Authors: Katie Nicholl
Copyright Â© 2013 by Katie Nicholl
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FOR MATILDA ROSE
the most important chapter of my life,
for always loving and believing in me
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Kate Middleton's Family Tree
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When Catherine Elizabeth Middleton married Prince William, the future King of the United Kingdom, a new chapter of royal history was written. Kate, as she is best known, was the first “commoner” to marry into the royal family since the seventeenth century. Since her arrival, she has revitalized the British monarchy, whose members in turn have enjoyed a resurgence of popularity they feared might never occur following the death of Diana, the Princess of Wales, in 1997.
Now we have Kate. On July 22, 2013, at 4:24
., she delivered a son, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, an heir and future King. She has, both metaphorically and literally, breathed new life into the British monarchy, producing the first Prince of Cambridge for over a century, and securing the lineage of the House of Windsor. Great Britain now has three generations of heirs awaiting the throne for the first time since Queen Victoria's reign, 150 years ago.
Royal constitution dictates that King Charles and possibly Queen Camilla will reign before King William V and Queen Catherine, but it is most likely that it will be Kate and William who will continue to drive and revitalize the monarchy over the coming years.
While Diana reignited the royal family, she also rocked the royal institution to its core. Kate, however, has taken to her role seamlessly, embracing the royal rule book. She is adored by the Queen and has won the admiration of the rest of the family. Now the world will wait to see how she and William raise their firstborn. Those close to the couple believe it will be with a hands-on approach, with as little stuffiness as possible. Although this child will always be His Royal Highness, destined to rule and be raised in palaces, Kate, along with her close-knit loving family, will enrich this future monarch's life considerably.
For the very first time, the direct heir to the throne has middle- and working-class blood coursing through his veins. With his mother's ancestry rooted in the mines of Durham and the textile mills of Leeds, this is a prince descended from coal miners as well as kings and queens. Kate is a middle-class girl, one of the people. She is truly a “people's princess.” Certainly, since her and William's fairy-tale romance and now the birth of their first baby, Kate has enchanted her future subjects. She is that iconic British girl from the Home Counties who got her prince and is now the mother of the future King.
This is the story of a young woman who now calls Kensington Palace home and is reshaping the future of the world's most famous royal family. This is the story of
Kate: The Future Queen
S SHE LISTENED
to the silence across the white snow-carpeted fields outside her window, Carole Middleton began to feel uneasy. On the radio, the Met Office was issuing a severe weather warning, and she knew that one more heavy snowfall would mean that her village would be cut off. Inside, the log fire offered warmth and some comfort, but Carole, who had been in the first stages of labor since the early hours, decided she had waited long enough to make the call.
Her husband, Michael, a flight dispatcher with British Airways, was working shifts at the airport, a forty-minute drive away, and had asked Carole to call him as soon as the contractions started. Not knowing how they would feel and aware that first babies can take their time to arrive, Carole had held off speaking to him until she was sure that the pains were not false alarms. She had called the local GP, who put her mind at rest by reassuring her that he would send an air ambulance if
Michael wasn't back in time to drive her to the labor ward. Carole wasn't quite sure if he was joking.
Carole's friend and neighbor, a woman who was known to everyone in the village as George Brown, who was also due to give birth that same week, remembered the morning well, “It was a bitterly cold winter, there was lots of snow and we were both worried we would not make it to the Royal Berkshire Hospital because the snow was so heavy. Carole was really very concerned, but the doctor said he would get a helicopter to land in the field if need be.”
In the event, Carole and Michael did get through the snow and to the hospital in time, and their baby, Catherine Elizabeth Middletonâknown today as Kateâwas born on January 9, 1982. The birth went smoothly; Carole delivered her firstborn naturally, recovered well, and was home within several days, with her precious newborn daughter.
“I saw Carole a week later,” recalled Mrs. Brown. “She had had an easy and natural birth, which didn't surprise me. Carole was fit and competent from the word go. She seemed to take to motherhood amazingly well, and when I went round to see her, she was happily breastfeeding and seemed to know exactly what she was doing. Catherine was a lovely little baby, cherubic and chubby cheeked and so good. I remember she didn't cry much at all. I think that was probably because Carole was so relaxed.”
She had always wanted to be a mother and shortly after she found out she was pregnant, Carole, a flight attendant for British Airways, decided to leave her job. Although she loved her career, she knew that globe-trotting, working shifts, and spending days and nights abroad were not conducive to raising a family. So it was with some sadness that she gave up work, as
she had dreamed of being a flight attendant since she was a schoolgirl. A university education had not been an option for her because there was simply not enough money, and no one in her family had ever gone on to further their education. After leaving school at sixteen and working for a while in the clothing store C & A, Carole enrolled in a training program with British Airways. It was 1974 and air travel was still a noveltyâthe majority of the British public had never even been on a planeâand being a flight attendant was seen as prestigious and glamorous. Working for a high-profile airline such as British Airways was a feather in Carole's cap. Slim and pretty, she cut an elegant figure in her tailored blue jacket and skirt, red cravat, and smart pillbox hat, a uniform that she wore with great pride.
Carole was excited about the prospect of jetting around the world. Coming as she did from a modest background, family holidays were always spent in Britain on the south coast or walking in the countryside, and so the prospect of a job flying to exotic corners of the globe was wonderfully tantalizing. Her younger brother, Gary Goldsmith, recalled how she would practice flight announcements to perfect her technique. “I remember her training,” he told the
Mail on Sunday
. “She used to practice doing her announcements on a tape recorder, much to my amusement.”
When Carole qualified, her parents, Ron and Dorothy Goldsmith, were “over the moon,” according to Gary. At school she had worked hard to pass her exams and now she was truly making something of her life. According to Jean Harrison, Dorothy's cousin, “When Carole became an air hostess, Ron and Dorothy were thrilled. It was a big job. I worked for British Airways at the same time Carole was there, but I was
on the computer side. It was a big, exciting business to work for and a very respectable role.”