Thursday, Apr. 07, 2011

Common Kate

Princess Di descended from King Charles II and King James II. Prince Philip, the Queen's husband, descends from Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, and Princess Alice of Battenberg. Kate descends from Michael and Carole Middleton, former flight attendants. So when Kate began dating William in 2002 while the two were students at St. Andrew's University, the media was quick to point out that she lacks any aristocratic lineage, while William's friends reportedly took to mocking Kate's mother with the flight-check phrase "doors to manual." Even so, being common doesn't mean Kate isn't posh. Her parents amassed a small fortune by setting up party supplies business and sent Kate and her younger sister Pippa to the exclusive Marlborough College, a $24,000-a-year high school where clay-pigeon shooting is a popular extra-curricular activity. As a result, Kate oozes refinement — her friends wear pearls while hunting; she spent part of her gap year in Chile — and she'll eventually be the first wife of a reigning English king to have graduated from university. Not bad for the great-great-great-granddaughter of a coal miner.