Clarence House Announces Engagement of Prince William to Kate Middleton

The Prince of Wales announced the engagement of his eldest son, Prince William, to Kate Middleton, on November 16, 2010, Tuesday. William presented Middleton with an exquisite oval-shaped blue sapphire engagement ring previously owned by his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Prince William met Kate Middleton while both Art History students at St. Andrew's University in Scotland. Previous reports claimed that Kate bypassed her chance to study at her dream school, the University of Edinburgh (where she already secured a slot), to enroll at St. Andrews University upon learning that the future king will be studying Art History at the said university. She originally wanted to take up Photography in Edinburgh.

official engagement portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton

Kate was born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton on January 9, 1982, six months before Prince William was born on June 21, 1982. She is the eldest child of Michael and Carole Middleton, who were both flight crew of British Airways before they quit and established Party Pieces, a street party suppliers business, in 1987. The Middletons lived in Berkshire county near the Queen's home, Windsor Castle. 

Prince William began dating Kate Middleton in 2003 but had a trial separation in 2004. He was said to have been pursuing Isabella Calthorpe, a British aristocrat granddaughter of the 6th Earl of Howe, but to no avail. He reconciled with Kate in the early part of 2005. But broke up again in April 2007. 

Kate reportedly made a regular trip to Anglesy, Wales, where Prince William was stationed with the Royal Air Force, following their trial breakup. Prince  William was reportedly analyzing his future and the woman who could fit the role of a future Princess of Wales after some senior royal family members warned him of the implication of taking a non-aristocratic bride who is not familiar with the royal routine.

For years, Kate endured criticism while dating Prince William. The press and the royalists mocked her non-aristocratic background and for looking very plain, questioning her suitability to marry a future British king. 

Some royal watchers are disgusted with her lifestyle, wild partying, night clubbing, and her eagerness to jump on the royal bandwagon. The media dubbed her as Katy Waity or Lazy Kate for doing nothing other than tail Prince William and wait for him to propose. While other royalists criticized her for being too lazy to find a suitable career and a serious job after obtaining a degree.

Kate's interest was really in photography. After taking her only job as an accessory buyer in a London clothing chain, she moved back to her family's home in Berkshire and helped out her parents in running the family business as their photographer. 

Princess Diana's biographer, Andrew Morton, once wrote "Grafting commoners into the Hanoverian (Queen Elizabeth's bloodline) Tree proved to be very disastrous". 
Let's hope Kate Middleton can endure the demanding royal life once she becomes an official member. For now, let us wish her and Prince William a happy engagement! Looking forward to the wedding on April 29, 2011.

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