Why Kate Middleton Was Never The Same After Marrying Prince William

Kate Middleton was a hardworking, normal university student who was interested in fashion and art history and kept a low profile. But that didn’t stop Prince William from falling for her. They dated in secret for a while until the prince began to bring her around to the royals to get consent from the queen. Finally, they tied the knot at Westminster Abbey in 2011, and Middleton went from a normal girl to the Duchess of Cambridge. Talk about a glow-up. After that, Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was never quite the same. 

Now, Kate Middleton — or, as the papers have dubbed her, “The Children’s Princess” — is in the public eye, and well-liked by the media and fans. Her charm may have stayed the same, but Middleton’s life has changed in almost every way. For starters, Middleton has a whole new lavish lifestyle with a designer wardrobe to match. Not to mention, she has a whole new set of responsibilities as a woman now in the public eye. Read on to find out how the Duchess of Cambridge’s life was never quite the same after marrying into royalty.

Kate Middleton had to give up a normal career

Kate Middleton was an average college girl who attended St. Andrews University. “I started off doing Psychology at St Andrews, with History of Art,” said Middleton while visiting University College in London (via Hello!). After briefly studying psychology, she settled on an art history degree. And it may have been because of her art history courses that she met Prince William, who later made a switch from art history to geography (which goes to show how fated it was that they met). 

After university, Middleton had two normal jobs. First, she was employed at Party Pieces, a business owned by her parents, as noted by Marie Claire. Then, Middleton became an accessories buyer for Jigsaw (via Daily Mail). Even if she was dating the prince, she never let that change her down-to-earth personality. Belle Robinson, the co-founder of Jigsaw, said about Middleton in an interview with Evening Standard, “She sat in the kitchen at lunchtime and chatted with everyone from the van drivers to the accounts girls.” 

Things changed when she formally married into royalty, but Middleton still got to put her degree to good use. She’s patron of the Art Room Charity and curated a photography exhibit in 2020.

Kate Middleton has a whole set of duties as part of the royal family

Soon enough, it was time to say goodbye to retail hours. Kate Middleton took on a whole new set of duties as Duchess of Cambridge, which mostly included “carrying out Royal duties both at home and overseas.” Being a duchess might sound glamorous, but it’s actually really hard work. As a whole, the royal family carries out 2,000 royal engagements yearly, mostly in the areas of public and charitable services. While there’s a lot of fun rivalry between family members, it’s impressive to note just how hard Middleton worked. During her third pregnancy, when she also suffered from severe morning sickness, or hyperemesis gravidarum (via Forbes), Middleton had more public engagements than either Prince William or Prince Harry, according to Town & Country.

Over the years, Middleton really stepped into her role by taking on more patronages, mostly in the areas she’s truly passionate about like those concerning children and art. As reported in 2020, she researched children’s development up to age 5, “what we experience in the early years,” and how parents can best facilitate a healthy and sturdy foundation for their children from the beginning.

Kate Middleton wears some of the most amazing designer pieces

Kate Middleton’s fashion sense was always stylish, and it used to be within the realm of the average person’s budget. But after marrying Prince William, that all changed. Now she wears some of the most amazing designer pieces, all fitted to perfection. One of her favorite designers is Alexander McQueen, and she can be seen wearing McQueen clothing often. Like when she stunned everyone with her amazing wedding dress designed by McQueen’s Sarah Burton (via Town & Country), one of the most expensive outfits Kate Middleton’s ever worn. Or a glamorous off-the-shoulder black and gold embellished dress for the 2017 BAFTA red carpet (via Hello!). 

But Middleton is a fan of a number of other designers as well. Emilia Wickstead is one she wears often, like when she donned this festive-yet-chic skirt that cost $1,112, or a coat dress by the same designer that she wore for a garden party at Buckingham Palace that cost $1,729. She made headlines when she wore this Gucci blouse, which cost $1,300, backwards to an event at the Henry Fawcett Children’s Centre in London, making quite a statement. Middleton has been and will continue to be a fashion trendsetter, just one who can afford super expensive things these days.

