Kate Middleton was a student at the University of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland, where she graduated in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in the History of Art. In 2001, while in her second year at the University of St Andrews, Middleton met the future king.
She was born on 9 January 1982, in Berkshire, England, to pilot Michael and flight attendant Carole Middleton. In 1987, the Middletons founded their own party goods company, which helped to make them millionaires. Kate, the oldest of three children, has a younger sister, Philippa (Pippa), and a younger brother, James.
Middleton attended the exclusive St Andrew's Prep School until she was 13 and then Marlborough College, where she passed 11 GCSEs and three A-level exams.
She studied History of Art at St Andrew's where she met Prince William, who is second in line to the throne, and the pair started a romantic relationship in 2003.
In February 2006, it was announced that Middleton would receive her own 24-hour security detail from the Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department. This led to rumours that Middleton was being groomed for a position of royalty.
In 2007, however, the couple publicly split. Media reports said otherwise, as Middleton had been spotted at several royal events accompanied by the prince, and other rumours indicated that the couple had been living together. Both parties denied the rumours.
In November 2006, Middleton accepted a position as an assistant accessories buyer with the British clothing chain Jigsaw, but it was reported that she left the company in order to study portrait photography.
In 2010, it was revealed that Kate Middleton had been working on plans to start a new bakery business with her brother, James. Since 2007, James Middleton has been running The Cake Kit Company, with the goal of encouraging kids to cook and making the baking of party cakes easier.
On 16 November 2010, it was announced that Prince William and Kate Middleton were engaged, with the wedding due to take place on 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey in London.
Prince William had popped the question in October during a holiday in Kenya. It was also stated that the couple would live in north Wales, where Prince William is stationed with the Royal Air Force.
On 5 January 2011, Clarence House released further details of the royal wedding. On the day of the wedding, which was declared a national bank holiday, Kate Middleton travelled to the service at Westminster Abbey by car following a route that took her past the Mall, Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and Parliament Square in London.
The wedding service commenced at 11am on 29 April 2011 and the Dean of Westminster conducted the service, the Archbishop of Canterbury married the couple and the Bishop of London provided the address.
She wore a wedding dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, as well as a tiara lent to her by the Queen. Her sister was maid of honour and wore a dress by the same designer. Middleton had a total of four bridesmaids and two pageboys.
Once the service had been completed the married couple set off along a processional route by carriage to Buckingham Palace. The Queen gave a reception for the new couple and guests selected from the couple's official and social circles.
During the reception, the Royal couple appeared on the balcony of the palace and enjoyed their first public kiss (two in fact) before the RAF conducted a fly-pass.
The Prince of Wales hosted a private dinner, at Buckingham Palace in the evening, for the couple and their close friends and family.
Kate Middleton and Prince William danced their first dance to a live performance of 'Your Song' by singer Ellie Golding. The reception ended at 3am with a small firework display.
The event was watched by 26.3 million people in the UK alone and 500 street parties were held to commemorate the wedding.
In honour of the wedding, luxury lifestyle magazine Tatler created a colourful cover featuring Kate Middleton's face portrayed in an Andy Warhol style for its February issue.
Since the wedding, the Royal couple have moved into some rooms in Kensington Palace, although they consider their home to be their rented cottage in Anglesey.
Middleton's wedding dress has also been displayed at Buckingham Palace for visitors to see, with more than 600,000 people paying to view the gown.
On 18 October 2011, it was revealed that the new Duchess of Cambridge has undertaken her first act of personal charity.
She wrote a handwritten letter to nine-year-old Fabian Bate, who has leukemia, praising him for his strength. She first met the youngster at the Royal Marsden Hospital on a visit to the new children's ward with her husband in September.
She has continued to make public appearances and does frequent charity work, having visited countries such as Singapore and New Zealand.