With their arms around one another and grinning widely for the camera, six fresh-faced St Andrew’s schoolgirls pose together in their summer dresses with a teacher placed in the centre.
None at the time could predict that the youngster on the far left of the school photograph would grow up to be a future Queen, becoming Britain’s much-loved Princess of Wales.
But while Kate, 41, who was reunited with her former history teacher Jim Embury, 79, for the first time in 25 years yesterday, in Cornwall, now fills her time with royal duties – what happened to the dear friends she posed with?
The princess has previously candidly discussed adoring her time at St Andrew’s prep school in Pangbourne, Berkshire, which she attended from 1986 to 1995.
She even made a visit to the £8,165-a-term school in November 2012 to officially open a new Astroturf hockey pitch.
With their arms around one another and grinning widely for the camera, six fresh-faced St Andrew’s schoolgirls pose together in their summer dresses with a teacher placed in the centre. Pictured, (left to right) Kate Middleton, Zoe de Turbeville, Fiona Becroft, Katherine Niperess, Chelsie Finlay-Notman, Emily Bevan during their schooldays
In the short speech she gave, the royal described her time at St Andrew’s as some of the ‘happiest years of my life.’
She said: ‘It is such a treat l to be back here at St Andrew’s. I absolutely loved my time here; they were some of my happiest years, which makes it so incredibly special to be here today.
‘In fact, I enjoyed it so much that when I had to leave, I told my mother that I was going to come back to be a teacher,’ admitted the princess.
While Kate didn’t become a teacher, her friends from that photograph of beaming classmates found various careers, including as a TV star, a photographer and an owner of a glamping site.
Here, FEMAIL investigates what happened to the princess’ St Andrew’s school friends who she posed with for the picture…
1. Kate Middleton – Princess of Wales
The Princess of Wales was clearly thrilled to see her former history teacher as they reunited for the first time in 25 years
The Princess of Wales revisited her former school in November 2012, when she spoke adoringly of her days as a pupil (pictured, during the visit)
Kate was something of a star pupil at the exclusive establishment, just a short drive from her home in Bucklebury, where she won awards for both sport and music.
According to one fellow pupil, Kate thrived in the school’s close-knit, family atmosphere.
There was also the Under 12/13 rounders team for which Kate – listed under her full name Catherine Middleton – was named the highest scorer of the season.
She was also a keen swimmer and athlete. On sports day she won the Under 12/13 200m in 31.24 seconds and set records in both the long jump and high jump of 4.14metres and 1.39 metres respectively.
On prize giving day, her prowess was rewarded with the Calvert Cup for rounders and the Leslie Cup for outstanding overall sporting achievement for a girl.
The royal went on to move to Marlborough College and later attended St. Andrew’s University, where she met Prince William.
2. Zoe de Turberville – Photographer
Much like her classmate Kate, Zoe MacLachlan, nee de Turberville, is a passionate photographer (pictured here, with her husband Steve)
With an arm around Kate, Zoe de Turberville can be seen shyly smiling in the photograph alongside her classmates and former teacher.
The schoolgirl went on to study music at Cardiff University, before going on to gain a teaching qualification in music from Cambridge.
She went on to marry her husband Steve MacLachlan in 2018, and the couple have two sons together.
Much like the princess, who is a keen amateur photographer, Zoe is also passionate about photography. The former classmate of Kate often shares her photographs online, taking snaps at weddings and christenings.
While Kate has become known for taking photographs of her children to mark their birthdays, Zoe also adores taking photos of ‘life as it happens’.
3. Fiona Beacroft – Owner of Glamping site
Fiona Szegedi, nee Beacroft, works as an Accounts Director at Beacroft Farms and has three sons with her husband Steve (pictured together in 2012)
Fiona Beacroft, who now goes by her married name of Szegedi, gained a diploma in media and business at college in Oxford after school.
She went on to be an accounts director at Beacroft Farms, which is based in Moulsford in Oxfordshire.
Online, she describes herself as ‘hardworking, competitive, results focused individual who can adapt to any given situation.’
She married husband Matt, a joiner, and like Prince William and Kate, the couple have three children.
In January 2021, she became the owner of Rolling Fields Glamping, a site based on the border of Oxfordshire and Berkshire.
4. Teacher Kevin Allford
Teacher Kevin Allford travelled with his wife Denise to reunite with Kate during a visit to Wales in February 2020 (pictured, meeting the royal)
Teacher Kevin Allford, along with his wife Denise Evans-Alford, taught Kate, Pippa and James Middleton while they were at school at St. Andrew’s Prep.
Kevin taught German, French and P.E. at the school, and was also the royal’s form tutor for several years while she was aged between 11 and 13. Meanwhile Denise was also a sports instructor at the school.
5. The mystery
Little is known about Katherine Nipperess, who can be seen letting out a burst of laughter in the snap alongside her school friends.
6. The mother-of-three
Chelsie Finlay-Notman is also somewhat of a mystery, although it is thought she changed her name to Willis when she married.
The couple went on to have three children, welcoming three boys.
The couple had a daughter Angharad Evans-Allford, while working at the school.
In February 2020, Kevin, who remembers the princess as part of a ‘wonderful class of girls’, said: ‘It was wonderful she gave us so much time. She said it’s such a small world, and she hadn’t expected to see her ex-teachers in Swansea.
‘We saw her last when she and Pippa came back to school to visit James, she was 14. We haven’t seen her since then. Obviously we’ve been following her career. She was in a wonderful class of girls and they got on so well together.’
Kevin said he enjoyed teaching Kate and the other pupils in her class so much that he asked to do so for an extra year. Both teachers said how much Kate had liked her time at the prep school.
‘She loved it so much,’ said Mrs Evans-Alford, who taught PE. ‘We had such a fantastic time there. She was in my netball team and rounders team. She was wonderful. She hasn’t changed a bit at all, you can tell. Pippa and James were wonderful too.’
The royal , who went on to study at Downe House and Marlborough College, appeared equally thrilled by the reunion and smiled broadly as she spoke to the teachers.
She told the couple: ‘I want to instil in my children the life I had at St Andrew’s.’
7. Emily Bevan – Actress
Actress Emily Bevan has starred in TV shows and films, including The Last Sparks of Sundown (pictured left)
While many of Kate’s classmates have shied away from the limelight, Emily has made a career as a successful actress.
After leaving school, she went on to attend the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and received a Master of Arts degree in classical acting.
The actress, 40, has starred in TV roles including Doc Martin, J.K Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy and In the Flesh.
Most recently, the star – who is also an author – appeared in Gemma Arterton’s Funny Woman (2023).