Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge has been in the royal family for over 10 years. She is one of the most popular royals today, but things were not always easy for her when she and Prince William were still dating. Reportedly, William’s friends made fun of Kate’s family because of their “middle class” status.
Kate Middleton’s parents started a successful business
Kate did not grow up as a royal like William, but she was no by means poor. When Kate was a child, her parents founded a party supply company called Party Pieces, which became hugely successful.
As a result, Kate and her siblings attended elite schools and mingled with England’s upper class. For example, they went to Marlborough College as teenagers, which is also Princess Eugenie’s alma mater.
In 2018, Town & Country reported that Kate’s parents had a combined net worth of $67 million. Even if Kate did not become a royal, it’s clear she would still have a wealthy lifestyle.
Prince William’s friends reportedly used to make fun of the Middletons
Kate and William met when they were students at the University of St. Andrews. Reportedly, some people in William’s inner circle did not take well to Kate’s background.
According to a 2007 report by royal correspondent Vanessa Allen, some of William’s friends would ridicule Kate’s mother, Carole Middleton. Before starting Party Pieces, she was a flight attendant.
“William’s upper-crust friends would ridicule Carole’s former career by sneeringly whispering ‘doors to manual’ when Kate was out of earshot,” Allen said, according to Mirror.
A source also alleged said about Carole, “She is pushy, rather twee and incredibly middle-class. She uses words such as ‘Pleased to meet you’, ‘toilet’ and ‘pardon’.”
Nonetheless, it does not seem like William minded the Middletons’ background. Another insider claimed, “William got on well with Carole. He liked flopping down on the sofas of their Berkshire home, enjoying the normality of that.”
After Kate and William married, the couple remained close to Kate’s family. For example, they sometimes spend Christmas with the Middletons.
Kate Middleton’s family has been an asset to the royals
Kate’s popularity has grown in recent years. She is seen as a consistent, stabilizing force in the royal family. Kate has been thrown many challenges ever since she and William began dating, but she often deals with them maturely.
According to royal experts, this is because of her close-knit family, which made her attractive to William.
“For a kid from a broken home which is after all what William is, he has always yearned towards the stable and towards the steady,” journalist Andrew Morton said in the documentary William and Kate: Into the Future, according to Express. “It’s not just Kate he’s in love with – it’s the family.”
Additionally, journalist Richard Kay believes William does not want to repeat what his own parents went through. Prince Charles and Princess Diana famously had a rocky marriage and bitter divorce.
Kay said, “Everything about William you can trace back to what happened to his parents. He lived through the bitter break up of their marriage. He knows that what happened to them destroyed their marriage and he is very careful not to make the same mistakes.”
Princess Diana welcomed two sons during her marriage to Prince Charles. She was a progressive parent who often rejected traditional parenting styles that many royals followed.
However, Diana was reportedly not against corporal punishment. According to a royal expert, she once hit her oldest son, Prince William, in front of his schoolmates.
Princess Diana was a hands-on parent
Royals often left the childrearing job to nannies, but Diana broke traditions by being a very hands-on parent.
For example, she frequently dropped her children off at school—something royals did not do. She also wanted them to have a sense of normalcy in their lives, so she took them to fast-food restaurants, amusement parks, and movie theaters.
Additionally, she wanted William and his brother, Prince Harry, to understand the world around them. She did a lot of charity work to support underprivileged people, and she occasionally took her kids with them.
“I’ve taken the children to all sorts of areas where I’m not sure anyone of that age in this family has been before,” she said in an interview with BBC’s Panorama in 1995. “And they have a knowledge – they may never use it, but the seed is there, and I hope it will grow because knowledge is power.”
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