Kate Middleton has risen to become one of the most popular royals there is. Since meeting Prince William, she’s grown into her role as a senior member of the Royal Family, and is now busy teaching her three children everything there is to know about life in service to the crown.
Kate Middleton had barely entered adulthood when she met her future husband. She and Prince William fell in love while studying at university – Kate had attended several boarding schools prior. However, though her journey might have mirrored that of a storybook commoner-turned-princess, there were periods when not everything was sunshine and roses.
According to various royal experts, as well as several people who were close to Kate in school, the young woman experienced bullying in her younger years. Sadly, the actions of her tormentors ultimately even affected her health.
Kate Middleton was born on January 9, 1982, at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. She grew up in a happy home with her parents and two younger siblings; sister Pippa and brother James.
While still young, Kate’s parents embarked upon a new venture that would end up becoming something of a business empire.
Their company, Party Piece, was reportedly established on Kate’s fifth birthday when her parents realized there was a gap in the market for elegant tablescapes, Vanity Fair Reports.
Kate Middleton – early life
Her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, founded the company in 1987. Kate’s mother said that only being able to find paper plates with clowns on them while planning Kate’s fifth birthday party led her to create the business.
“Party Pieces was literally born at our kitchen table, so I suppose the ‘big break’ moment came when I realized there were lots of other parents looking for more affordable and imaginative partyware and that I had correctly identified a gap in the market for quality products that added something special,” Carole told SheerLuxe.
“It was so exciting knowing I had a business idea that could work.”
Carole further revealed that it had been a family company from the start – and that even Kate had played her part in its success.
“Pippa wrote our ‘Party Times’ blog, James did the cakes when he first left school and Catherine developed our first birthday and baby category,” she said.
“My husband and I were young and a little inexperienced, but very enthusiastic, so we didn’t worry too much.”
Nowadays, Carole and Michael are going through a tougher period, as their company is reportedly going bankrupt. As reported by several news outlets, Party Pieces has gone bust, with creditors claiming it owes around $3.3 million in debt.
During Kate’s teenage years, however, the business was a financial success. As a result, it isn’t at all strange that they decided to give their children the best possible education via sending them to boarding school.
Kate Middleton was reportedly bulied at Downe House school
Kate Middleton first enrolled at the all-girls boarding school Downe House, which was meant to be a significant step towards learning everything she needed for adult life. However, it turned out that the school – which Carole and Michael reportedly paid around £28,000 pounds in tuition for – became a nightmare for Kate.
The young girl studied at the school during the day, but didn’t stay there full-time, meaning she never had the chance to lodge with other students. Bonding with them was made more complex as a result, and Kate was even bullied.
A friend at a later school, Gemma Williamson, previously told the Daily Mail: “Apparently, she had been bullied very badly, and she certainly looked thin and pale. She had very little confidence.”
Kate was only 13 when she began her tenure at Downe House in Berkshire. Every girl was a high achiever, and according to Kate’s former classmate Emma Sayle, the princess hated that her school was “cliquey.”
“It is a very cliquey school, and there was a lot of pressure,” she told RSVP Live, as quoted by Express.
“The girls were all high achievers, and there were lots of girls with eating disorders. Everyone wanted to be the best, the fittest, the prettiest. I think Kate was miserable from the start.”
“Being especially slender and a head taller than her peers, she stood out for the wrong reasons and was teased for being gangly and lanky,” royal expert Katie Nicholl added.
“Kate found she was out of her league”
The fact that Kate started at the school two years after her peers – added to the fact that she didn’t ‘live’ – was a major factor as to why Kate was poorly treated, according to former Downe House student Georgina Rylance.
“It does make a difference going from eleven,” another former Downe House student, Georgina Rylance, told the Sunday Times, as per royal expert Katie Nicholl. “You have two years of bonding, your first time away all together. Even some of the most popular girls in my school had a hard time when they came in at thirteen.”
In her book Kate: The Future Queen, Nicholl gives another insight into Kate’s tough time at Downe House and the toxic environment which was her everyday life.
As a kid, she was a great hockey player. However, her school only offered lacrosse. Kate had never played lacrosse in her entire life. Sadly, she didn’t make the school team, despite having the courage to try out.
“Even when it came to sports, where she should have excelled, Kate found she was out of her league,” Nicholl wrote. “The predominant game at Downe House was lacrosse, which she had never played, and there was no hockey on the curriculum.”
