Though life as a member of the royal family might seem like it’s all cash and crowns on the surface, there’s a lot that the royals have to deal with that we may not always see. Kate Middleton in particular is probably pretty privy to that, going from a commoner to a full-time working royal when she married the man now known as William, Prince of Wales, back in 2011.
While it seems like the royal, who became Catherine, Princess of Wales, when Queen Elizabeth II passed away in September 2022, has it all together, she’s certainly weathered her fair share of storms. Of course, we know all about her reported tension with Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, and Kate’s despair over the apparent feud between Prince William and his brother, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. And how could we forget about that famous brief breakup with William that was pretty tough on the popular royal? “At the time, I wasn’t very happy about it,” Kate admitted during the couple’s engagement interview in November 2010. “But actually, it made me a stronger person. You find things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realized. I really valued that time for me.”
But there are a few other things the royal has had to deal with in her life that sadly caused a lot more pain and maybe didn’t always have such a happy ending.
The Tragic Death Of Queen Elizabeth II
Kate Middleton is said to be devastated by the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and she wasn’t afraid to hide her grief. On September 8, 2022, the beloved grandmother of her husband, William, Prince of Wales, died at the age of 96. In the first photos that surfaced of her following the matriarch of the royal family’s passing, Kate was dressed in all black and wore sunglasses, accessorizing with pearl earrings which have been known to represent periods of mourning, per 7News.com.au. It was reported that Kate had the unenviable task of telling her children, Prince Louis of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales, and Prince Louis of Wales, about the death of their great-grandmother. “Kate used her words carefully and said that Elizabeth is in heaven with Prince Philip. There were lots of tears and hugs and naturally the children are upset,” a source told Closer.
During one walkabout at the Sandringham Estate on September 15, Kate told royal fan Fran Morgan that she was overwhelmed by all of the tokens that had been left for the queen. “She said she couldn’t believe how many cards and flowers there were. But she also said: ‘I can’t read them all or I would cry,'” Morgan told Birmingham Live. It’s also thought that Kate became visibly emotional during the queen’s funeral procession and could be seen holding back tears as she watched Queen Elizabeth’s coffin pass by, per People.
A Close Friend Of Kate Middleton’s Died
Sadly, Kate Middleton has suffered through losing more than one person close to her in her life. Not too long before the royals said goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II, Birmingham Live reported Kate was grieving the death of Christine Hill, who was not only a friend, but an antenatal expert who was there for the royal when she fell pregnant with her first child, Prince George. Though Kate didn’t speak out directly about the death, as is customary for the royals, Hill’s family told Daily Mail in June 2022, “She will be achingly missed. Her feisty, amusing, straightforward demeanor won her many friends.”
As royal watchers will already know, Kate didn’t have an easy first pregnancy and was pretty vocal about experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum, which may have been something Hill helped her through. “[I was] not the happiest of pregnant people,” Kate admitted on the “Happy Mum, Happy Baby” podcast in February 2020. “I saw the power of it really, the meditation and the deep breathing and things like that, that they teach you in hypnobirthing, when I was really sick, and actually I realised that this was something I could take control of, I suppose, during labour. It was hugely powerful,” she added.
Of course, we can all plainly see Catherine, Princess of Wales, is a great mom to Prince George of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales, and Prince Louis of Wales. What’s more, she and William, Prince of Wales, are bringing their children up with all the perks that come with being a royal. But even having access to everything you could ever imagine and living in palaces doesn’t mean you’re immune from parenting guilt.
Kate Middleton has been vocal about her struggles balancing motherhood with her royal duties, sharing on “Happy Mum, Happy Baby” in February 2020 that trying to be the best mom she can be as well as the best Princess of Wales she can be causes her a lot of stress. “It’s a constant challenge… [You’re] always sort of questioning your own decisions and your own judgements and things like that,” she admitted. The royal then shared a heart-wrenching story of what happened to her that morning when she had to head out to work, which upset George and Charlotte because they wanted her to take them to school.
