20 Fast Facts to Know About Kate Middleton

20 Fast Facts to Know About Kate Middleton
Image: Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

kate middleton
Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

She's one of the most famous women in the world -- a duchess, a devoted mother to three kids, a style icon whose fashion sense sets trends, and a queen in the making who has already worn some seriously breathtaking royal tiaras and necklaces. We all watched her get married in a fairy tale wedding after Kate got engaged to a future king who gave her one of the most iconic pieces of jewelry ever made. 

Yeah, we know a lot about Kate Middleton

But there's so much more to learn, and just a little digging will bring up some of the lesser known facts about the Duchess of Cambridge -- a must for every royal fan following the life and times of a woman who will be in the public eye for the rest of her life.  

Kate hasn't exactly been an open book when it comes to sharing details about her life, past or present. She and her family and circle of friends were tight-lipped for the roughly eight years Kate dated William, and for the first few years of her married life, we saw her more and more. Kate's engagement video with William remains her only ever broadcast interview -- though she participated in a palace-approved documentary for Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday. Even her cover for Vogue's 100th anniversary was just a set of pictures with no story. 

Little by little over the years, Kate has opened up and dropped little nuggets about her life, whether in casual conversations with charity officials and others at nonprofit events that she visits, or in rare speeches. Former classmates and even Kate's mom, Carole Middleton, have dropped other little bits and pieces about the duchess -- as well as royal biographers who have written books on her.  

So what have we learned? Well, read on to find out. Here are 20 facts to know about Kate Middleton. 

  • Kate Blushed When She Met William 

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    kate middleton and prince william
    Julien Behal/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage/GEtty Images

    According to the couple, Kate and William met at St. Andrews University in Scotland where they were assigned to the same dorm hall. When she was introduced to him, Kate said in their engagement video, she "went bright red ... and scuttled off feeling very shy." (Not for long!) The two became friends, then roommates, then a couple, and the rest is history

  • She Didn't Meet Queen Elizabeth for Five Years

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    kate middleton and queen elizabeth II
    Danny Martindale/FilmMagic/Getty Images

    It seems amazing now, because the Queen has put so much trust in Kate, but, yes, the two did not meet for the first five years of Kate and William's relationship. That actually makes sense, considering that the couple had a lot of ups and downs, and the Williams grandmother surely was not trying to meet everyone and anyone he dated. So, although Kate and Queen Elizabeth had been in the same room or event three times during that period, they only met at the wedding of Princess Anne's son, Peter Phillips, in 2008. 

  • First Official Portrait

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    kate middleton official portrait
    Robert Alexander/Getty Images

    Honestly, we wouldn't call this painting a resounding success. It was painted in 2013 by artist Paul Emesly. He was chosen by Kate herself, but this looks oddly impersonal -- as if he simply copied a picture. Kate has more personality and warmth than this painting, which also ages her. It would have been great to see more of Kate's personality shine, along with a beautiful outfit, and some jewels! 

    Here's hoping she gets a better portrait soon.

  • Kate Had a Serious Boyfriend Before William 

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    willem marx
    Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

    Kate's first love was not William, but Willem. She started seeing Willem Marx in 2000 at Marlborough College, a year before she transferred to St. Andrews and became friends with William. Willem and Kate later broke up but remained friends, and reunited to hit the clubs when Kate and William split in 2007. Fun fact: Willem, who is now a London-based CNBC correspondent, attended Kate's wedding.

  • Kate & Princess Eugenie Went to the Same School

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    princess eugenie and kate middleton
    Indigo/Getty Images

    Kate attended Marlborough College, one of England's most expensive boarding schools, where did her high school years. It's where she blossomed, started dating, and really came into her own. Years later, Princess Eugenie and Pippa Middleton chose the school for themselves as well, although none of the ladies' time there overlapped.  

  • Naughty School Nickname 

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    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    Hard to believe, but Kate was actually mischievous enough in school to get herself nicknamed. She transferred to Marlborough College from another school after being bullied for being "perfect, well turned out, and lovely," according to a classmate interviewed by the Daily Mail. At Marlborough, Kate seemed to break out of her shell and got into the habit of mooning people who passed by outside her window, earning her the moniker "Kate Middlebum." 

    We had no idea!

  • Modeling Days

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    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    Party Pieces, the party supply business that Carole Middleton started from her garden shed -- which eventually made the family rich -- was truly a family business, with Kate (and Pippa) modeling for the catalog. After she left college, Kate also helped out by taking product pictures for the company's website.

  • Birthday Cake Baker

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    Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images

    Kate may have a staff that can handle all of her baking needs, but this duchess, a lifelong baker, makes the kids' birthday cakes herself. "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," Kate mentioned during a TV Christmas special with former British Baking Show judge Mary Berry.

  • No Problem Cleaning Chicken Coops

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    Yui Mok – WPA Pool/Getty Images

    Though Kensington Palace in London is where Kate and her family usually live, these days, they are isolating at Anmer Hall, which she must be enjoying immensely. After all, it's where the countryside native and her kids have a vegetable garden that they work on year-round, and a chicken coop that they clean. (Surprised?) Kate also recently released a picture showing herself hard at work on her Back to Nature garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. Kate may wear a tiara and priceless jewels, but at the end of the day, her happy place is getting out in nature and digging in the dirt. 

