Little Known Facts About Prince William and Kate Middleton
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been the apple of Britain's eye for quite some time, but there's still a lot that the general public doesn't know about them.
It might be hard to fathom that a couple at the forefront of national importance could possibly have any secrets, but we've rifled through the archives to find some lesser-known facts about the pair. From wedding night jitters to playground bullies, join us as we take a look into the private lives of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
St. Salvatore's Sweethearts
If it hadn't been for a twist of educational fate, the Royal couple may never have met at all. The pair both studied at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and both ended up living in St. Salvatore's Hall during their first year.
If they had never been dorm neighbors, it's quite possible that the young Kate would have never crossed paths with Prince William. And then what? We would've never had the gift of seeing that beautiful $400,000 wedding gown - not to mention Prince Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Isn't life just the strangest thing?
It Wasn't Love At First Sight
Once the pair met, they became fast friends, but that's all it was at first. It wasn't love at first sight for Britain's most famous couple. Kate and William shared some of the same classes, and their relationship was largely centered around the studies. In fact, Middleton was already romantically involved with a senior student, Rupert Finch.
Will's feelings changed when Kate walked in a fashion show that she had organized, but she initially spurned his advances. It wasn't long before her relationship with Finch dissolved after he graduated, and friendship soon turned into romance - something Kate couldn't have predicted.
From Working-Class Stock
While Kate has enjoyed a privileged life, she comes from a working-class family on her mothers' side. Carole Middleton was the product of coal miners and builders - a far cry from the glitz and glamour of Kensington Palace. Her mother, Dorothy, wanted more for her daughter and encouraged her to aim higher.
As a result, Carole became an air hostess, meeting Michael Middleton who was working as a dispatcher. Michael was from a wealthy background with aristocratic ties who knew a thing or two about business. The couple founded a mail-order party goods company that was incredibly successful, making them millionaires. As a result, Kate and her siblings got the best of the best.
Both Kate and William Have Brains
It might go without saying, but sometimes it has to be pointed out that the Royal family do actually need to put the effort in to get a degree, just like the rest of us. Prince William graduated St. Andrews with an MA in Geography, making him the most educated member of the Royal family.
Kate studied hard too, graduating the same year as her future husband with an MA in Art History. Money can buy you a lot of things, but it can't do the work required to get a degree - that's all down to the person studying.
Kate Has Actually Worked
Despite popular belief that Kate has been a kept woman since she started dating William aged 21, the Duchess has got some impressive details on her resume. By the mid-'00s William had decided to embark on a military career and was training at Sandhurst Military Academy, but Kate was far from bored.
Initially, it was difficult for the girlfriend of a prince to find a suitable job that would allow her to attend engagements with him at the drop of a hat, but fashion brand Jigsaw would be the answer. Kate worked as an assistant accessories buyer for the retailer, before leaving to study portrait photography.
William Broke Up With Kate Over The Phone
Like any couple, Kate and William have had their fair share of ups and downs. By 2007 the couple had been together for five years and were under pressure to become engaged. Not ready to pop the question yet, the 25-year-old prince decided it would be best to let Kate go her own way.
Allegedly, he broke the news to Kate over the telephone, but there are some media outlets who disputed this. Just a few months later the pair was spotted out and about at various royal events, with some tabloids stating the couple was living together. Both Will and Kate have since denied this.
Prince William Changed a Royal Birth Tradition
When it comes to delivering babies, the couple is pretty old-fashioned. Kate and William have three adorable kids together, all of which were born at St. Mary's in London. Prince William himself was the first future monarch to be born in a private hospital - usually, they would be delivered at one of the royal residences.
His father was born at Buckingham Palace, while Queen Elizabeth II was born at her grandfather's house at 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair. Since William's birth, everyone has followed suit. Harry was also born at the same hospital, as were Kate and William's children. It's likely that Harry and Meghan will welcome their child at St. Mary's, too.
