Kate: The Future Queen
Prince William is well known for his long-held wish to live as normal a life as his royal circumstances permit. Ever since she came onto the world stage as the girlfriend of a prince, Kate Middleton has been photographed and admired for her beauty and her sense of fashion. But little was really known about Kate herself. Until now. Royal biographer Katie Nicholl has opened wide the doors to allow us to meet Kate, the former commoner, now the Duchess of Cambridge, who one day will be queen.
Kate is the oldest of three children born to Michael and Carole Middleton. The arrivals of Philippa (Pippa) and James completed the family. Carole came from extremely modest circumstances, but Michael's family was well off, and a substantial trust fund was in place for the education of their offspring.
Kate and her siblings led happy, normal childhoods. Kate and Pippa were Brownies, and played the flute and piano. Though Kate was good at her studies as well as sports, Pippa was the more accomplished of the two sisters. The girls were naturally competitive but not with each other.
"Royal biographer Katie Nicholl has opened wide the doors to allow us to meet Kate, the former commoner, now the Duchess of Cambridge, who one day will be queen."
Kate chose to be a day student rather than a boarder at the prestigious, all-girls school Downe House. She was treated as an outsider since most of the socializing went on after school hours when Kate wasn't there. She was passed over for the hockey team and endured bullying. Eventually, Carole and Michael transferred her to another school where Kate made friends, and was a model student and athlete. The remainder of Kate's school days were happy ones.
After a gap year, Kate enrolled at St. Andrew, majoring in art history. Prince William lived in the same dormitory, and his very presence caused quite a stir. At the time, William was planning to major in art history, so the two students easily became acquainted. William was wary of people who seemed to want to befriend him only to exploit him or advance themselves, but Kate kept quiet when the subject of the prince came up, and William realized that she was someone he could really trust.
Much of the book focuses on their lives at university as well as their relationship after graduation. For three of those university years, Kate and two other close friends lived with Prince William in private housing and the housemates formed deep bonds. Kate and William rarely appeared together in public. They preferred to stay home, out of the public eye and enjoy the normalcy that privacy afforded them.
The years that Prince William spent in the military are well covered in the book. Much attention is given to his unwillingness to commit to Kate early on. He knew how difficult his late mother's life had become once she married into the royal family, and he wanted to be sure that Kate would be willing to accept the demands and expectations of the royal life if they eventually decided to marry. He wanted to give her the time he believed they both needed. There were two well-documented breakups, but in the end, true love prevailed, and there was a fairytale wedding.
Now an heir to Prince William has been born, and it is hoped that this fine young family will really live happily ever after.
Reviewed by Carole Turner on September 27, 2013