When Kate Middleton started dating Prince William, she was under scrutiny because of her status. She came from a middle-class family and was alienated for that by the prince's friends and some royal aides. Moreover, she was called names.
When the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, married the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, her financial status improved. However, she was already well-off, thanks to her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, self-made millionaires.
The couple has a combined net worth of over $67 million due to a business they established together in 1987 called Party Pieces, including some lucrative investments per KnownNetWorth.com.
Kate Middleton pictured with her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, at the Sovereign's Parade at Sandhurst Military Academy. / Source: Getty Images
Carole and Michael previously worked at British Airways, where she was a flight attendant, and he was a dispatcher. They wed in 1980, and seven years into their marriage, the duo decided to start their own children's party supplies company called Party Pieces.
According to Hello Magazine, the family business is reportedly worth $40 million and is the couple's source of income. Aside from that, the two own stakes in racehorse shares which have earned them hundreds of thousands of pounds in prize money.
In 2011, The Daily Telegraph reported that Michael's father, Peter Middleton, left him and his three brothers, Simon, Richard, and Nicholas, an inheritance equalling $800,000. Following his death in 2010, each sibling received $130,000.
Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton attending day 1 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 14, 2022 in Ascot, England. / Source: Getty Images
Michael and his wife also dipped their money into real estate investments. When their children, daughters Kate and Pippa and son James, were growing up, the family of five lived in a house in Vernham Dean, reportedly worth approximately $540,000 via The Telegraph.
In 2002, the Middletons purchased an apartment in Chelsea, London, where all their kids lived. The property's worth increased to about $1.6 million by 2011 with no mortgage attached.
In 2005, Carole and Michael invested in more properties and now own separate commercial buildings worth about $1.75 million. Per Express, the couple resides in an $8 million mansion in Bucklebury.
Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton during the "Together at Christmas" community carol service at Westminster Abbey on December 8, 2021 in London, England. / Source: Getty Images
Growing up, Kate and her family lived in a $1.8 million home named Oak Acre in Bucklebury village. The family relocated to the large, detached house when she was only 13 years old.
Her education included the best private boarding schools. In September 2001, young Kate enrolled at Marlborough College, and it has been claimed that the royal had a "mischievous streak" while in school.
According to the 2011 documentary "Kate Middleton: Biography," she was said to have "little confidence." However, when she turned 16 in 1996, she finally came out of her shell and did not hold back.
Kate Middleton attending the second day of the Gatcombe Park Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, on August 6, 2005 in Tetbury, England. / Source: Getty Images
"She was so famous for this at the school, and she became known as Kate Middlebum."
Kate was a misfit when she enrolled at the leading public school as she joined midway through the academic year in 1996. She was bullied by other girls at Downe House — an all-girls boarding school near her home in Berkshire, leading her parents to switch her school.
Kate Middleton attending the wedding of Hugh Van Cutsem and Rose Astor at Burford Parish Church on June 4, 2005 in Burford, England. / Source: Getty Images
Part of the reason she had a tough time there was said to have been Middleton's "new money" as her parents went from middle class to multi-millionaires when the family business boomed.
Per the Daily Mail, headmaster Edward Gould knew Kate had left Downe House after being consistently teased. Meanwhile, former student Gemma Williamson revealed:
"Apparently, she had been bullied very badly, and she certainly looked thin and pale. She had very little confidence."
Kate's house tutor Joan Gall disclosed that she was suffering from eczema due to stress and that when she arrived at Marlborough, she was reserved but quickly settled in.
KATE AND PRINCE WILLIAM'S ROLLERCOASTER LOVE STORY
Prince William pictured walking with girlfriend Kate Middleton following his graduation ceremony at RAF Cranwell on April 11, 2008 in Cranwell, England. / Source: Getty Images
In November 2021, royal expert Katie Nicholl revealed to Express that the Duchess of Cambridge first crossed paths with the future king of England, Prince William, a decade before reuniting at the University of St. Andrews.
They were both nine years old when the Duke's Ludgrove School arrived at her school, St. Andrew's, for a hockey match. It was when he first caught her attention. Nicholl wrote in "Kate: The Future Queen" that though Kate showed no interest in boys at the time, the prince changed that:
"Although she wasn't especially interested in boys, the arrival of one particular young man had caught her attention."
Prince William and Kate Middleton during their visit at the University of St Andrews on February 25, 2011 in Glenrothes, Scotland. / Source: Getty Images
The pair shared the same dorm when they were undergraduates at Scotland's oldest university. In a joint interview with ABC in November 2010, Kate revealed that she and Prince William initially moved in together as friends and lived with other students.
While being housemates, the duo's romance began to blossom. They saw more of each other and spent more time together while engaging in numerous activities.