Kate Got Bullied At School
It's difficult to believe it now, but the ultra-sleek, ultra-stylish Duchess of loveliness (and Cambridge) was tormented by her peers at school. Kate attended several high-profile schools, including Downe House, an all-girls boarding school. However, her time at Downe House was not a pleasant one.
By the age of 14, Middleton was so unhappy there that her parents removed her. Constant bullying and taunts from the other students saw her moved to a different school, the co-educational Marlborough College. Although Kate did well at Marlborough, a group of boys didn't initially make her welcome, rating her a two out of 10 for attractiveness.
Will Is Not a Fan of the Press
Prince William has voiced his dislike for the media in the past, mostly due to the impact it had on his mother. In the '90s, there was no one so frequently hounded by the press as Diana. When Charles and Diana divorced, the buzz only got bigger. Ultimately, the paparazzi were involved in the fatal collision that would kill his mother at just 36 years old.
Although the Prince is charming and eloquent when he talks to the media, he doesn't like to be hounded and fiercely protects his wife, too. When topless pictures of Kate were leaked to the press in 2012, he launched a legal battle to remedy the situation.
Prince William Isn't Afraid to Rough It
Back in 2000, Prince William was making the most of his young adulthood. He spent ten weeks in Chile on a Raleigh International expedition, and he didn't exactly stay in five-star hotels. Will immersed himself in the experience, spending time camping under the stars, dancing with the villagers, and tracking rare deer.
Just a few months after his visit, Kate Middleton went to Chile with the same organization, doing many of the same things. When the couple met, they probably bonded over their shared experience there, too. Who else can talk about that kind of thing on a first date?
Prince William Was Born on Midsummer's Eve
Prince William was born on Midsummer's Eve, otherwise known as the solstice. According to astrology, a solstice baby is special in a variety of ways. "Those born during the magical cusp of the summer solstice quickly fall under the spell of enchantment. Romantic and inspirational, they often put their talents and energies in service of a higher purpose," say experts.
It certainly seems to fit the bill, given William's penchant for philanthropy. There's not much more you could want from a future monarch, is there? Will is also a Cancer, meaning that he might be home-loving, sensitive, and loyal in relationships.
Their Home Was Once Princess Margaret's Residence
Married life started out pretty simply for Will and Kate, who lived in the same humble cottage as Meghan and Harry do now. However, when they added to their family, it was time to move up a notch. The happy couple moved into Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace, formerly the residence of the Queen's younger sister, Princess Margaret.
The 22-room "apartment" is really a four-story house. It has three kitchens, three-bedroom suites, a day and a night nursery, and five reception rooms. The Duke and Duchess often have guests over, goodness knows they have the room!
They Both Love to Netflix and Chill
Okay, we don't know if they actually have Netflix over there at Kensington Palace, but Will has told the media in the past that he and his wife like nothing more than a good television series binge...although some of their viewing choices might be unpopular.
For example, the pair apparently love to watch Australian soap Neighbours, which isn't exactly the pick of the crop when it comes to TV. More favorably, they are also fans of Homeland and think Game of Thrones is "worth watching." See, they're not that different from the rest of us, are they?
Kate's Wedding Ring Belonged To Harry
When the pair tied the knot in 2011, the engagement ring was as much talked about as Kate's stunning lace gown. The sapphire-and-diamond ring was the same that Charles gave to Diana, Princess of Wales - but it actually belonged to Harry.
The gorgeous piece of jewelry was left to the younger sibling after his mother's tragic passing in 1997. Despite the ring technically belonging to Harry, the brothers came to an agreement that whoever popped the question first got to use it. Harry would go on to design a ring that included other diamonds given to him by his mother when he got engaged to Meghan Markle.
Prince William or Harry Potter?
It might sound ludicrous, but Will has something very special in common with Hogwarts finest - and it's not that he plays Quidditch. As a youngster in 1991, the Prince was whacked in the forehead with a golf club by a school-friend. It was a complete accident, but the incident left Will with a Harry Potter-shaped scar.
