People in the News: Kate Middleton | Level 8 | By Little Fox

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[Series Introduction]

Young newscasters Ben and Olivia introduce well-known people from around the world. These “people in the news” have accomplished extraordinary things in science, sports, music, business, politics, and more!


OLIVIA: Hello, Little Fox readers, and welcome back to People in the News. Today Ben will be telling us about Kate Middleton. Also known as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, she’s married to Great Britain’s Prince William. And she’s one of the biggest celebrities in the world right now!

BEN: That’s true, Olivia. There are whole websites devoted to what she’s wearing and doing. She’s the first middle-class person to marry an heir to the British throne. Many people appreciate that William and Kate try to live as much like regular people as possible. Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born on January 9, 1982, in Reading, England. She’s the oldest of three children.
Kate’s parents met while working for British Airways. Her mother, Carole, was a flight attendant and her father, Michael, was a flight dispatcher. Some of Carole’s ancestors were coal miners, and her family was quite poor. Michael came from a family that was wealthy, but not part of the aristocracy.
When Kate was two, her father’s job took the family to Amman, Jordan. They lived there for over two years. After returning to England, Carole opened a business selling supplies for children’s birthday parties. Michael quit his job to work for her, and the Middletons eventually became millionaires.
The family lived in a small English village, and growing up, Kate was a tomboy who enjoyed sports and being outdoors. When she was 13, she started at a new school. While most of the girls lived at the school, Kate was a "day" student who went home at night. So she had trouble making friends, and she was bullied for being tall and skinny and very quiet. She was also disappointed that the school didn’t offer her favorite sport—field hockey.

OLIVIA: It sounds like she was pretty unhappy.

BEN: She was, so she transferred to another school. Even though she arrived in the middle of the year, Kate felt more at home at the second school. She played tennis and a sport called netball, and became captain of the field hockey team.
Kate took a year off before starting college. First she studied Italian in Florence, where she enjoyed hosting dinner parties for friends. After passing a wilderness survival test, she went to Chile to volunteer for an environmental group. Finally, back in England, Kate worked as a deckhand on a sailboat. Her job included washing down decks and putting away sails each evening.
In 2001 Kate entered St. Andrew’s University in Scotland as an art history student. She continued to play field hockey. Prince William lived upstairs in the same dormitory, and the two quickly became friends. When they started dating, they made every effort to keep this a secret. The British press was very interested in William and would hound anyone he was dating!
When the couple graduated from college in 2005, William entered the military. Kate wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. The British press assumed that she was just waiting for William to marry her, so they called her "Waity Katie."

OLIVIA: Ugh! That's really insulting!

BEN: I agree. The press also followed her every move, constantly taking photos of her. William was outraged because the press had always harassed his mother, Princess Diana. In fact, Diana died in a car accident while being pursued by aggressive photographers known as paparazzi. William was only 15 when his mother died.
Kate found part-time work as a buyer for a clothing company. She also began working in her family’s business. Kate had always had an interest in photography, and her job in the family business included taking pictures for catalogs. She started to do some charity work too.
. . .

[Little Fox Introduction]

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