Born January 8, 1982 (five months before William), Catherine (here at age age 3) is the eldest daughter of Michael and Carole Middleton. Her parents met while working at British Airways, where he was a flight dispatcher and she a flight attendant.
Catherine, age 4, with her father Michael and sister Pippa in Jerash, Jordan. When Kate was a toddler, the Middletons lived for several years in Amman, where Michael worked as a manager for British Airways.
So cute! Who could have predicted that this adorable 5-year-old would, at age 29, become the oldest single woman to marry a future king?
In March 2002, Prince William paid 200 pounds for a front-row seat to see classmate Kate walk the runway in a student charity fashion show called The Art of Seduction. Looks like it worked: Kate and Wills would soon be spotted kissing at a nightclub. The dress was recently purchased at auction for more than $125,000 by a New Jersey memorabilia collector.
Alongside her royal boyfriend, Prince William, Kate graduated with honors (obtaining a History of Art degree) from St. Andrews on June 23, 2005. When Wills takes the throne, Kate will be the first British queen to have graduated university.
Shown here attending the badminton horse trials during her 2007 breakup (sadface) with Wills, Kate herself has always excelled in sports, including field hockey, crew, tennis and swimming.
After the couple's graduation, the informal media ban on Prince William coverage was lifted, which meant Kate became the focus of paparazzi as well, and the British public clamored for photos of the stylish beauty.
During her breakup with Wills, Kate partied with sister Pippa (including this outing at Boujis nightclub in 2007); now, as the bride and her maid of honor, the two will be celebrating the biggest party of the 21st century.
MORE PHOTOS: Fashion Spotlight: Kate Middleton