The two chums were playing a round of golf when the other player took a swing without realizing Will was standing right behind him. Unfortunately for the rest of us, the Prince's magical talents start and end there. Wouldn't it be nice to have a wizard as a prince?
Prince William Had a Huge Crush on Cindy Crawford When He Was a Teen
Most of us have our teenage crushes, but can't really do anything about it. It's unlikely that we'll ever have the likes of George Clooney over for a round of tea, or any other of our celebrity love interests for that matter. But for William, it was an entirely different story. At age 13, the Prince harbored a huge crush on supermodel Cindy Crawford.
Once his mom got wind of the situation, she invited Cindy to Kensington Palace so he could meet her. Crawford later stated that she agonized over what to wear, wanting to meet the Prince's expectations but also look appropriate. She ticked all the boxes.
Will Is No Stranger To Pranks
When it comes to a friendly prank or three, William doesn't get let off the hook just because he's the future King of England. No, he gets teased by his friends and colleagues just like the rest of us - if not more. While he was serving in the RAF, his team often poked fun at him.
"We spent a few pounds on Kate and William memorabilia and strategically secreted it around the place, so he might find his own face on a cushion or see it on a cup when you give him a cup of tea," one revealed.
The Breakup Made Their Relationship Stronger
In some cases, trials and troubles can make us stronger. This seems to be the case with William and Kate's relationship. As she opened up to the press after their 2010 engagement, she said about the breakup: "I think I at the time wasn't very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person."
"You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn't realized," she continued. "Or I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you're younger. I really valued that time for me as well although I didn't think it at the time, looking back on it."
Will Is Left-Handed
Being left-handed is much rarer than being right-handed, with only 10% of the population having a dominant left hand. Pretty much everything is designed for use with the right hand, so Will had to overcome some barriers in his youth - especially when it came to polo.
Polo is a common sport in the upper classes, but the rules only permit the use of the right hand. It took Will a long time to master the game, but according to Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers, the president of the World Polo Governing Body, William was determined to learn and didn't want Harry to do better than him.
They Have An Adorable Family Dog
One of the first things Kate and William did after getting married and establishing their residence in Wales was to adopt a pet together. They chose an adorable black English Cocker Spaniel named Lupo. He's frequently seen on outings with the royal family and is a beloved member of the household.
The name "Lupo" means wolf in Italian. He's actually a son of a dog which belongs to Kate's mom Carole Middleton so he really is a member of the family in a way.
The Duchess Loves Dogs
Much like Queen Elizabeth II, Kate is a dog lover and can often be spotted petting pooches that she comes across while she's out and about (even on official duties). In this 2017 photo, she's seen attaching a sprig of shamrock to a wolfhound named "Domhnall."
This took place in London, during the annual Irish Guards St Patrick's Day Parade. The Duchess has even been known to stop in the rain to pet police dogs like she did in New Zealand on a 2014 tour.
Their Favorite Wedding Gift Is A Swing
When it comes to wedding gifts, most people might get a gift card or a slow cooker, but not Royal couples. When Kate and Will tied the knot in 2011 they received some very decadent gifts, including a wooden swing engraved with their names, William and Catherine.
The swing is at the country home in Norfolk and was pictured in Prince George's official birthday portraits in 2016. Company Oak & Rope had been commissioned to make the gift but kept tight-lipped about the order at the time. They were delighted to see the swing featured in the photographs, although they had no idea until a journalist contacted them.
Will Gets Nervous Too
Prince William might be old-fashioned when it comes to dealing with large crowds, seeing as he virtually been raised around them, but that didn't stop him from having a sleepless night before his wedding. Not only did he have the usual pre-marriage jitters, but he was kept awake by the throng of people outside.
He spent the night at his father's residence, Clarence House, but the crowds had already gathered in readiness for the next day. Will later admitted that he got about 30 minutes of sleep. "They were singing and cheering all night long. So, the excitement of that, the nervousness, and everyone singing meant I slept for about half an hour."
