Wednesday, 20 Oct 2021

Kate Middleton’s family came from ‘real poverty’ before Duchess’ royal life

Kate Middleton at University College London

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This week, Kate voiced her support for a study into the early years development of children, ahead of meeting the University College London (UCL) academics behind it. Kate established the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood in June this year, after working ten years to highlight the importance of a child’s formative education. On Tuesday, the Duchess met with academics who launched the Children of the 2020’s study, which will track the development of children from the age of nine months to five years across England. 

The study will examine how the home environment and community, socio-economic circumstances and early year services affect children’s development.

As part of the Children of the 2020’s project, the Duchess has looked into her own family tree and discovered that she has a “working class” lineage, according to a royal expert. 

Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Zoey Forsey and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers. 

Mr Myers explained that Kate’s ancestry includes coal miners and labourers, even experiencing “real poverty”

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Mr Myers said: “What is interesting about it of course, is she has come from a very working class background in generations before. 

“Her mothers family, Carole’s family ‒ the Goldsmiths ‒ came from real poverty, and on that lineage they had coal miners, carpenters, labourers, shop workers among her ancestors. 

“So obviously very very different to her life now. 

“And even her dad, his relatives had a far more comfortable upbringing. 

“He [comes] from quite a wealthy family of wool merchants and I think there were solicitors and pilots within his lineage.”

Kate disclosed she was doing research into her family as she spoke to the UCL academic while previous research has found she is related to a road sweeper and a prisoner.

However the Duchess can also count earls, countesses and even a prime minister in her ancestors.

Notably, Kate is related to William Petty FitzMaurice, the 1st Marquess of Lansdowne, who was Prime Minister in 1782 for a year.

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He is known for negotiating the peace settlement that ended the American War of Independence.

On the podcast, Ms Forsey noted: “It’s a very Kate thing to do as well, she’s really using her own story and her own family background. 

Mr Myers added: “You could easily say she’s left that family behind.

“She’s now a princess, a duchess, future queen, but to recognise that part of her family… and why wouldn’t she?

“If you really believe in it you’ve got to delve down into your own history.”

The Duchess’ Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood focuses on three key areas ‒ research, the development of new solutions with public and private voluntary sectors and awareness campaigns.

Upon her arrival at UCL Kate said: “Our early childhood shapes our adult lives and knowing more about what impacts this critical time is fundamental to understanding what we as a society can do to improve our future wealth and happiness.

“The landmark Children of the 2020s study will illustrate the importance of the first five years and provide insights into the most critical aspect of early childhood, as well as the factors which support or hinder positive lifelong outcomes. 

“I am committed to supporting greater in-depth research in this vital area and I am delighted to be meeting all those behind the study at this early stage.”

Professor Pasco Fearon, who was lead researcher on the study added: “We are extremely excited to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cambridge to UCL to talk and hear more about our Children of the 2020s study today and as it develops over the coming years.”

Royal watchers remarked that Kate arrived at UCL in a grey Zara dress that she had previously worn during an event in January and Hugo Boss stilettos. 

The dress reportedly costs just £16.

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