Kate Middleton and Prince William on the day of their graduation ceremony at St Andrew's University in St Andrew's on June 23, 2005 in Scotland. / Source: Getty Images
In a piece for The Scotsman in 2003, reporter Louisa Pearson stated how Kate's father believed that she and the prince were merely friends,saying
"People do not seem to realize that there are two girls and boys sharing the flat at university. They are together all the time because they're best of pals, and yes, cameramen are going to get photos of them together."
"But there is nothing more to it than that," said Michael. He emphasized that while it was amusing that there was a hint of his family being in-laws to Prince William, it would never happen.
Michael Middleton and his daughter Kate Middleton during day 13 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 11, 2021 in London, England. / Source: Getty Images
The Duke and Duchess began dating in 2003 but kept their relationship low-key until 2004. Prince William understood the aftermath that would follow once the media learned of his romance with Kate. He wanted to keep her from the spotlight for as long as he could.
However, it all came to light when the pair were photographed on a family skiing holiday, spotted close together on the slopes. Photos of Kate and the prince appeared in British newspapers the next day, leaving him "furious," said a royal expert.
Prince William and Kate Middleton photographed while on a skiing holiday on March 19, 2008 in Klosters, Switzerland. / Source: Getty Images
Royal editor for the Daily Mail, Rebecca England, revealed the Duke was upset on behalf of the Middletons as they were now thrust into the limelight:
"William was furious, and he was also genuinely worried for Kate and her family about what this would mean for them."
What he feared came to be as his then-girlfriend endured various media attacks as the British press made headlines that seemed abusive towards her.
Kate Middleton spotted outside her house on her 25th birthday in London. / Source: Getty Images
Via Buzzfeed, the royal's phone was hacked 155 times by a reporter at the now-defunct News of the World. After the press learned what Kate's parents did for a living, they investigated her problematic family members and found her uncle, Gary Goldsmith.
Kate and her younger sister, Pippa, were labeled the "Wisteria Sisters" due to their perceived social climbing. Moreover, the paparazzi took pictures up her skirt when she entered and exited vehicles. The media also made an accent on her class and coal miner ancestry.
In addition, she was on the receiving end of "snobby jibes" by palace officials and by Prince William's friends, who also ridiculed her mother's previous profession.
Kate Middleton and her mother Carole Middleton during day 1 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2017 in Ascot, England. / Source: Getty Images
The Mirror reported that the prince's pals made fun of Carole's career by whispering "doors to manual" when Kate was out of sight. Courtiers claimed the Reading native was not a good match for their royal friend because her mom did not speak eloquently enough.
That led to the brunette feeling "isolated" after hearing about the remarks. Media reports said she tried to laugh off the snarky comments but eventually worried she would never be accepted into Prince William's circle.
KATE AND PRINCE WILLIAM'S PAINFUL SPLIT
Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, arriving for their visit to Coventry Cathedral during their visit to the city on January 16, 2018 in Coventry, England. / Source: Getty Images
As such, Kate and Prince William briefly split in April 2007. In addition to their treatment, she and her then-boyfriend hardly spent time together.
The Duke had left to join his first regiment, The Blues and Royals, stationed with the Household Cavalry Bovington Barracks in Dorset. He was away for months, and the three-hour drive meant he would not be in London every weekend.
Meanwhile, Kate worked as a buyer at the Jigsaw fashion firm, and the media constantly harassed her. On the other hand, when the prince could not make it home, he would go out clubbing and was spotted flirting with numerous women at the time, making front-page news the next day.
Prince William attending the christening of Konstantine Alexios as godfather of the child in London. / Source: Getty Images
It happened several times, and Kate grew tired of it. The last time they went out together before their split was with their friends in March 2007, and by the time Kate flew with her mother to Ireland, their four-year relationship was over.
In January 2022, The Sun's royal photographer, Arthur Edward,s recalled asking Prince William why he and Kate broke up a few years ago, and he said that he needed to be sure:
"I had to be sure this was the right woman for me because I want this marriage to last forever."
Prince William pictured giving the keynote address at the Children's Global Media Summit at the Manchester Central Convention Complex on December 6, 2017 in Manchester, England. / Source: Getty Images
The Duke had reportedly ended things with the Duchess over a phone call while she was at work. Per the Mirror, he got cold feet following speculations about an imminent engagement. On how they coped with the breakup, Kate saw it best to live her life fully by showing the prince what he was missing.
She went out at London hotspots, wore edgy clothes, and went on sightings with Prince William's friends, hiding her real emotions behind a smile. Kate later admitted that their three months split was a blessing in disguise:
"I think at the time, I wasn't very happy about it, but actually, it made me a stronger person."