Kate Spent Time In Ireland During Their Breakup
A breakup is hard on anyone, but for a couple who were school sweethearts it can be devastating. During the time that Kate and William were broken up in 2007, she ventured to Ireland with some girlfriends and her mother to help get over the pain of separating.
While in the Emerald Isle, the art history major paid visits to the Urban Retreat Gallery as well as the National Gallery of Ireland. Above, Kate is pictured in March 2007, around the time she and Will split up. They didn't announce the breakup until April 14.
They Became Engaged While In Africa
As we well know by now, William and Kate's breakup didn't last (and we're so glad about that!). They became engaged while on vacation in Kenya. Middleton has said she was stunned at the moment that he proposed.
"We were out there with friends, so I really didn't expect it at all," Middleton said. "It was a total shock when it came. Very excited!" She added that it was a very special moment for both of them.
More About The Ring
It turns out that Prince William had to go to great lengths to keep his proposal a secret, especially as he and Kate went on a safari in Africa at the time! And as this was no ordinary engagement ring, it was quite an ordeal to keep it safe.
He later confessed to ITV: "I had been carrying it around in my rucksack for about three weeks before [asking her]. Everywhere I went, I was keeping ahold of it, cause I knew if this thing disappeared, I'd be in a lot of trouble."
They Christened A Boat As Their First Royal Engagement Together
On February 24, 2011, William and Catherine were invited to name a new lifeboat at Trearddur Bay in Wales. This was their first official engagement as a couple. A spokesman for the palace said that "given that Prince William is a search and rescue pilot and at some point is very likely to be working with crew, it seemed appropriate."
The lifeboat was dubbed the "Hereford Endeavour." It is the most advanced inshore rescue vessel produced by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
Kate's Wedding Bouquet Was Laid At The Grave Of The Unknown Warrior
The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier, in Westminster Abbey, London, is a tribute to an unidentified British soldier who was killed during World War I.
It has become a royal tradition to place wedding bouquets atop the grave ever since the Queen Mother (then Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon) did so in 1923. Kate's was accordingly placed there after the wedding ceremony was over and the official wedding portraits were taken.
Kate Once Made Chutney For The Queen As A Gift
The royal family is known for exchanging frugal holiday gifts. In fact, they frequently give each other gag gifts and other humorous items. For the first year Kate spent Christmas with the royals, she made the Queen a unique present: homemade chutney (a fruity condiment).
As she later explained, "I thought back to what I would give my own grandparents. And I thought, 'I'll make her something,' which could have gone horribly wrong. But I decided to make my granny's recipe of chutney." She was worried she'd made an error in judgment until she spotted the chutney on the serving table the next day. Success!
Kate's Received Some Amazing Jewelry From The Royal Family
The Duchess has been gifted with some lavish jewelry by the royal family over the years. Most recently, William gave her a citrine ring when their third child, Prince Louis, was born. She debuted that at Harry and Meghan's 2018 wedding. And for their first Christmas as a married couple, he gave her some gorgeous green amethyst earrings.
William's father Prince Charles gave Kate a set of white and yellow diamond jewelry which includes a bracelet, earrings, and a ring. His wife the Duchess of Cornwall gifted Kate with an engraved gold link charm bracelet.
The Royal Family Has Secret Code Names For Safety
Just as the President and First Lady of the United States are known as POTUS and FLOTUS to their security teams, the British royal family also have code names. As one source close to the family told the Daily Mail, "If anyone got hold of a phone belonging to a royal aide or security team member, they won't find Harry Windsor and Meghan’s names in it," a royal source said, according to Daily Mail. "It is far too risky in the wrong hands."
So what are the names? William and Kate are supposedly known as "Danny Collins" and "Daphne Clark," while Harry and Meghan are called "David Stevens" and "Davina Scott." Hmmm.
