Thursday, 14 July 2011

Kate's One (more) Degree of Separation!

If I asked you what the difference was between Catherine Elizabeth, the new Duchess of Cambridge (and future Queen of England), and her royal female predecessors, I am confident that you would amass a comprehensive list with little difficulty.  For instance, Katie is the oldest spinster bride ever to have married a King or King-in-waiting (two others were older but both were divorcees); Kate is the first true-commoner in four centuries to marry a future heir to the throne; and perhaps more revealing of her character, she was the second would-be-Queen to remove the word obey from her wedding vows, her husbands’ late mother, Diana Princess of Wales being the first. 

But then there’s this remarkable and dare I say revolutionary nota-bene that sets her quite above her new and much esteemed peer group of British would-be-Queens (and Queen’s in fact) and it’s something that we do not hear about often enough.  This note may be a mere one degree of separation but it’s perhaps the most significant in a long list of ‘firsts’.  Catherine Elizabeth, Duchess of Cambridge is the first woman to marry an heir to the British throne (King or King-in waiting), in all of history, who has obtained a University Degree. 

Katie graduated from St. Andrews University in 2005 with a 2:1 grade point average (GPA) in Art History.  Coincidently, her Prince graduated on the same day from the same school with a matching GPA of 2:1 in Geography.  A GPA of 2:1 in the UK is referred to as a Second-Class Honours-Upper Division, which is equivalent B+ to A- average.  Let us not forget that Prince William almost missed out on a St. Andrews degree entirely!  It was Katie’s guidance, advice and support that prevented our future King from being a St. Andrews University drop out when, after his first year in Art History, he was ready to throw in the proverbial towel.  Perhaps the old adage is true that ‘behind every great man is a greater woman’… but I digress.

Katie’s University Degree may not seem significant in a world where according to Unesco's 2009 Global Education Digest, “female students outnumber their male counterparts in worldwide University enrollment”, but when you live in a world like Kate’s, where you’re expected to walk two paces behind your Prince at all times, it’s quite remarkable!  This is even more remarkable when you consider that her Father-in-law, the Prince of Wales, was only the third Royal Family member, and first heir to the throne, ever to earn a university degree at all.  Prince Charles graduated with a 2:2 GPA and a Bachelor of Arts in 1970 followed by a Master of Arts from Cambridge in 1975.  Incidentally, Prince Charles also received an honorary degree this past month from the London Business School

Aien Aristeuein” Katie! which means “Ever to Excel.  This is the official motto of Katie’s alma mater and according to the St. Andrews website, students are encouraged to discover new things, develop a critical mind, question what is being taught and form new ideas… a very princely code indeed.  May it be a motto and mantra she holds fast her entire life!

Kelly Rachelle Mathews!/allthingsregal

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