"In our peer group she was regarded as a nonentity," an unnamed source reveals in Kate, a new biography by Sean Smith, which is set to be published after the royal wedding. "All the social-climbing girls -- and there were lots of them at Downe House -- thought she was not worth bothering with."
Jessica Hay, reportedly a close friend of Kate's, explains that the bride-to-be's sweet nature made her an easy target for bullies. "She said that there was a group of girls that called her names and they stole her books and stuff -- little things like that. They rounded up on her a bit because she was quite a soft and nice person."
Reports of crueler treatment, including smearing her bed with excrement, have been denied by Kate's close friends.
"I think it's fair to say she was unsettled and not particularly happy. Maybe in Kate's case she just kind of went quiet and didn't say anything," Susan Cameron, Downe House's head mistress, told London's Mail.
Like many schoolchildren, Prince William's fiancée was not immune to the schoolyard bullying, which can be especially traumatizing among young girls.
"Boys will have a bit of a spat and knock someone over, but girls will be more insidious and catty," Cameron explained. "They know where it hurts. I've seen my fair share of that. Any school that says they don't have any bullying at all is probably lying. It depends how you define it."
This may further explain why the royal couple requested wedding guests to support London-based Beatbullying, an organization that helps families, schools, and communities cope with and prevent such harassment.
More Royal Wedding News:
Sneaky Pippa! The Royal Bachelorette Party Details
See Princess Di's Secret Second Wedding Dress
Check out Kate's Royal Ride to Her Wedding Ceremony
Royal Wedding Guests: Who's Coming? Who's Too Busy?
Royal Engagement Rings: 11 Stunning Rings Worn by Princess Brides
Royal Wedding Dresses: A Look at the World's Most Famous Wedding Gowns