The Duchess Experienced Severe Morning Sickness While Expecting
While she was expecting their first child, Prince George, the Duchess experienced some severe morning sickness. She had a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum.
The illness caused her to feel so ill that she had to be hospitalized. This led the couple to announce that they were expecting a baby much sooner than they had intended (December 2012), since they know her hospital stay would cause alarm. She experienced the same condition for her next two pregnancies although it was not as severe in those cases.
Prince William Doesn't Wear A Wedding Ring
The Duchess of Cambridge has jewelry galore, but her husband doesn't wear a wedding ring. It turns out that there's a very simple reason for it: he doesn't like to wear jewelry. Although many men in the royal family do wear wedding rings, it's a matter of personal preference.
The palace even issued a statement with the ring "news" prior to the royal wedding. As one Princess Diana biographer wrote, "Kate omitted the word 'obey’ in her wedding vows, and William has opted not to wear a ring, which makes them like many millennial couples—intent on doing things their way."
Kate's First Trip To New York City Was With William
In 2014, Kate made her first visit ever to New York City, along with Prince William. They were there on official royal business and made a stop at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum as well as a reception for N.Y.C. Mayor Bill de Blasio held in the Empire State Building.
The royals managed to fit in some fun, too, during their three-day stay. Here they are watching the Cleveland Cavaliers play the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
Princess Charlotte Is Not Outranked By Her Younger Brother
When the Duke and Duchess had their third child, Prince Louis, in April of 2018, something historic happened: his arrival didn't bump his sister Princess Charlotte down on the line of succession to the throne.
That's all due to the Succession to the Crown Act, passed in 2013. Princess Charlotte remained fourth in line to the British throne. She's after Prince George but ahead of her uncle Prince Harry. Girl power!
They're Big Ellie Goulding Fans
Ellie Goulding has a lot of friends in the royal family, including William and Kate. The British songstress performed at their 2011 wedding reception. The newlywed couple is said to have danced to her version of Elton John's "Your Song" during the two-hour long set.
The singer is also one of Princess Eugenie's best friends and performed at her wedding to Jack Brooksbank in October 2018.
Kate Has Three Official Titles
When she married Prince William, Kate Middleton officially became "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge." But she has two additional formal titles that people might not be so familiar with: Lady Carrickfergus when she is in Northern Ireland and the Countess of Strathearn when she's in Scotland.
Likewise, William is known as the Duke of Cambridge, Baron Carrickfergus, and the Earl of Strathearn. The latter titles were bestowed on the couple as a wedding gift from Queen Elizabeth.
Prince George And Prince William Traveled To The Same Place For Their First Royal Tours
In April 2014, Prince George accompanied his parents on an official three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia. This trip was especially meaningful as it was the same route that William had been taken on his first tour.
George, just eight months old, delighted his host countries. He had some fun himself, with a playdate with some other youngsters and a much-publicized trip to the zoo. He and his parents are pictured above meeting a Bilbo.
Kate's Fashion Show Dress Sold For Big Bucks
In the years between their first meeting and their eventual relationship, Kate was modeling at a friend's fashion show. William, who had paid $275 to attend the 2002 event, was impressed by her beauty (and by her revealing ensemble).
Kate walked the runway in a see-through $40 dress that pretty much consisted of a matching underwear set with a lacy coverup. William turned to his friend Fergus Boyd and exclaimed "Wow, Fergus, Kate's hot!"Fast forward to 2018 and that sheer little number was auctioned for a nice $125,000.
William Served As Harry's Best Man
It came as no surprise to royal watchers that William served as Harry's best man when the time came for his younger brother to get married. Kensington Palace tweeted the news: "The Duke of Cambridge is honored [sic] to have been asked, and is very much looking forward to supporting his brother at St George's Chapel, Windsor on May 19th."
William and Harry clearly share their devilish sense of humor. When Harry was asked how he had popped the question to William, he cheekily replied, "How did I ask? Got down on one knee. He's known for months.”