That’s not the first time the royal children have had things a little different to commoners. Kate revealed that during the coronavirus pandemic they still sent their children to school when others closed to keep them in a routine. “We don’t tell the children we’ve actually kept going through the holidays. I feel very mean,” she told BBC News in April 2020.
Kate Middleton’s Difficult School Days
Sadly, it’s believed that Kate Middleton didn’t exactly have the best time at school during her younger days when she attended the all-girl boarding school called Downe House. One of her apparent school friends, Jessica Hay, opened up about what Kate faced telling the now defunct British newspaper News of the World in 2010, telling the outlet (via Express), “She hated it, absolutely hated it. Some of the girls there were horrible. She was picked on because she was perfect, well turned out, and a lovely person. She was not the type to stick up for herself.”
Despite not yet finishing her semester and seemingly because of the tough time she was having, Kate’s parents decided to move her to Marlborough College, where her new friends touched on how difficult she appeared to find things at her previous school. “Apparently, she had been bullied very badly and she certainly looked thin and pale,” one of her Marlborough College friends, Gemma Williamson, told Daily Mail in 2018. “She had very little confidence.”
That may be one of the reasons Catherine, Princess of Wales, and William, Prince of Wales, have been so vocal about supporting charities that help those dealing with mental health struggles, including being very anti-bullying. In 2018, Kate even spoke to children about how important it is to be kind to their classmates during a virtual children’s assembly as part of the Heads Together charity.
Those Messy Cheating Rumors That Won’t Go Away
As a royal, rumors are pretty much inevitable. The British royal family is made up of some of the most talked about people in the world, which means plenty of stories hitting the press that are both very true — and very not true. As is protocol for the royals, some speculation never gets officially addressed, which makes it possible for the rumor mill to churn up plenty of gossip for social media to get carried away with.
One such instance came when William, Prince of Wales, faced allegations of infidelity. The persistent, yet seemingly unfounded, rumors claimed the royal had supposedly had an affair with family friend Rose Hanbury, per Cosmopolitan. The wild theory went viral on Twitter for the umpteenth time in July 2022, when it seemed like pretty much everyone was sharing their two cents after Deuxmoi posted a blind item many claimed could have been relating to the future king. Making things even more dramatic? It was claimed in a since deleted March 2019 The Sun story that Kate had supposedly fallen out with Hanbury. Daily Mail‘s royal reporter Richard Kay hit back though, claiming, “None of the reports have been able to offer any evidence about what the so-called dispute is about, they have chosen to ignore it.”
As for the cheating reports, it doesn’t seem like any of the royals have dignified the allegations with a public response, but hearing such shocking allegations can’t have been fun for Kate.
She Has Been ‘Relentlessly Pursued’ By Paparazzi
It’s no secret that royalty and tabloid attention pretty much go hand in hand, and it was all that newfound attention that seemed particularly tough for Kate Middleton before she became an official member of the royal family when she married William, Prince of Wales, in 2011. Before getting her royal status, Kate was simply a commoner, which meant she had no right to any state funded security until she was William’s fiancé. That made for several heartbreaking videos emerging on Twitter showing her begging the paparazzi to leave her alone as she’s barely visible in a wash of flashbulbs in the dark.
Royal expert Tina Brown touched on the harassment the now mom of three received, comparing her experience to that of William’s late mother in the book “The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — The Truth and the Turmoil.” “Kate was relentlessly pursued in London. She was hounded when she left her Chelsea apartment in ways reminiscent of the harassment of the young Lady Di,” Brown shared, revealing that the paparazzi (a group largely made up of older men) would often shout offensive things at a young Kate in an attempt to get a reaction out of her — and a potentially unflattering photo.
Thankfully, things now seem to be a little more controlled for the royal thanks to her security team, though there’s no doubting Kate Middleton had handled her adversities with grace and poise.
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