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Their Royal Hockeynesses: Together on the sports field, Kate and Pippa as teenagers… and it was already clear NOTHING would stand in their way
Candid photo shows two determined teenage sisters in school daysTaken during hockey match at Marlborough College, Wiltshire, when future Duchess of Cambridge was aged about 18'Pippa was renowned at school for being a fine hockey player. She had a real talent' says contemporary
22:03 GMT, 26 January 2013
14:52 GMT, 27 January 2013
Unseen since it was taken 12 years ago, this candid picture shows the single-minded determination of two teenage sisters who would go on to be among the most famous faces on the planet.
Hockey sticks at the ready, Kate and Pippa Middleton have the steely, purposeful gaze of fearsome opponents who would let no one stand in their way.
The photograph was taken at Marlborough College in Wiltshire, when the future Duchess of Cambridge was in her final year, aged about 18.
Stick it to 'em: A determined Pippa, left, and Kate Middleton during a hockey match at Marlborough College
Pippa is 18 months her junior, but because of the dates of their birthdays they were only one school year apart.
Both were sporty at school. The famously toned Middleton legs were noticeably chunkier back then, as befitting members of the formidable defence squad of the school’s 1st XI.
In the year this exclusive picture was taken, the Marlborough girls’ teams lost fewer than one in six of their matches.
Kate, in the foreground of this picture, had played hockey since junior school and captained the team at 30,000-a-year Marlborough.
Her sporting prowess meant she was also a star tennis player, a keen netball player and used to beat the boys at high jump.
Meanwhile, a contemporary of Pippa’s who saw her play several times told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Pippa was renowned at school for being a fine hockey player. The boys would flock to the AstroTurf on Saturday to admire her fine technique and posture.
Still got it: The Duchess of Cambridge took part in an impromptu hockey game when she visited her old prep school St Andrew's in Berkshire last year
In control: Kate has never lost her love for hockey and joined in the game despite her less-than-appropriate attire
‘I particularly liked the firm strikes she made with her reverse stick, which always drew gasps from me, my mates and a few of the watching fathers. She had real talent.’
Kate, now 31, never lost her love of hockey. During last summer’s Olympics she made a private visit to the Olympic Park in Stratford to meet the Team GB women’s hockey squad.
And last November she was clearly in her element when she opened a new AstroTurf hockey pitch at her old prep school, St Andrew’s in Pangbourne, Berkshire.
Despite her inappropriate attire – high-heeled suede boots and tartan coat – Kate lost no time in picking up a stick and dribbling her way down the pitch, just as she would have done a decade ago.