1982-01-09 to Present
London, England, U.K.Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, popularly known as Kate Middleton, is a member of the British royal family. Her husband, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is expected to become king of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms, making Catherine a likely future queen consort.
On 9 January 1982, Kate Elizabeth Middleton, now named Catherine, was born at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading into an upper-middle-class family. She is the eldest of three children, she has a younger sister, Pippa, and a younger brother, James, born to Michael Middleton and his wife Carole. Her father's family has ties to British aristocracy and benefited financially from trust funds, which they established over 100 years ago.
Around the time of Middelton's 25th birthday in January 2007, when the attention on Middleton and Prince William increased, prompting warnings from the Prince of Wales, Prince William, and Middleton's lawyers, who threatened legal action. Two newspaper groups, News International, which publishes The Times and The Sun, and the Guardian Media Group, publishers of The Guardian, decided to refrain from publishing paparazzi photographs of her.
In April 2007, Prince William and Middleton ended their relationship. The couple decided to break up during a holiday in the Swiss resort of Zermatt. Newspapers speculated about the reasons for the split, although these reports relied on anonymous sources.
In March 2011, the Duke and Duchess set up a gift fund held by The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry to allow well-wishers who wanted to give them a wedding gift to donate money to charities they care about instead. The gift fund supported 26 charities of the couple's choice, incorporating the armed forces, children, the elderly, art, sport and conservation. These causes were close to their hearts and reflected the experiences, passions, and values of their lives.
On 29 April 2011, Middleton and Prince William got married in Westminster Abbey, with the day declared a bank holiday in the United Kingdom. Estimates of the global audience for the wedding ranged around 300 million or more, whilst 26 million watched the event live in Britain. On marriage, Catherine assumed the style "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge".
In October 2011, several months after the wedding of Middleton and Prince William, Commonwealth leaders pledged that they would implement changes in British royal succession law to adopt absolute primogeniture, meaning that the first child of the Duke and Duchess, whether male or female, would be next in line to the throne after their father.
On St. Patrick's Day, 17 March 2012, the Duchess carried out the traditional awarding of shamrocks to the Irish Guards, one of the Foot Guards regiments of the British Army, at their base in Aldershot, which was her first solo military engagement.
In September 2012, the Duke and Duchess embarked on a tour of Singapore, Malaysia, Tuvalu, and the Solomon Islands as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952. During this overseas visit, she made her first official speech abroad, while visiting a hospice in Malaysia, drawing on her experience as a patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices.
On 3 December 2012, St James's Palace announced that the Duchess was pregnant with her first child. The announcement was made earlier in the pregnancy than is usual as she had been admitted to King Edward VII's Hospital suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness. She remained in the hospital for three days.
At the beginning of March 2014, details were announced of the half-month-long tour to New Zealand and Australia, that the Duke, the Duchess, and their son, Prince George, would be taking from 16 to 25 April. The tour was Catherine's first visit to the area and Prince George's first major public appearance since his christening in October 2013. The tour began in New Zealand, where they visited Wellington, Blenheim, Auckland, Dunedin, Queenstown, and Christchurch. It ended in Australia, where they visited Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Brisbane, Uluru, Adelaide, and Canberra.
On 21 July 2014, it was announced that the Duchess would be making her first solo trip, visiting the island of Malta on 20–21 September 2014, when the island was celebrating its 50th independence anniversary. However, her trip was cancelled, with the Duke taking her place, after the announcement of her second pregnancy in early September.
In 2014, the Duchess was already being regarded as a British cultural icon, with young adults from abroad naming her among a group of people who they most associated with UK culture. These included William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth II, David Beckham, J. K. Rowling, The Beatles, Charlie Chaplin, Elton John, and Adele.
In February 2016, she traveled to Edinburgh to promote the work of Place2Be (a children's mental health charity that provides mental health counseling support and training to schools to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils, families, teachers, and staff.), launched Children's Mental Health Week, and contributed to the HuffPost UK as a part of the Young Minds Matter movement, an effort to raise awareness for children's mental health issues.
In February 2018, the Duchess became the patron of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, a professional association based in London, United Kingdom. Its members, including people with and without medical degrees, work in the field of obstetrics and gynecology (O&G), that is, pregnancy, childbirth, and female sexual and reproductive health.
In December 2019, after consulting various organizations and experts, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced the Earth shot Prize, which would be given to five individuals or organizations who could come up with solutions for environmental problems between 2021 and 2030. The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would run the project, which is also supported by philanthropists.