By FAY SCHLESINGER
Family snap: Kate, aged four, with her father Mike and sister Pippa, right, in Jerash, Jordan
It was a far from palatial place for a future princess to live.
In the shadow of a high-rise block, this is the villa where Kate Middleton spent her formative childhood years.
The shabby one-storey building was home for more than two years from May 1984, when her father Mike got a job as a British Airways manager and moved his family from Berkshire to the Jordanian capital Amman.
Revealed: The Mail has tracked down the modest three-bedroom house which the Middletons lived in Amman, Jordan, from May 1984 to Sept 1986
The Middletons' years in the Middle East remained secret until last month, when Kate's official biography was released by St James's Palace.
A picture of her and sister Pippa – both tanned and fair-haired thanks to the sun – showed them exploring ancient Greco-Roman ruins with their father during a day trip to Jerash, near the border with Syria.
Now the Mail has tracked down the modest three-bedroom house which Mr Middleton, then 33, and his wife Carole, 29, rented for £300 a month with two-year-old Kate and Pippa, eight months.
At band camp: Kate's mother Carole Middleton (circled) in her Featherstone school band in 1974
For Carole Middleton used to play the cornet in a brass band.
She was a 17-year-old sixth former when she joined the ensemble at Featherstone County School in Southall, Middlesex. She left the school in 1973 to join British Airways.
Mrs Middleton, who had quit work as a BA air hostess to start a family, would prepare meals in the simple kitchen for her husband's colleagues, before eating al fresco on the veranda.
When Kate turned three, she started spending mornings at the nearby Al-Sahera nursery and learned to recite rhymes in Arabic.
Mr Middleton worked long shifts at Amman Airport, where he was in charge of BA's flights to and from London. To relax, he played tennis at the British Embassy near his home.
'Kate came for lessons when she was about ten or 11 until she was 13,' said Mr Nicholls, 47.
'I don't think anyone would say she was going to be a concert pianist but she was good at it. She always did everything she was told.'
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
By FAY SCHLESINGER