Learning Arabic Songs and Verses from the Koran: Kate Middleton’s Childhood in Jordan | People

When William of England and Kate Middleton published, a few days ago, the official image of their 2021 Christmas card, they were seen posing on Jordanian soil, a striking and special setting, but different from the one expected by those who already know the tradition. The attention that photography has attracted stems from a change in customs: the dukes have always been portrayed in their home in Anmer Hall, in Norfolk, or in Kensington Palace itself. The session is usually taken during a moment of rest within a quiet environment for the family, in order to show a natural image. However, despite what it may seem from the unknown, the reddish stone of Jordan is more than familiar and significant for Kate Middleton, who spent part of her childhood there. So much so that he has taken his three children to see the precious place on a secret trip they made together at the beginning of the year, a fact that was not revealed until the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were forced to give explanations to the most curious .

Long before Middleton married Prince William and became the future Queen Consort of England, she was a girl who happily grew up abroad with her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, and her sister Pippa. Some of his early years were spent in Jordan. Michael Middleton was working for British Airways between 1984 and 1987, so the whole family joined him in the Jordanian capital of Amman for work. Little Kate attended an English-speaking kindergarten in Assahera for two and a half years – one of the pre-schools with one of the highest annual fees in the area, the magazine confirmed in 2018. Hello!– but before returning to the UK he managed to establish a special connection with the locals and their culture at an early age.

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He began his education by learning shapes and colors in English at the age of two, but it was not the only knowledge he absorbed. In addition to the characteristics of his native culture, he learned to sing the children’s theme Incy Wincy Spider In Arabic, he listened to the odd verse from the Koran, enjoyed breakfasts based on hummus and cheese typical of the area, and fed the animals that roamed freely in the center, among which were ducks and rabbits, surrounded by other companions of all nationalities on the planet. These data are known thanks to the visit of William of England to Jordan in 2018, where he revealed that his wife was “very disappointed” for not having been able to visit the country with him that year. Following her trip, the founder of the now-closed nursery, Sahera al Nabulsi, spoke in an interview for The National UAE about the duchess’s experience.

William of England with Prince Hussein of Jordan visiting the city of Gerasa in 2018.
William of England with Prince Hussein of Jordan visiting the city of Gerasa in 2018.Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror (GTRES)

“The routine every morning was to have all the children sit in a circle to sing in both English and Arabic,” Nabulsi said at the time. “We would read a verse from the Qur’an for the children, including Kate, to improve their Arabic, and we would tell stories about the prophet’s companions, such as Omar Bin Khattab. The idea was to reinforce concepts such as respect and love ”, he explained, in order to summarize the objectives of these teachings. “Foreign children also learned Arabic words. The teacher used to ask things like: ‘Who is wearing red today?’, So that the children would recognize the colors ”. Among those children was little Middleton who, as her current husband assured during his visit to Jordan, “remembers with her family with affection the happy years she spent [en el país]”.

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The then little Catalina was part of a class of 12 children in which there were also other young British, Jordanian, American and Indian, among other nationalities. The school celebrated both Christmas, when the teacher Nabulsi dressed up as Santa Claus, as well as Ramadan, when the teachers beat the drums to entertain the children. Twice a month, Kate and her classmates took school trips to nearby attractions, including the Haya Cultural Center. “Kate’s father used to pick her up sometimes in her work uniform and the kids got really excited and ran to see him,” said the once teacher to the Duchess of Cambridge. “But most of the time it was her mother who was picking her up. And he was always on time, ”Nabulsi pointed out.

The experience came to an end for the Middletons after two years, when they returned to Berkshire in 1986. Their stay in Jordan was brief, but it was a happy moment for the entire family, a vital turning point, as it is even mentioned in The Duchess’s biography from the British Royal Family website.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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