Lucky Kate Middleton! Christmas is barely over before she will be showered with presents again on January 9, which is her 29th birthday.
You may think you already know a lot about her, but here are 29 surprising facts about the brunette from Berkshire.
1. She is marrying into a family renowned for its bright blue eyes, but hers are actually green
2. Kate owes her glowing complexion, which still looks dewy and fresh even after a night of clubbing, to avoiding alcohol. She doesn’t touch a drop.
3. One of the best-tressed women in Britain, her glossy curtain of long, straight hair is the result of an expert blow-dry. At school and In her early years at university she had an unruly mop of kinky curls she has now learned to tame.
4. Kate is a demon on the piste. She can outski and outlast William on any black run.
5. Like Princess Diana, her favourite sport is tennis. She even played on a court outside the rented house in Cornwall where she and her family celebrated Christmas a year ago.
6. While often seen stopping off at a Tesco in North Wales, Kate is actually a Waitrose kind of girl. When at home in Chapel Row, Berkshire she drives off to the next village which boasts her favourite supermarket.
7. Kate grew up in a modest red brick semi in the small village of Bradfield Southend in Berkshire, where her family lived until July, 1995. It was even more modest when Kate’s parents moved there in 1980, later adding a side extension used as a playroom for the three Middleton children.
8. Not surprisingly, Kate’s favourite colour for clothing is blue. She chose the blue Issa dress she wore on her engagement day, as she jokingly explained, ‘to match my sapphire engagement ring.’
9. Kate belongs to the ‘Less is more’ school of makeup, avoiding face powder for a natural, dewy look with only a trace of eyeliner and mascara.
10. In the seaside farmhouse she shares with William on Anglesey Kate has recreated the cosiness and comfort of the farmhouse north of St.Andrews where they first lived alone together during their last 18 months at university.
11. Sharing clothes with her mother is one way canny Kate saves money. She turned up at the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2006 wearing a brown fur hat, which Carole Middleton donned for Prince William’s graduation from Sandhurst the following December.
12. She is a High Street rather than a high fashion girl. She bought that much-admired white overcoat from Reiss.
13. To avoid the London paparazzi, she has been shopping in the Reading Mall, just a few miles from her family home. ‘We see her here all the time,’ one shop assistant told Hello!
14. High maintenance she is not. Her nails are kept short with a natural polish.
15. Apart from her sapphire and diamond engagement ring, Kate has always liked inexpensive, ethnic jewellery. But that seems set to change once she marries and has a tiara on her glossy hair.
16. Kate left Marlborough College with three A levels, two A grades in mathematics and art, and a B in English.
17. While William spent his Gap Year in exotic places like Kenya and Peru, art lover Kate went to Florence in September, 2000 for a 12 week Italian course at the British Institute.
18. While in Italy Kate shared a flat with several girls, including singer Chris Rea’s niece Alice Whitaker.
19. Kate’s artistic bent emerged while working for the High Street chain Jigsaw. In 2007 she designed a £42 silver and rose quartz necklace with the help of jeweller Claudia Bradby
20. Kate shares her January 9 birthday with singers Joan Baez and Crystal Gayle as well as the late President Nixon.
21. Like Prince William, Kate drives an Audi.
22. Kate first holidayed with William’s family when she joined him and Prince Charles in Klosters in 2004.
23. The first time she met the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh was at Peter Phillips’ wedding in May, 2008.
24. William’s pet name for Kate is ‘Babykins.’
25. Her name for him is ‘Big Willie.’
26. Fun-loving Kate revealed her daring side when she turned up wearing Bunny ears at a Rampant Rabbit party at St.Kitt’s nightclub in Chelsea three years ago.
27. The Middletons live in a leafy village in a detached house surrounded by fields and woodlands. Behind the house is an area large enough for Prince William to land his helicopter on a flying visit.
28. Kate is the tallest bride to marry into the royal family for many decades. I am 5ft.8 and Princess Diana gave me a crick in my neck when I gazed up at her. Kate is even taller, around 5ft.11inches.
29. At St.Andrew’s boarding school in Berkshire, Kate starred in an end-of-term play in a Victorian melodrama opposite a leading man called William. When a fortune teller predicts she will meet a handsome, wealthy man she asks, ‘Will he fall in love with me and marry me? Oh, how my heart flutters.”
Amazingly, this prediction really did turn out to be true.