Friday, April 29, 2011

Profiles: Prince William and Kate Middleton

MANILA, Philippines - The long wait is over.

In a few hours, Prince William will marry Kate Middleton at the Westminster Abbey in London, England in a grand ceremony to be watched by millions all over the globe.

Here is a quick look at their lives before they become husband and wife.

Prince William

Prince William is the first son of one of the world's most famous parents -- Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana -- and the second in line to the British throne. He has a younger brother named Harry.

Born on June 21, 1982, he was given the title "His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis," but went by the nickname "Wills" to a curious public.

He studied at Eton College, a prestigious boarding school near London. Here, he excelled not only in academics but also in sports, playing football and polo and becoming captain of the school's swimming team.

The prince then took a year off and went to Chile and Africa where he taught children and did household chores. He returned to the United Kingdom for his college education at University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

After graduation, William decided to pursue a military career as a search and rescue pilot with the Royal Air Force. He also began his royal duties, going on overseas trips on behalf of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Following in his mother's footsteps, he is patron to several charities, helping the homeless and preserving the African wildlife.

Kate Middleton

Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, nicknamed Kate, was born on January 9, 1982. She is the eldest child of then airline officer Michael and Carole, a flight attendant. Her ancestors on her mother's side were coal miners.

Kate's parents eventually became millionaires by setting up Party Pieces, an online party supplies business. So, although born a commoner, she grew up privileged.

She studied art history at the prestigious University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where she met and fell in love with Prince William.

After college, Kate had a stint as an accessories buyer for fashion chain Jigsaw, but mostly helped her parents run their business.

Much rests on her shoulders as she becomes part of the British monarchy. She is expected to support her husband in his royal duties, focus on charity work, and more importantly, give birth to an heir.

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