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Kate Middleton: Affluent commoner with coal-miner lineage, future queen of England

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

It is official: Kate Middleton will marry Prince William, future king of England. But, exactly who Kate Middleton is continues to remain something of a mystery.

Kate Middleton: A wealthy commoner, not an aristocrat

Middleton comes from working-class family background—not the norm for royal spouses-to-be. In fact, Middleton is the first “non-blueblood” to marry a future British monarch since the 1600s, the New York Post reports.

Also different about this queen-to-be is the fact that she is a college graduate—a first for female spouses of British royalty.

Middleton is, by all accounts, a modern woman with modern sensibilities. The 28-year-old met Prince William, also 28, while they were both students at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. After graduation, Middleton worked as a fashion buyer for Jigsaw, and is currently employed by her family’s business. And, for the first time in a long line of royals, Middleton has lived with her future husband out of wedlock—a big no-no in previous generations of royals. But, the couple has been together for seven years. And, despite the fact that the prince made it clear at times that he was not interested in marriage before age 28, Middleton waited patiently.

Although not from royal lineage, Middleton has seemed to take right to the high-profile lifestyle required of the future wife of the future king. She never seems to look disheveled, never involves herself in activities that could be considered even mildly controversial. She has never been one to seek the spotlight, although she has become one of the most photographed women in England. And, by all accounts, has followed her prince’s lead when it comes to taking their relationship to additional levels in public. But, still, others have indicated that they feel her background is not sufficient for the wife of a future king of England.

Middleton’s father worked as an airline pilot, which is how he met Middleton’s mother, a stewardess who came from a family of coal miners. After marrying in 1980, the couple began a direct-mail company called Party Pieces, which turned out to be quite a lucrative venture. But, the hard-working ring of Middleton’s family background isn’t viewed in a positive light by some royal watchers.

For example, as the New York Post reported, James Whitaker, considered Britain's top royal correspondent, once said of Kate, "I just don't think she had the breeding, quite honestly, and I'm not being snooty." Prince William, reports said, was absolutely incensed at the comment, and Whitaker later apologized.

But, although some sense of class snobbery is likely to exist, some also believe that in this day and age, a young, upwardly mobile woman like Middleton may be exactly what the monarchy needs to breathe new life into the somewhat out-of-date idea of royalty.

Read more about the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton on
Royal Wedding in 2011: Prince William and Kate Middleton To Marry

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