Catherine, princess of Wales | Biography, Children, Family, & Facts (2024)

Catherine, princess of Wales

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In full:
Catherine, princess of Wales, duch*ess of Cornwall and Cambridge
Original name in full:
Catherine Elizabeth Middleton
January 9, 1982, Reading, Berkshire, England (age 42)
Notable Family Members:
spouse William, prince of Wales
Role In:
British Royal Wedding of 2011

Recent News

Apr. 1, 2024, 7:55 AM ET (AP)

Gillian Anderson and Rufus Sewell recreate a royal media disaster in Prince Andrew drama 'Scoop'

Catherine, princess of Wales (born January 9, 1982, Reading, Berkshire, England) is the consort (2011– ) of William, prince of Wales and heir apparent to the British throne. In 2022 Catherine became the princess of Wales, a title previous held by her mother-in-law, the late Princess Diana. Similar to Diana, Catherine is known for her warmth and relatability. She typically ranks among the royal family’s most popular members. In 2024 it was announced that Catherine was being treated for an undisclosed form of cancer.

Early life and education

Catherine is the eldest of three children of Michael and Carole Middleton; her siblings are Philippa (Pippa) and James. Her parents met while working as flight attendants at British Airways, and in 1987 they founded a mail-order business selling supplies for children’s parties. The success of that venture, along with a family inheritance, allowed them to send Catherine to a prep school and then to the prestigious Marlborough College in Wiltshire, England. At Marlborough, Catherine (then called Kate Middleton) was known as a serious levelheaded student, excelling in both athletics—she captained the school field hockey team—and academics.

Britannica QuizWilliam and Catherine

In 2001, after a gap year, Middleton enrolled at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. There she studied art history while working part-time as a waitress. After graduating from St. Andrews in 2005, she was briefly employed as an accessories buyer for a clothing retailer, and she later assumed various roles at her parents’ company while performing a host of charity work.

Relationship with Prince William: marriage and children

While at St. Andrews, Middleton met Prince William, a fellow first-year art history student who was then second in line to the British throne (after his father, Charles). According to Catherine, the two were “very close friends” for about a year. In 2002 they and several others moved in together, and it was then that the relationship turned romantic. They maintained a low profile, and their relationship was not made public until they were photographed together vacationing in Switzerland in 2004. Three years later the couple broke up, and Middleton later said, “I at the time wasn’t very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person.” However, after just a few months, they reunited.

Following several years of intense speculation from the British media about the couple’s marriage plans—during which time Middleton was dubbed “Waity Katie”—it was announced in November 2010 that the two had become engaged. In preparation for entry into the royal family, Kate Middleton reverted to the more formal name Catherine. The royal wedding took place on April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey in London. She was given the title duch*ess of Cambridge.

The couple’s first son, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, was born on July 22, 2013, and their daughter, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge, was born on May 2, 2015. Catherine gave birth to a second son, Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge, on April 23, 2018.

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Public life

By most accounts, Catherine easily transitioned to royal life, and she quickly became popular with the public. She is involved in numerous charities, especially those involving children. In 2021 she established the Centre for Early Childhood, part of the Royal Foundation. Catherine also has supported efforts concerning mental health issues. In 2017 she joined forces with William and his brother, Prince Harry, to launch the Heads Together initiative, which seeks to raise awareness about mental health problems and ease the stigma associated with them. Catherine is also a noted amateur photographer, and she frequently posts family portraits online.

In September 2022 Elizabeth II died. William became heir apparent and inherited the title duke of Cornwall when his father became King Charles III. Catherine thus became the duch*ess of Cornwall and Cambridge. She became princess of Wales shortly after, when the title prince of Wales was bestowed on William. In addition, their children’s titles also changed. Their eldest son, for example, became Prince George of Wales.

In January 2024 Kensington Palace announced that Catherine was undergoing “planned abdominal surgery” and would not return to official duties for some two months. In the ensuing weeks her health became a source of intense speculation, especially on social media. It reached a crescendo in March after Catherine admitted to editing a Mother’s Day photograph of her and her children. About two weeks later she announced that she had been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. The type of cancer was not revealed.

John M. Cunningham The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

Catherine, princess of Wales | Biography, Children, Family, & Facts (2024)


Catherine, princess of Wales | Biography, Children, Family, & Facts? ›

Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born to Michael and Carole Middleton at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, on 9 January 1982. The Princess of Wales is the eldest of three children, and was christened at the parish church of St. Andrew's Bradfield in Berkshire on 20 June 1982.

