Prince William and Kate Middleton quickly became good friends when they first met at St Andrews University in Scotland many years ago. The two soon fell for each other, and despite some rather challenging periods, the royal couple made it through.
Today, the pair and their happy family-of-five rank among the most popular royals out there – Kate Middleton is often tipped to become a fabulous queen in the future.
It’s an understatement to say that William and Kate came from very different places. Though her parents had created a multimillion-dollar company, Kate had to learn how to “be” royal as an adult, unlike her husband, who was born into it. Before they made their fortune, Kate’s mother, Carole, reportedly worked a different job – and William’s friends mocked her for it!
As per reports, Kate was even given evil nicknames by William’s aristocratic friends. The prince and future king, however, was not having any of it, and “flew off the handle” when he heard, according to a royal expert.
William and Kate first became friends while studying at St Andrew’s University. They both had partners before meeting one another – but it soon became apparent that their relationship was set to be different.
The two moved into the same residence hall, St Salvator’s Hall, and attended the same lectures and classes. Then, during their second year, they moved in with a couple of friends at a private home – where their love blossomed.
By all accounts, William and Kate had the same sense of humor; one of the factors that helped them click.
“She’s got a really naughty sense of humor, which really helps me because I’ve got a really dirty sense of humor so it was good fun, we had a really good laugh, and then things happened,” William said in their engagement video.
Kate Middleton was given unfair nicknames by the British press
It didn’t take long before the world, or at least the British tabloid press realized that Kate Middleton was the future king’s new girlfriend. Naturally, they reported on the couple as much as possible, though it wasn’t just “love is in the air”-type articles the papers published. No, they focused on digging into Kate’s personal life, even giving her unfair nicknames to help generate a buzz.
She was only 19 when she and William started dating, but that didn’t matter to the tabloids. Despite coming from a middle-class background – her parents made millions via their company – Kate was labeled “a commoner.”
Before the couple announced their engagement in 2010, Kate was nicknamed “Waity Katie” and “Lazy Katie.” According to Buckingham Palace officials, these referred to the fact that Middleton had recently quit her job to “prepare for her future life.”
William and Kate dated for many years, though kept things relatively quiet during their university years to focus on their respective studies.
They both graduated in 2005; William with a master of arts degree in geography, and Kate with a master of arts degree in art history. But, while their relationship flourished, trouble lay on the horizon.
In 2007, the couple experienced a high-profile split. However, it turns out there may have been cracks in their relationship as early as a year prior when the couple declined each other’s invitations to spend major holidays with one another.
Fortunately, William and Kate were able to iron out their problems, and love ultimately prevailed. On holiday in Kenya in 2010, William proposed to Kate with his late mother Princess Diana’s sapphire engagement ring. He had carried it for three weeks and never let it out of sight.
“It was very romantic, Kate said. “There’s a true romantic in there.”
Kate Middleton’s parents founded the multimillion-dollar company
As stated, William and Kate came from entirely different backgrounds. Being a royal differed significantly from what Kate was used to, and she was labeled a “commoner” by some, though her parents had grown their own business empire.
Their company, Party Piece, was reportedly established on Kate’s fifth birthday when her parents realized there was a gap in the market for tasteful tablescapes, Vanity Fair Reports.
Her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton founded the company in 1987. Kate’s mother said that only being able to find paper plates with clowns on them while planning Kate’s fifth birthday party led her to create the business.
“Party Pieces was literally born at our kitchen table, so I suppose the ‘big break’ moment came when I realized there were lots of other parents looking for more affordable and imaginative partyware and that I had correctly identified a gap in the market for quality products that added something special,” Carole told SheerLuxe. “It was so exciting knowing I had a business idea that could work.”
Carole further revealed that it had been a family company from the start – and that even Kate was a part of it.
“Pippa wrote our ‘Party Times’ blog, James did the cakes when he first left school and Catherine developed our first birthday and baby category,” she said.
“My husband and I were young and a little inexperienced, but very enthusiastic, so we didn’t worry too much.”
Once Kate Middleton was a part of the royal sphere, William made sure to help her understand royal life, including all its do’s and don’ts.
Prince William was furious after friends gave Kate tasty nicknames
However, things weren’t always easy, and some of the people she met in the early stages of her relationship with William decided to give her nasty nicknames. Reportedly, a few of William’s friends overstepped the mark, and the prince went ballistic when he found out.
Before Carole and Michael started their company, Kate’s mother worked as an air hostess for British Airways. When William and Kate went to nightclubs, William’s friends would call Kate rude nicknames and take a subtle dig because of her mother’s profession.
Speaking on Vanity Fair’s DYNASTY podcast last year, royal expert Katie Nicholl – author of The New Royals – described how William’s “snooty” friends whispered “doors to manual” when Kate arrived at one of West London’s nightclubs.
