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The Duchess of Cambridge is celebrating her 30th birthday today.

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Former Miss Kate Middleton has reached the milestone after a momentous year that has seen her marry royalty, embark on her first official overseas tour and take on several patronages.

But she is not expected to have a lavish party to mark the occasion. The Duchess is said to be marking the occasion with a “low-key and private” event.

There had been reports that Prince Harry was planning a big bash for his sister-in-law.

But a St James’s Palace spokesman gave a brief statement saying: “Whatever is planned will be low-key and private.”

For her 30th birthday, London24 presents 30 facts about the Duchess:

1. Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born to parents Michael and Carole Middleton at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading on January 9 1982.

2. Kate was christened at the parish church of St Andrew’s Bradfield in Berkshire on June 20, 1982.

3. At the age of 13, she went to the £15,000-a-year Marlborough College in Wiltshire.

4. During her time there she represented the college at tennis, hockey and netball.

5. She became captain of the college’s hockey team and played in the first pair at tennis.

6. Kate is a keen photographer and took pictures for her parents’ mail order business Party Pieces.

7. Amman, the capital of Jordan, was home to Kate and her family for a few years in the mid 1980s.

8. The Duchess has completed her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

9. Hobbies she enjoys include walking, tennis, swimming, sailing, and painting.

10. It was rumoured that at Marlborough College Kate had a poster of her future husband William on her wall.

11. But she has quashed speculation by revealing it was in fact the “Levi’s guy” who adorned her bedroom.

12. Kate spent time studying at the British Institute in Florence during a gap year.

13. She also crewed on Round the World Challenge boats in the Solent while taking a break from studies.

14. In 2001, the Duchess enrolled at the University of St Andrews, Fife, from where she graduated in 2005 with a 2:1 in history of art.

15. When an undergraduate she continued playing sports and turned out for the university’s hockey team.

16. Kate met her future husband at St Andrews - a university where graduates have around a one in 10 chance of meeting their perfect partner and getting married.

17. The Duchess worked in London as a part-time buyer for the clothing company Jigsaw Junior.

18. Kate and William’s first official event together after they got engaged was at Anglesey last February - dedicating a new RNLI lifeboat.

19. Kate followed wedding tradition, and for “something blue” had a blue ribbon sewn into the interior of her dress.

20. After the wedding ceremony, on April 29 last year, her bouquet was placed on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey after the service, continuing a tradition started by the late Queen Mother.

21. The see-through dress which sparked William’s interest in Kate when she wore it at a university fashion show in 2002 was auctioned in 2011 for £78,000.

22. The Duchess is descended from a family of solicitors and landed gentry on her father’s side and butchers, plasterers, road sweepers and domestic servants on her mother’s.

23. Kate is allergic to horses.

24. During her tour of California and Canada during the summer of 2011 she wore more than 25 outfits.

25. Whenever she is photographed wearing high street fashion the garment quickly sells out.

26. The Duchess is an official ambassador for Team GB and Paralympic GB.

27. With her husband William she will travel to Malaysia, Singapore, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year.

28. When in the capital Kate sometimes uses the London bike hire scheme.

29. She is patron of Action on Addiction and the National Portrait Gallery, and royal patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and The Art Room.

30. She is also a volunteer with the Scout Association and in the future will join activities privately with groups in north Wales and other areas.


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