What cancer did Kate Middleton have? ›

While the type of cancer was not specified, Catherine revealed it was detected during testing following a recent major abdominal surgery. Catherine is now undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy to prevent the cancer from returning.

What is Kate Middleton's family background? ›

Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born on 9 January 1982, at Reading's Royal Berkshire Hospital. Her parents are Michael Francis (born 1949) and Carole Middleton (maiden name Goldsmith), born in 1955. Both Michael and Carole worked at British Airways – Michael was a flight dispatcher, while Carole was an attendant.

Does Princess Catherine have siblings? ›

She has a younger sister, Philippa, and a younger brother, James. The family moved from Bradfield Southend, Berkshire, to Amman, Jordan, in May 1984, where Catherine attended an English-language nursery school.

What religion is Kate Middleton? ›

However, it did catch my attention that Kate Middleton had been Confirmed prior to her Church of England wedding. I too was also confirmed, although as a Roman Catholic, before my wedding.

Does Prince William's wife have cancer? ›

In a video message last month, Kate, 42, the Princess of Wales, said tests taken following major abdominal surgery she underwent in January had uncovered cancer, something she described as a "huge shock".

How old was Kate when she was diagnosed with cancer? ›

Kate Middleton: A timeline of her cancer diagnosis, surgery and absence from public duties. The 42-year-old princess underwent abdominal surgery in January. Kate, the Princess of Wales, announced she was diagnosed with cancer.

How much does Kate Middleton weigh? ›

Buckingham Palace has remained mum about how much Kate weighs or how tall she is, but rumors put her at 5-foot-10 and about 120 pounds. "At a weight of 120 for 5-foot-10, that puts her at 80 percent of ideal body weight, or definitely underweight," said Bonci.

What is Kate Middleton's real name? ›

Kate's Official Name

Kate was born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton and is now officially known as Catherine, Princess of Wales GCVO (that acronym references her "Royal Victorian Order"). She officially dropped her middle and last name upon marrying Prince William and also gained these fancy titles: duch*ess of Cambridge.

What does Kate Middleton's mum do? ›

The Middletons founded Party Pieces, a successful party planning company, in 1987. Carole and Michael Middleton launched Party Pieces, a party planning company, in 1987, the same year their son James was born.

Do Kate and Pippa get along? ›

From living together in a Chelsea flat in their 20s to sharing their motherhood journey with three children, Kate and her sister Pippa Middleton have always been incredibly close.

What happened to Princess Kate's sister? ›

Pippa Middleton is married to James Matthews, a former race car driver who became a billionaire hedge fund manager. Matthews first met Middleton in the mid-2000s when her family vacationed in the Caribbean island of St. Bart's, where his family owns a resort.

What does Kate's brother do? ›

What does Kate Middleton's brother do? According to the "about the author" section of his upcoming book "Meet Ella: The Dog Who Saved My Life," James describes himself in the description as an entrepreneur and dog lover. He is also the founder of James & Ella, a "happiness and well-being company for dogs."

What was Princess Diana's religion? ›

Diana, Princess of Wales, had more of a Christian faith than was widely believed, a Songs of Praise special will claim, as it explores the inspiration behind her charity work. The long-running Sunday afternoon programme is to air a special episode quietly exploring the late Princess' religion next week.

Was Kate Middleton born a Catholic? ›

The Middleton family's religious heritage appears to have tended toward nonconformity across the generations. While Catherine was baptized into the Church of England as an infant, her great-grandparents were wed in a Unitarian church, and the family tree stretches back to ejected Puritan clergy in the 17th century.

Does Kate Middleton have a half sister? ›

What member of the royal family had cancer? ›

Queen Elizabeth (The Queen Mother)

Biographer William Shawcross revealed in his 2009 book, The Queen Mother: The Official Biography, that Elizabeth had a tumor removed in 1966 following a colon cancer diagnosis. She was later diagnosed with breast cancer in 1984 and had surgery to remove a lump in her breast.

Do any royals have cancer? ›

Kate Middleton is just one of several high-profile royals who have had cancer. Kate Middleton announced on Friday that she was diagnosed with cancer. Her health news comes after King Charles III shared his cancer diagnosis in February.

Who has cancer in the royal family? ›

The announcement from Catherine, Princess of Wales that she has started chemotherapy for cancer and is in the “early stages of that treatment” was a bolt from the blue.

Is ovarian cancer curable? ›

Can you fully recover from ovarian cancer? Yes, many women fully recover from ovarian cancer following surgery and/or chemotherapy. Ovarian cancers caused by stromal or germ cell tumors have high survival rates. However, epithelial carcinoma is the most common type of ovarian cancer and has lower survival rates.


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