Times 2

Kate takes on bullies

After her school ordeal, she asks wedding guests to help charity
By Fay Schlesinger

Kate Middleton has asked her wedding guests to donate to an anti-bullying charity, in a tacit admission she was a victim at school. Former classmates have previously revealed how then 13-year-old Kate was forced to leave a private school after being targeted by bullies.

Happy childhood: Kate smiles for the camera at the age of five (left) and during her 2005 university graduation. But behind the smiles, Kate is said to have suffered at the hands of bullies in her early teens

Her parents are said to have removed her after just two terms, before sending their daughter to the exclusive Marlborough College part-way through the academic year. Now the Beatbullying charity has been included in a list of good causes that 'resonate with' Kate, 29, and Prince William.

While most couples set up a gift list ahead of their big day, the royal couple on Thursday asked their 1,900 guests and tens of thousands of well-wishers to donate to one of 26 chosen charities instead.

They include a London Zoo project to save the black rhino in Kenya, where William proposed, and several military charities linked to William's work as an RAF search-and-rescue pilot and his new role as a colonel in the Irish Guards.

A children's bereavement charity is poignant given the death of Princess Diana in 1997 and Kate's influence is behind a community charity in Berkshire and a fund for terminally-ill children - similar to the Starlight Foundation supported by her parents' firm Party Pieces.

St James's Palace has confirmed the organisations have 'a particular resonance with Prince William and Miss Middleton and reflect issues in which the couple have been particularly interested in their lives to date'.

While William was said to be 'very popular' throughout his time at Eton, the inclusion of Beatbullying appears to confirm Kate's victimisation. She had allegedly been 'bullied very badly' before being transferred from Downe House private school, a few miles from her parents' Berkshire home, to Marlborough College in April 1996.

Fellow pupil Jessica Hay said in an interview: 'Apparently she had been bullied very badly at her previous school. 'She certainly looked very thin and pale. She had very little confidence.' Kate went on to thrive at Marlborough, securing two A grades and a B at A Level and leaving as 'one of the most attractive girls in the school', it was said.

A spokesman for Beatbullying said it had had no direct contact with the couple but plans to invite Kate to become a patron. He added: 'We advocate peer-to-peer support and this resonates with the couple as they are young role models themselves.'

© Daily Mail, London

Wave at same wavelength

Royal protocol prevents them from kissing in public except on their wedding day, and they are unlikely to be seen touching or holding hands. But the synchronised way that William and Kate wave shows they have 'industrial-strength' affection for one another, body language experts say.

The couple used similar open-palmed gestures and bent their left hands at the wrist during Kate's first royal duties on Anglesey, North Wales, last month. Described as the 'windscreen-wiper wave', it is said to be used by celebrities who want to seem down-to-earth.

It is particularly unusual as William is left-handed while she is right-handed - indicating she is taking his lead. Analyst Judi James, 59, said the bond stands them in much better stead than other royal couples: Princess Diana used a small, low wave - showing she felt in awe of husband Prince Charles.

Miss James added: 'William and Kate's strongly mirrored wave shows industrial-strength levels of rapport.'

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