According to Kate’s old headmistress, Susan Cameron, the fact that Kate blew the tryout was a “crushing disappointment” for the young girl.
Eventually, Kate decided to tell her parents about everything she had endured, as well as the bullying that took place.
Even then, some claimed that Kate was simply “too sensitive”. Susan Cameron, then headmistress the school, said she may well have felt like a fish out of water, or “unhappily not in the right place.”
Kate Middleton transferred to another school – it changed everything
“Certainly, I have no knowledge of any serious bullying at all. But there’s what everyone calls bullying, and there’s actual, real, miserable bullying where someone had a dreadful time, “Cameron told the Mirror.
“That certainly didn’t happen. Yes, there would be teasing. It’s all a part of the normal competition of growing up, of establishing a pecking order,” she continued.
“Girls are cliquey by nature, and they can be rather cruel. If you’re attractive, too, that can be seen as rather a threat. They can sense those who are slightly weaker or who haven’t shown their strengths yet, and it’s those girls who are likely to end up being picked on or teased.
“I think it’s fair to say she was unsettled and not particularly happy. Maybe in Catherine’s case, she just kind of went quiet and didn’t say anything,” the former headmistress continued, later saying that if Kate had been badly bullied, she wouldn’t be the woman she is today.
Ultimately, Kate Middleton ended up leaving and moving to another school. Marlborough College – with a tuition of 12 000 pounds a year – became her new home in 1996. The then-future princess thrived there, and this was also the place where she met her first boyfriend.
Upon returning from the summer break when she was 16, it appeared that many things had changed for Kate. She had impressed many by being great at hockey and cross-country running. According to her former classmate Gemma Williamson, “every boy in the school” fancied her as she had become “an absolute beauty.”
Her former teacher, Denise Alford, said that a significant change in her appearance was due to the childhood braces she had lost.
Met Prince William at St Andrew’s University
“Pippa was a tomboy but Kate had lost her braces and looked stunning,” Alford told the Daily Mail. “She was apparently top of the ‘Fit List’ which boys would sometimes pin on the walls. Kate’s confidence grew.”
Kate attended Marlborough College – which housed about 930 pupils – between 1996 and 2000. Afterward, she decided to enroll at St Andrew’s University, and we all know what was fated to happen there.
Indeed, by all accounts the Kate Middleton who attended St Andrew’s was a different person compared to the girl who had arrived at Marlborough. Her self-confidence was at an all-time high, and that helped to win Prince William’s heart in the first place. He had seen her on campus, and in 2002, when Kate was 19, he had bought a front-row ticket to the charity fashion show in which Kate featured. Reportedly, he spent around £200 to sit in the front row.
Kate took to the catwalk in a see-through dress, revealing her underwear underneath. By that point, William felt she wasn’t just a friend anymore, but someone he had developed feelings for.
In 2011, a year after the now-Prince and Princess of Wales tied the knot, the aforementioned see-through dress was sold for a staggering £78,000 (around $120,000).
These days, of course, Kate Middleton’s days of being subjected to any sort of bullying are well and truly over. The princess has developed a reputation for treating all she meets with grace and respect. As a result, it’s no wonder that she’s become arguably the most popular of all the royals.
According to one royal expert, what Kate endured at Downe House influenced the way she and William are raising their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
Bullying changed Kate Middleton’s approach to raising her children
According to former BBC Royal correspondent Jennie Bond, her experiences have shaped her own children’s days in school. Previously, it’s been reported that William and Kate want to give their children as normal a childhood as possible.
“The Prince and Princess of Wales have made it clear that their young family will, as far as possible, come first, and that includes sending all three to day school, rather than having them as boarders away from home,” Bond told OK! as per Yahoo.
“Catherine had a very unhappy time at Downe House in her first two terms and was bullied quite badly before she left and moved to Marlborough College.”
The royal expert added: “This has completely influenced the way she wants her children to be educated, coupled with her belief and research into early years development.”
Moreover, Jenny Bond states that Kate was heavily involved in finding a school for her children that was kind and inclusive. Today, all three attend Lambrook, a mere 15-minute drive from the family’s Windsor home.
“For the moment at least it seems William and Catherine want to keep their children close, as day pupils at Lambrook, in a happy and nurturing environment,” Bond told OK!.
Kate Middleton sure is one strong woman, and we’re so happy that she decided to tell her parents about the bullying she went through.
Please, share this article on Facebook to praise Kate – and if you are against bullying!