The prince’s aristocratic friends – referred to as the “Glosse Posse,” a reference to their Gloucestershire roots – treated Kate as though she was beneath them. However, Kate never rose to the “derogatory” comments made towards her. Instead, she decided to ignore them.
“It was never water off a duck’s back, but she has extraordinary strength of character and resilience. I’ve never once seen or heard of her losing her temper,” a royal aide told the Sunday Times Magazine.
William, on the other hand, wasn’t prepared to let his girlfriend be subjected to such insults.
“He flies off the handle at any sign of Kate being patronized”
In 2021, a source told the Daily Mail that Prince William “flew off the handle” when his friends mocked his beloved girlfriend.
“He flies off the handle at any sign of Kate being patronized and stamps that out very quickly. It’s one of his triggers,” the royal source said.
“Over the years, many people have come up with great ideas for her, but if they are put across in a dismissive way, they’ve got pretty short shrift from him.”
The Express reported on a royal expert named Canellecitadelle on Twitter, who states that William confronted his friends, saying he would not put up with rude comments or lousy behavior.
“When Kate felt isolated from his life, he confronted the ‘friends’ who were not only abusive toward her but also her mother, mocking her English [and] calling her ‘door to manual’ as she used to be a hostess. [William] made it clear he didn’t tolerate disrespect to [Kate] or his in-laws,” the expert told the British tabloid.
But while William’s friends called Kate Middleton “doors to the manual,” it didn’t end there. Apparently, certain aristocrats described the princess’s family as “the en masse Middletons.”
Why? Because the Middleton family showed up to an event in a “pristine” Land Rover, bringing with them all the things that come with an upper-class picnic.
“En masse Middletons”
Katie Nicholl explained on the DYNASTY podcast: “The snootiness of the upper classes leveled at what they called the ‘en masse Middletons,’ this idea that the Middletons would turn up for a picnic at a social event for example and they would turn up in their pristine Land Rover that had been newly polished and they had a brand new Fortnum and Masons hamper, all of the paraphernalia that comes with an upper-class picnic.
“But of course, [they were] alongside the sort of true aristocratic double baron titles that turn up at these events, in their muddy Land Rovers, with their moth-eaten blankets that are full of holes and some sort of oddly cobbled together a picnic with hardboiled eggs rather than M&S finest.”
Moreover, Nicholl explained that Carole Middleton took “great pride” in their picnics. Usually, they ate with silver cutlery and a fine linen tablecloth.
“They would just have nothing like Carole’s spread. The point is [they were] sort of so posh [they] don’t really have to bother making an effort – but the Middletons did,” the royal expert and author concluded.
Kate became the subject of intense media fascination all over the UK when she started seeing William. After all, she was dating a future king. At the same time, of course, that’s no excuse for the media to dig deep into her private life.
Kate Middleton – popularity
One can only imagine what it’s like to prepare for a life as a royal. It’s no understatement to say that there probably exists no more extensive change in lifestyle – and publicity– in the world. But Kate Middleton managed, thanks to the help of “The Firm” and her then-fiancée, William.
According to royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams, William, as mentioned, made sure to help Kate prepare for her new life.
“It was very sensible in the circumstances for William and Kate to get to know each other over the length of time that they felt appropriate. But it can be hurtful seeing those headlines and obviously very stressful,” he said.
And Kate’s royal journey has been quite something; alongside her husband, she’s become one of the most popular royals out there.
According to a recent YouGov study, Kate is tied for the second most popular living royal in Britain with her husband, both liked by 65 percent of survey respondents. According to the survey, the most popular living royal is Princess Anne, who was favored by 66 percent of Brits. She is also said to be the hardest-working royal of all.
According to celebrity stylist and royal fashion expert Miranda Holder, Kate Middleton has evolved her image to reflect a more business-like and work-focused look as the Princess of Wales since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
Kate has transformed into a “new, more heavyweight incarnation”
It has helped the princess when it comes to her popularity, she says.
“Kate’s look has definitely taken a more serious, business-like mood since she became the Princess of Wales, which reflects the gravitas of her new position within the Royal family as she gets nearer to the throne,” Holder told Newsweek.
“The fun, feminine, flirty Kate who we all fell in love with in her polka-dot tea dresses seems to have been replaced by a new, more heavyweight incarnation.”
Holder continued: “In the last 6 months, trouser suits have most definitely prevailed, whereas before this we were most familiar with the princess in skirts and dresses.”
“Indeed, the whole aesthetic is far more formal and occasionally a little austere—it is indeed as if the princess means business and takes her contribution to the many causes she supports extremely seriously and wishes to refocus the public’s attention on the charity in hand rather than the brand she is wearing,” the royal fashion expert concluded.
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