deckhand and a waitress. One of the skippers Kate worked under at the time, Cal Tomlinson, spoke to author Katie Nicholl for her biography Kate: The Future Queen. He said, “It was back-breaking work. Kate mucked in and was very professional. She fitted right in, although she did stand out for being so pretty.”
20. Boats also factored into Kate’s gap year
Just like her future husband, Kate ended up taking a gap year before studying at university where she went to Florence and crewed boats on the Solent. Kate is certainly a natural on the water as she is also a keen rower.
21. She is also a qualified scuba diver
As well as being a deckhand and crewing boats on her gap year, Kate’s tested her water skills after obtaining her advanced diving qualification. The Prince and Princess of Wales even went scuba diving during their 2022 trip to Belize.
22. She pursued a career in fashion after university
Princess Catherine worked as an accessories buyer for British clothing retailer Jigsaw and helped design a necklace back in 2006. After a year in the role, Kate went on to work at mum Carole Middleton’s events supply brand, Party Pieces.
23. She’s not just sporty, Kate has artistic passions
The Princess of Wales loves photography. Her pictures have ended up on the cover of Country Life – landing her a job offer in the process – as well as releasing birthday photos of her children. She is an honorary member of the Royal Society of Photographers.
24. Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding was one of the most watched royal events in history
Kate married William on April 29, 2011. It was watched by 26 million people and holds over 72 million more YouTube streams. Royal fans around the world watched the pair tie the knot at London’s Westminster Abbey, while the service was attended by nearly 1,900 guests.
25. Kate actually did her own makeup for the momentous day
The now Princess of Wales enlisted London makeup artist Arabella Preston for some tips but she applied her own soft romantic look on the day. Kate reportedly used lots of Bobbi Brown products to create the glowing look, including the Bobbi Brown Bronze Shimmer Brick.
26. Her wedding dress featured this hidden, traditional detail
Kate made sure to follow the tradition of “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” for the big day. The Alexander McQueen wedding dress ticked off two of these – the “something old” was the traditional Carrickmacross lace-making technique and the “something blue” was a hidden blue ribbon sewn into the interior. (The “something new” was a pair of diamond earrings and the “something borrowed” was the iconic Cartier halo tiara.)
27. The Princess of Wales has musical talent
Princess Catherine can play the piano, and has performed alongside Scottish music star Tom Walker for her Together at Christmas carol concert at Westminster Abbey, as well as delighting Eurovision 2023 viewers with a surprise appearance.
28. She has a reported allergy to something beloved by the Royal Family
Kate is reportedly allergic to horses – and sneezy appearances at major royal events have many fans wondering if Prince George has inherited the same allergy as he appeared to be sneezing and sniffling during the 2023 Trooping the Colour procession.
29. Her favourite drink is somewhat surprising
Princess Kate is reported to love a pint of Guinness. She’s been seen drinking the stout on several occasions – and even pulling a few pints during official royal engagements, too! We must say, we’d love to have a drink with Princess Catherine at her local pub.
30. She loves a much more traditional tipple too
It’s been widely reported that Prince William brings Kate a Gin and Tonic in the evening after Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have gone to bed. A close friend of the couple said, “William will bring Kate a gin and tonic. They look after each other, but in different ways.”
31. Kate Middleton’s grandfather had a connection to Prince William’s
Kate’s paternal grandfather, Peter Middleton, was an RAF pilot who reportedly once flew with William’s grandfather, the late Prince Philip. Princess Catherine regularly attends official engagements to meet with military staff and paid a visit to Gloucester’s Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford with Prince William and the three Wales children in July 2023.
32. The Princess does this sweet tradition for her children’s birthdays each year
Kate loves to bake her three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – a homemade birthday cake each year. Kate previously told Mary Berry, “I love making the cake. It’s become a bit of a tradition that I stay up ’til midnight with ridiculous amounts of cake mix and icing and I make far too much. But I love it.”
33. She’s just like us: the Princess loves a binge watch
In a 2017 interview with BBC Radio 1, Prince William said he and Princess Catherine love the likes of Game of Thrones, Homeland and Downton Abbey when it comes to watching box sets and enjoy an evening of TV on the sofa with takeaway Indian food.
34. The Princess of Wales isn’t afraid of making a statement
Despite being subject to strict rules and protocols, Princess Kate has impressed fans with important appearances, such as attending the vigil of Sarah Everard – a woman tragically murdered by a cop – in 2021.
35. Like Queen Elizabeth, Kate uses fashion to send messages
From regularly paying tribute to Princess Diana in her outfit choices to subtle messages of support (such as wearing rainbow colours to support the NHS during the Covid crisis), Kate isn’t afraid of sending a message with her outfits.