Catherine was born in New York, where her father, Howard Oxenberg
, was a business man, but after the age of six she grew up in London, after her parents split up. Her mother, Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia and Serbia
, still lives there.
Catherine has a younger sister, Christina Oxenberg, who is a writer, and a much younger half-brother, Nicholas Balfour.
From the age of eight, Catherine went to schools in London, then when she was sixteen she started at St Paul's, a prep school in Concord, New Hampshire, going on from there to Harvard and Columbia. While still a student, she got work as a fashion model and took acting tuition. The Welsh movie star Richard Burton
was engaged to her mother Princess Elizabeth
at the time.
Catherine had a whirlwind marriage with the producer Robert Evans
in the summer of 1998 (it was annulled after just ten days), then married the American actor Casper van Dien
in 1999. In 1989 and 1990 she was with U.S. Senator John Kerry
. According to her second cousin Prince Andrew, Duke of York
, he asked her to marry him in 1981, but was turned down.
Catherine's daughter India Oxenberg
was born in 1991. With Casper, Catherine now has two more daughters, Maya
(born 2001), and Celeste Alma
Through her grandparents, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia and Serbia
and Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark
, Catherine's ancestors include hundreds of kings, queens, and emperors - including those of England, Scotland, Greece, Denmark, Sweden, Serbia, Russia, and the Holy Roman Empire. Her mother, Princess Elizabeth, has said she named her daughter after Catherine the Great of Russia
(1729-96), one of her most famous ancestors.
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