  • Queen of Sports

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    kate middleton playing tennis with a kid
    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    It's no secret that Kate is a jock. (We have tons of pictures to prove it.) But just how many sports has she played -- between school, college, private time, and royal events? 

    Check out our list: Field hockey, rounders, tennis, soccer, dragon boat racing, sailing, rock climbing, cricket, volleyball, netball, track, skiing, archery, Bhutanese darts, Gaelic football, and South African three tins. 

    We're sure there are more, but, whew!

  • Middle East Childhood

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    The Middleton Family/Getty Images

    When Kate's dad -- who worked for British Airways -- was relocated to Amman, Jordan, he, of course, brought along his family: then-2-year-old Kate and her sister, Pippa, and wife Carole. (Kate's brother James had not been born yet.) They lived there for three years, with Kate attending an English nursery school. When William did a solo tour of the country in 2018, he told officials that Kate, who had just given birth to Prince Louis, was mad that she wasn't able to go as well. 

    She loved her time there.

  • Doing Her Own Grocery Shopping

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    Phil Harris - WPA Pool/Getty Images

    Having a staff to handle day-to-day needs can be liberating, but it can also be constraining -- especially if one lives in a palace that's isolated from the regular world. So Kate, who, after all, didn't grow up royal, often does her own shopping -- from Halloween candy, to clothes, to groceries. Sometimes, Kate even brings the kids who help pack up the groceries. 

    So relatable!   

  • $5 Hobby

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    Alex Gallardo/AFP/GettyImages

    Kate and William are forever revealing things about each other during their outings. When William met the author of the adult coloring book Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book, Joanna Basford, he told her that Kate loves to unwind with colored pencils and Basford's book. So just because she has money and access to lots of exclusive things, there are still plenty of ways Kate proves she's just like the rest of us. 

  • Eating Vegetarian

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    Gerry Mooney / POOL / AFP/Getty Images

    Meghan Markle isn't the only one to skip meat most days. Kate is said to prefer to keep meals heavy on the veggies and fruit. While staying at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in India, she and William ordered mainly meat-free dishes, like vegetable kebabs and lentil curry. For breakfast, Kate generally has a smoothie with kale, spirulina, matcha, spinach, romaine, cilantro, and blueberries. 

    She's a health nut!

  • Taking a Gap Year

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    Indigo/Getty Images

    Gap years are a European thing, but starting to become more common in the US. Kids take a year off between high school and college, generally to travel and do a little personal development. Kate chose to go to Chile for a hands-on, 10-week program in which she was part of a group that hiked in the wilderness, helped marine biologists identify animals, and built a fire house. 

    Kate is not one to waste a year navel-gazing.

  • Kate Is Tall

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    kate middleton, prince william, meghan markle, prince harry
    Richard Pohle/AFP via Getty Images

    Prince William may be taller, at 6 feet 2 inches, but Kate is tall herself. Just check out any picture or video where she's standing next to people at an event. Kate stands at 5 feet 9 inches, which is above average height. Of course, she adds a few inches to that in most of her fantastic heels

  • Suing a Tabloid Over Topless Pictures

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    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    Kate and William were minding their own business vacationing at a friend's French villa in 2012, when a paparazzo with a long lens captured images of Kate sunbathing topless. He sold them to a French magazine that published them, and Kate sued. After a long legal fight, the magazine was ordered to pay her $112,000 in 2017, and two magazine staffers were also ordered to pay fines.

    Don't mess with Kate! She's got the legal team, money, and patience to win.  

  • She's a Worker

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    Chris Jackson/Getty Images

    At the beginning of her marriage, critics lambasted Kate for, in their opinion, being work-shy -- which is rather unfair considering that Kate got great grades throughout school and college, and was taking time to adjust to royal life. Kate has steadily taken on more responsibilities, and is said to prepare heavily before attending any event, so she can hold conversations with anyone -- from charity workers to diplomats -- rather than simply meet and greet. She also came up with a groundbreaking initiative that focuses on childhood development, one of her passions.

  • She's a Cougar ... Kinda

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    Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Iamges

    William may be destined to sit on a throne, but Kate often seems to wear the pants in her marriage -- so it's not that surprising that she's actually older than her royal husband. But let's not get carried away here: Kate's not exactly a raging cougar. She's about six months older than William. Her birthday is January 9, and his is June 21.  

  • Kate Doesn't Like Making Public Speeches

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth - WPA Pool/Getty Images

    Royals who have been doing charity work all their lives are used to speaking in public, and as an actress and social cause advocate, so is Meghan. But Kate was neither before getting married, so public speaking made her nervous. She wrote and edited her first public speech for weeks before the event and was visibly nervous and shy during the speech. The result may have been a bit underwhelming, but Kate has improved since then. After all, it's the content of the speech that matters most. 

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