But as a royal, she has to stick to a strict dress code

Kate Middleton might have an epic wardrobe, but she has to stick to a number of fairly strict rules when it comes to what she wears in public. The tiaras Middleton has worn in the past are strictly reserved for women who are married, according to Marie Claire, and under that tiara, hair is expected to be tidy. Neutral or unpolished nails are the norm, and hemlines are supposed to be below the knee. But those are just the more traditional rules. 

Some rules are simply rules because of the queen’s dislike of that particular item, like wedge shoes, which are not to be worn in front of her. You may have noticed Middleton’s huge hat collection as well. As noted by the BBC, royal women always wear hats to fancy outings, and the tradition has stayed up. The same with coats — another rule the royals follow is keeping their coats on, even when indoors, according to Glamour. And Middleton wouldn’t even think about wearing black unless it was for mourning or Remembrance Day (via InStyle).

Kate Middleton has a stunning jewelry collection because of the royal family

Having a designer wardrobe is amazing, but Kate Middleton also has an impressive collection of jewelry that’s been gifted or lent to her by the royal family, as noted by Vogue. The engagement ring Middleton was given — which features a 12-carat oval sapphire that dates back to the mid-19th century – belonged to Princess Diana. It was then passed down to Prince Harry, who gave it to his brother to propose to Middleton with.

She also has a collection of tiaras at her disposal (after her marriage, as per the rules). The one she wore on her wedding day was a Cartier Halo tiara, lent to Middleton by the queen, with “739-brilliant cut diamonds and 149 baguette diamonds,” according to Tatler. The tiara dates back to 1936, with Queen Elizabeth being the first to wear it. Middleton’s other famous tiara is the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara, which was frequently spotted on Princess Diana. And possibly one of Middleton’s first of many gifts from Prince William was the rose gold Victorian ring he gave her in university that she later wore for graduation.

Kate Middleton has been able to give back to charities in ways she couldn't have before

Kate Middleton has likely always cared about giving back to people, or had certain charities close to her heart. But after becoming a royal, Middleton has been able to give back to her community. Now a patron of multiple organizations, Middleton’s daily work is usually paying visits to these places to make a good impression. 

Some of the charities she supports focus on research to create foundations for people to live healthy, well-rounded lives, such as Action for Children and Action on Addiction. Others focus on her love of art (remember her art history degree?) like the National Portrait Gallery and Natural History Museum. With her royal prestige, Middleton’s role as patron makes her a sponsor of these organizations, rather than just a donor, meaning she will have a long-time relationship with the various charities and organizations she’s a patron to. It’s amazing that Middleton can give back in way she likely couldn’t have before. 

Kate Middleton's home after marrying William is like something out of a fairy tale

Before marrying Prince William, Kate Middleton wouldn’t have been living in a huge country home gifted by the queen herself. Middleton lives in a three-story building located on the Sandringham Estate next to the Sandringham House where the queen usually gets away for Christmas, according to Hello! magazine. Amner Hall, the name of the residence in Norfolk, England, is a huge 18th-century building that has undergone a complete refurbishment costing an estimated 1.5 million pounds, and was redecorated by Middleton so she could add her own personal touch. While Middleton is usually private about showing off the inside of her home, people were able to get a brief look inside with the numerous Zoom calls she made during the 2020 lockdown.

Nowadays, Middleton is lucky enough to treat that home as her escape from her normal (but still luxurious) apartment 1A in Kensington Palace. Though it’s called an apartment, it’s anything but small, with an estimated 20 rooms, as noted by The Sun, while the palace itself surrounds three courtyards.

As Duchess of Cambridge, her fashion choices are constantly scrutinized

Kate Middleton has to stick to a strict dress code, yes, and as a public figure, she’s got the rest of the world judging her fashion choices too. Definitely something she wouldn’t have had to deal with pre-duchess days. On a public outing in shorts in 2019, the press was all over it, as it was her first time in eight years to wear shorts in public, and notably, the first time ever as a royal doing so. 

That wasn’t the only time she was publicly criticized for her outfits. During the 2018 BAFTA awards, many women were attending dressed in black to show their support for the Time’s Up movement. But instead, Middleton opted for a green dress with a black sash, causing backlash among people who didn’t think she was supporting the cause. However, others said the black sash was a nod to the movement. Did she not wear black because royals are supposed to stay away from black? Most likely it was because Middleton isn’t allowed to be affiliated with politics, according to Marie Claire.

