Kate Middleton successfully settled into her role as a senior royal but reportedly had a tough time during her boarding school days, so much so that she had to move schools after feeling "tormented."
Royal biographer Katie Nicholl has claimed that the Duchess of Cambridge was desperately miserable when she joined boarding school Downe House at the age of 13. Emma Sayle, a former classmate of the British royal, also confirmed that the school was very "cliquey" and there was a lot of pressure, reports RSVP Live.
"The girls were all high achievers, and there were lots of girls with eating disorders. Everyone wanted to be the best, the fittest, the prettiest. I think Kate was miserable from the start," Sayle said.
Kate also had a difficult time adjusting with her classmates as she joined the term at 13, while the other girls had been there since the age of 11 and had already bonded. She was also a day boarder and couldn't make the school's lacrosse team, following which she felt left out.
"It does make a difference going from eleven. You have two years of bonding, your first time away all together. Even some of the most popular girls in my school had a hard time when they came in at thirteen. In boarding schools a lot of the boding takes place late at night, or at the weekends, going to the local sweetshop," explained Georgina Rylance, another former student at Downe House.
While Kate is considered one of the most fashionable royals today, back then she was "teased for being gangly and lanky" as she was "slender and a head taller than her peers." She also didn't get much support from school officials, who told her she was being "too sensitive."
The school's headmistress Cameron spoke to the royal expert about the report, and said Kate may have "felt like a fish out of water, or unhappily not in the right place."
The headmistress further said in the school's defence: "Certainly, I have no knowledge of any serious bullying at all. But there's what everyone calls bullying, and there's actual, real, miserable bullying where someone had a dreadful time. That certainly didn't happen. Yes, there would be teasing. It's all a part of the normal competition of growing up, of establishing a pecking order. Girls are cliquey by nature and they can be rather cruel."
"I think it's fair to say she was unsettled and not particularly happy. Maybe in Catherine's case she just kind of went quiet and didn't say anything," she added.