Whether you’re a fan of the British Royal family or not one thing is for sure, Kate Middleton is set to become one of the most instantly recognisable British Icons of the 21st century.
Catherine (Kate) Elizabeth Middleton married Prince William of Wales in Westminster Abbey, London, on 29 April 2011. Born in January 1982, she grew up in Berkshire, England, and attended Marlborough College, a co-ed school for the wealthy before going on to study at the University of St Andrews in Scotland where she first met Prince William in 2001.
Despite no official announcement by Middleton or Buckingham Palace, the press seized on the rumour that Kate was seeing William and began to report her every move. This led to her seeking advice from her lawyer in 2005 regarding harassment. The deployment of royal personal protection in 2006 basically confirmed what the world now already knew – that Kate and William were an item and were going to get engaged.
However, the world’s bluff was called when in April 2007, the British tabloid The Sun, published a ‘world exclusive’ saying the couple had split up. Various newspapers speculated on possible reasons for the alleged split, some claiming that William felt he was too young to marry, while others said that Middleton was worried about the increasing amount of media attention she was getting. Throughout all this, official royal channels remained tight-lipped.
Despite allegations of a break up, Middleton continued to move in royal circles, and was often photographed with members of the Royal family at functions. Then in November 2010 it was announced that the couple had become engaged the previous month in Kenya during a holiday. The couple appeared before the cameras of the world as Middleton showed off the ring William had given her – the same one Charles gave to Diana for their engagement.
Middleton started work as an accessory buyer with the clothing chain Jigsaw in 2006. Despite claims in the media that she was going to become a professional photographer, Middleton continued with Jigsaw until her engagement to William, at which point she look set to take up public life with William in the form of royal engagements.
It would seem that Jigsaw knew what they were doing when they hired Middleton as she is gaining a reputation for her style, has been praised for her fashion sense and won accolades on various ‘best dressed’ lists. She was chosen by The Daily Telegraph as the ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ in its 2006 list of fashion winners and losers. In 2006 Tatler put her at number 8 on its annual listing of the top ten style icons for 2007. She was also featured in People magazine's 2007 and 2010 best-dressed lists.
Unlike many royal brides before her, Kate Middleton does not have a royal or aristocratic background, a fact that would seem to endear her to much of the British public. Her common beginnings, great fashion sense, winning smile and sapphire blue eyes look set to make Kate Middleton one of the most recognisable people on earth, and therefore, one of our leading British Icons.