Kate Middleton is not allowed to vote or be political

Surely a huge change in Kate Middleton’s life after marrying Prince William was the fact that she wasn’t supposed to be affiliated with politics anymore, thus giving up her right to vote. While there’s no British law that states the royals can’t vote, according to Vanity Fair, Queen Elizabeth II has remained politically neutral. Similarly, it’s expected that princes and duchesses like Middleton keep up neutrality as well. This is why it’s assumed that Middleton didn’t wear black at the 2018 BAFTAs.

But Kate Middleton has spoken up on her political views at least once. She wrote an article for HuffPost about children’s education and mental health, sharing, “The mental health of our children must be seen as every bit as important as their physical health.” If Middleton hadn’t become a duchess, surely she could have been more politically active.

Kate Middleton has gone to some of the biggest sporting and cultural events

Kate Middleton is a huge sports fan, and now as a duchess, she’s been able to attend some of the biggest and most important sports and cultural events in the world. Events at Wimbledon seem to be her absolute favorite, as she’s been spotted in many photos cheering alongside Prince William. In 2019, she and Meghan Markle went to see tennis pro Serena Williams play in a match, as noted by Town & Country, as they’d done the year before. And even though Wimbledon was closed due to COVID-19 in 2020, it didn’t stop the duchess from helping to create a video in its honor. Middleton’s also attended the Olympics, as well as the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. 

Additionally, Middleton has attended some pretty elegant events over the years, wearing some pretty expensive outfits too. From numerous Galas, like the Portrait Gala and the BAFTAs multiple years in a row to royal weddings.

Kate Middleton has traveled to events all around the world

Kate Middleton has gone global, visiting some of the most amazing world landmarks. We don’t know how much of a globetrotter Middleton would have been if she hadn’t married Prince William, but she surely wouldn’t have had made such high-profile visits. Take her Taj Mahal visit, for example. Prince William and Kate Middleton visited the important landmark in India, and when they did, a reporter asked them what they thought. “It’s been really incredible to learn about the romance of the building, and really beautiful architecture,” said Middleton (via Hello!). The monument is also, for a lot of people, synonymous with William’s mother, Princess Diana, which added a sentimentality to the visit. 

Middleton has also been on royal tours and has been photographed in Australia, in front of the Eiffel Tower, and at the Solomon Islands, Singapore, and Malaysia, to name just a few places. Talk about luxurious.

Kate Middleton had to learn to follow etiquette rules

We already mentioned the fashion rules, but did you know about the royal etiquette rules? Getting married to Prince William and becoming a royal meant a whole new set of protocols regarding everything from the way Kate Middleton ate to the way she sat. In fact, she became so known for her sitting style (to the side, ankles crossed) that it became known as “the duchess slant.” Curtsying to the queen isn’t a rule but a tradition many follow, and many have to learn the proper way to drink tea. And Middleton always needs to stop eating when the queen does (via Hello!). 

Middleton, who the press still refers to as Kate, never uses her nickname when with the royal family. It’s either the Duchess or Catherine. Middleton is also known for her impeccable appearance that never goes against etiquette, with young women around the world going to duchess school to learn to be like her.

Because she married Prince William, Kate Middleton will someday be queen

With Prince William being second in line to the throne, Kate Middleton will inevitably be queen consort someday. Some experts believe she is already preparing for the role, as they believe Prince Charles, the heir, may hand the crown straight to William (via Marie Claire). In recent years, Middleton has been taking on more responsibilities, from becoming a patron to more organizations than before (some being the queen’s herself), her research on the early years of childhood, and the fact that she’s been doing jobs without William. Even the way she dresses suggests her knowledge of her future role.

But Middleton, with the larger workload, has said she’s suffered from “mum guilt.” On the podcast Happy Mum, Happy Baby, Middleton opened up about how she manages work and family as a mother. “I was having doubts and questions about the guilty element of being away for work and things like that,” she said (via The Sun). 

Kate Middleton’s life is drastically different since marrying Prince William with new work and her three children, who are now heirs to the throne, but fortunately Middleton likely has a ton of support.

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