Happy birthday Catherine! 20 facts about The Princess of Wales

Today is The Princess of Wales’ birthday. We take a look at some interesting facts about the Princess, both before and after her marriage to Prince William.

1. Catherine holds six royal titles since September 2022 – The Princess of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Rothesay and Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn (for when she’s in Scotland) and Lady Carrickfergus, when she’s in Northern Ireland.

2. After becoming engaged to Prince William, her first official royal engagement was the launch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifeboat ‘Hereford Endevour’ at Trearddur Bay, Wales on 24th February 2011. She attended the event with Prince William.

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Kate Middleton and Prince William christened a new lifeboat as their first joint Royal engagement after announcing their engagement

3. Before entering the Royal Family, Kate worked in London as a part time buyer for the clothing company, Jigsaw.

4. The Princess’ first official portrait was unveiled by artist Paul Emsley at the National Portrait Gallery in January 2013.

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5. Her engagement ring was that of Diana, Princess of Wales. The ring consists of blue Ceylon sapphire, surrounded by a halo of 14 round diamond accents, set on an 18K white gold band.

Prince William and Kate Middleton pose for photographs in the State Apartments of St James Palace; after much speculation, Clarence House announced their engagement.

6. In 2007, Catherine joined an all-female dragon-boat crew called The Sisterhood. The crew were training to race across the English Channel against an all-male crew in the hope to raise money for charity. She later withdrew from the race due to safety concerns due to increased press attention.

7. During the mid 1980s, the Princess lived in Amman, Jordan whilst her father worked for British Airways.

8. During her teenage years, Catherine attended Marlborough College, a co-educational boarding school in Wiltshire, UK. Princess Eugenie also attended the same boarding school.

9. The Princess of Wales is a fan of Mary Berry and ‘The Great British Bake Off’. Upon meeting the baking icon, Catherine told her how big of a fan she is of her cookbooks. Appearing alongside Mary Berry in 2019’s ‘A Berry Royal Christmas’, the Royal mentioned her love for baking birthday cakes for her children. Commenting at the time she said: ‘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.’

Prince William and Kate do some baking with Mary Berry (KP/BBC)

10. She was made editor for a day at Huffington Post UK, in 2016. As part of Young Minds Matter, the Princess wrote a blog post about what she has learnt about mental health and the stigma attached to it.

11. Kate was number one on Vanity Fair’s annual Best Dressed lists in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. She also appeared on the cover in 2012.

12.  The then-Duchess of Cambridge has had a footwear collection named after her. To mark Catherine’s 30th birthday, reality Kim Kardashian specifically designed a black quilted pump, working with ShoeDazzle UK.

13. Her first royal patronage was for The Royal Foundation. The announcement was made in October 2011, six months after she married Prince William. The Foundation was previously know as the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry.

14. The Princess is a keen photographer. She has previously photographed portraits of her children and family for official release. In 2019 she became patron of the Royal Society of Photographers after taking over from the late Queen.

Prince William takes George and Charlotte to deliver food parcels at Sandringham

15. Catherine Middleton was athletic during her school years, where she played tennis, hockey and volleyball.

16.Her Royal Highness debuted a new piece of jewellery in her collection last November – The Princess of Wales brooch, a piece that has been around for over 100 years. 

17. In December 2022, the Princess received her first senior military title, ahead of King Charles’ first Trooping the Colour in June 2023. She became Colonel of the Irish Guards, taking over from her husband who had held the role from 2011.

18. Before attending the University of St. Andrews, she took a gap year during which she studied at the British Institute in Florence.

19. Kate learnt the piano from the  age of 11 till she was 13. She gained her grade three piano and grade five theory. The then-Duchess of Cambridge showed off her piano skills during her first Together At Christmas carol service in 2021. 

20. During a visit to BBC Radio 1 in 2017, HRH revealed her favourite takeaway is ‘curry, definitely’. 

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