Kate Middleton has always exuded class and grace, and one would be forgiven for thinking she was born with blue blood in her veins. However, before marrying Prince William, Kate Middleton had a regular life.
Born to a flight dispatcher and air hostess, Middleton had a reasonably normal upbringing. Besides their day jobs, her parents ran a business that helped them see their children attend good schools, such as the University of St. Andrews, where Middleton would meet her future husband.
For two years of her childhood, Middleton lived in Amman, Jordan, in the Middle East, where her father was stationed as part of his job at British Airways. She attended pre-school there before returning to the UK just in time for her to join primary school.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends Investec Derby Day at the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Downs Racecourse on June 4, 2011 in Epsom, England | Source: Getty Images
In university, she walked a fashion show wearing a see-through dress that is believed to have caught William's eye. After university, she worked briefly for her parents at their business which supplies party goods.
Then, she relocated to London, working part-time as an accessories buyer for clothing store Jigsaw Junior. She led a pretty ordinary life for most of her life, but that would change after meeting the Prince.
MIDDLETON'S FIRST APPEARANCE AT THE ORDER OF THE GARTER
William and Middleton met while both were University of St. Andrews students. At the time, Middleton was unknown to the world. The two would often cross paths in the halls or on their way to class.
Kate Middleton watches Prince William compete in the Chakravarty Cup charity polo match at Ham Polo Club on June 17, 2006 in Richmond, England. | Source: Getty Images
Eventually, a friendship blossomed between them, and they would often eat breakfast together with other friends and bond over their shared love for skiing.
During their second semester, after Middleton strutted the fashion show runway in a see-through dress, William reportedly realized that Middleton was "hot" and told a friend, Fergus Boyd, the same.
The following year, William, Kate, and two other friends moved into an off-campus apartment. Soon after, William started trying hard to impress Middleton with his not-so-good cooking skills, and eventually, a romance blossomed between them.
Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive to pose for photographs in the State Apartments of St James Palace on November 16, 2010 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
Their living arrangement helped them shelter their relationship from unnecessary attention for a while, but eventually, the cat was out of the bag.
The romance spilled over well into the years after graduating, and articles about the two often reported Middleton as William's girlfriend. Middleton finally made her debut as William's girlfriend at the Order of the Garter in 2008.
The ceremony, recognized as one of the oldest royal traditions, was founded by King Edward III in 1348. It entails honoring those who have held public office and contributed in a particular way to national life.
Queen Maxima of The Netherlands and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge at St George's Chapel on June 17, 2019 in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images
Her first appearance signified to the public that the Royal Family had welcomed and accepted her. And while the ceremony requires all the seriousness one can summon, it turned out to be almost a comical relief show for Middleton and Prince Harry.
As William strode past in the ceremonial gown and a hat decorated with a plume of heron and ostrich feathers, Harry and Middleton collapsed in giggles, even as William watched them subtly.
Prince Harry and Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton laugh together as they watch the Order of the Garter procession at Windsor Castle on June 16, 2008 in Windsor, England | Source: Getty Images
Donning a chic polka dot black skirt suit and a matching saucer-shaped hat, Middleton could not help the fits of laughter even as she clapped her hands at her future husband.
Her appearance was a low-key introduction to royal life and would later become one of the most significant signals yet that she would become a full-time member of the Windsor family.
MAKING A FASHION STATEMENT
Fourteen years after her first appearance at the order of the chivalry, Middleton arrived for the second ceremony accompanied by Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
She looked stunning in a regal blue coat dress by Alexander McQueen — the designer responsible for her 2011 wedding gown – paired with a floral fascinator by Juliette Botterill and a matching clutch.
Following her glamorous entrance to the ceremony, entertainment publications posted her story, and the comments from fans showed just how much of an impact the duchess' fashion style had on her fans and people worldwide.
Comments on Twitter included praises for the duchess for looking as beautiful, elegant, and classy as she did, praising her ever-evolving fashion sense.
One commenter said she looked incredible as she arrived for the celebration, while another deviated from her dress and commented on how fabulous her shoes were.
It was in order when another fan called her iconic and yet another a star, describing how gorgeous she was from head to toe. Others were in awe at how glamorous she seemed in the bright blue shade and the matching jewelry.
MIDDLETON HAS ALWAYS BEEN A FASHION ICON
Middleton has not been one to go out in less-than-classy fashion pieces. She has constantly blown people's breaths away with her signature sense of style and fashion, with her preferred bouncy blowout with glamorous ensembles.
And the trend did not begin with her becoming the duchess of Cambridge. For as long as the world remembers, Middleton has served stunning fashion looks from as far back as her first year at the University of St. Andrews.
After modeling in a charity fashion show wearing a sheer black dress, which almost made William's heart stop, she went on to work as an accessory buyer for the British fashion label, Jigsaw, proving that she knew her fashion stuff.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a National Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul's Cathedral on June 3, 2022 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
She has constantly beat her fashion records, from donning an Alexander McQueen wedding gown with a nine-foot-long train and a Cartier Halo Tiara at her wedding to wearing bright colors, form-fitting silhouettes, and floral patterned dresses and gowns.
Away from fashion, the future Queen has made some significant changes to her and her family's lives. While the family of five intends to keep their London Apartment and the estate in Norfolk, the plan is to relocate to Windsor.
However, location is not the only change that Middleton is bound to embrace. With the modifications that are bound to happen in the monarch's future, Middleton's title will also change.
When Charles becomes King, Middleton's title will change from duchess to Princess of Wales, the first since Princess Diana. And when William finally becomes King, Middleton will carry the title of Queen Consort.