Kate Middleton arriving at The Renaissance Rooms for the Day-Glo Midnight Roller Disco in South London. / Source: Getty Images
The Duchess said she was young and consumed by her relationship with the prince, so their time apart allowed her to discover things about herself. Hence, she valued that time alone even though she did not think about it that way then.
Meanwhile, Camillia, who married Prince Charles in 2005, reportedly wanted her and Prince William to break up. According to the book "Game of Crowns: Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate, and the Throne" by Andersen, the Duchess of Cornwall believed Kate was "pretty, but rather dim" and "too lowly" to marry into the Royal Family.
Amid their split, Kate and Prince William were spotted together more than once. They were seen locking lips at an army barracks party, making an appearance at a concert, and at his cousin's wedding before they officially reconciled in 2008.
Prince William pictured kissing Kate Middleton, after playing the Field Game at Eton College on March 18, 2006 in Eton, England. / Source: Getty Images
Looking back on their breakup, Prince William said they were both very young and were still trying to find themselves, adding it was just a bit of space and that ultimately things worked out for the better.
The couple dated for eight years before the prince finally proposed. Because of the long wait, Kate was dubbed "Waity Katie" by the media and referred to as a "commoner." Prince William supported her throughout all of those hurtful times.
After joining the Royal Family, Kate did her research and went to Buckingham Palace, speaking to courtiers and advisors for advice. Nicholl said she did not want to make any mistakes at the time and that if it meant being labeled "Waity Katie" again, she would not mind.
Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge photographed speaking to guests while attending an event at Clarence House on October 26, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. / Source: Getty Images
Before Prince William asked for her hand in marriage, Kate's mother was said to be concerned in 2009 as there were no talks of a possible marriage:
"Kate was nearing 30, and there was still no ring on her finger."
Nicholl revealed that Carole talked to the prince, who then assured her he would do right by her daughter. "And he was true to his word," said the royal expert.
Prince William and Kate Middleton posing for photographs in the State Apartments of St James Palace as they announce their engagement on November 16, 2010 in London, England. / Source: Getty Images
The Duke proposed to the Duchess in October 2010 and announced their engagement in November that year. Clarence House released a statement: "The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton."
The former pilot proposed to Kate while on vacation in Kenya with his late mother, Princess Diana's ring. The proposal occurred in a romantic setting at a quiet lodge and was personal for both parties. It came as a surprise for Kate, and she was excited about it.
KATE HAS CEMENTED HER ROYAL STATURE
Newlyweds Kate Middleton and Prince William arrive by coach at Buckingham Palace following their royal wedding at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. / Source: Getty Images
The couple wed in a lavish ceremony in April 2011 at Westminster Abbey and welcomed three kids, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Today, Kate is preparing to be queen, and according to a family friend, she gets better with time.
The said pal told People in December 2021 that the Duchess is prepping to transition into a queen in support of her husband when the time comes, stating she was ready and perfect for the role. The source further praised Kate:
"Kate is more and more impressive as time goes on. She is a focused and professional woman."
Kate Middleton pictured in the parade ring during Royal Ascot 2022 at Ascot Racecourse on June 17, 2022 in Ascot, England. / Source: Getty Images
This has made her the right hand to Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty reportedly needed someone to rely on ahead of this year's Platinum Jubilee celebrations amid the ongoing royal drama. A royal insider said the Duchess would do what is expected of her:
"Kate will step up, and I know the Queen hugely values her support and will rely on her more than ever."
In April 2022, royal author Tina Brown stated that the Duchess of Cambridge has kept the monarchy from "crumbling at the moment." Brown said it would be a disaster if Kate decided she wanted to follow in Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's footsteps by leaving the Firm.
Kate Middleton hosting a drive-in cinema screening of "Cruella" for Scottish NHS workers at The Palace of Holyroodhouse on May 26, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. / Source: Getty Images
She explained how consequential it would be, saying Kate is the only modern, beautiful woman who is well educated, content, and wants to commit herself to the institution, something not many young women could do.
Kate's middle-class status has been her biggest asset as a member of the Royal Family because people can relate to her. She wears Zara to official engagements, drops off, and picks up her kids from school.
She goes grocery shopping, takes photos of her brood for their birthdays, donning sports attires, and shares them with her millions of followers on social media. The mother of three did not stop being a regular individual after marrying into royalty and has remained just like any ordinary person.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge during the Earthshot Prize 2021 at Alexandra Palace on October 17, 2021 in London, England. / Source: Getty Images
Former private secretary of the Cambridges, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, told People in September 2021 that Kate is a perfect balance for Prince William and that together, the royal couple is ready to lead a modern monarchy.
The former staffer said Prince William has the experience of where the monarchy is positioned and wants it to evolve. Whereas his wife "brings this pragmatic awareness of what it's like to be from a decent, down-to-earth family."