Credit: Nick Harvey/

So just who is Pippa Middleton, the British beauty who'll serve as big sister Kate Middleton's maid of honor on Friday? Us Weekly uncovers some need-to-know info about the 27-year-old entrepreneur.

1. She's a hot commodity. In 2008, Tatler magazine named Pippa the No. 1 Society Singleton, beating out musician James Blunt and Princess Eugenie. She is currently dating former England cricketer Alex Loudon, 30.

2. She has royal ties of her own. Pippa received an English degree from the University of Edinburgh. As a student, she shared a house with Lord Edward Innes-Ker, son of the Duke of Roxburghe, and with Earl Percy, heir of the Duke of Northumberland.

3. Like her parents, Pippa's a party planner. In the summer of 2010, Pippa launched The Party Times, an online party magazine. It includes tips for organizing get-togethers, as well as theme ideas and games. Her parents, Michael and Carole, founded Party Pieces, an online party supply company, in 1987.

4. She gives back to the community. Pippa serves as an ambassador to Too Many Women, which raises money for breast cancer research. In the fall of 2010, she hosted a Spanish-themed party that raised more than $7,500. "It was very simple: We had a bout 95 people and really good music," she told London's Sunday Times. "I was going for quite cool Ibiza chic, and a lot of good dancing."

5. 'Pippa' is just a nickname. Kate's younger sister was born Philippa Charlotte Middleton, but her family members frequently refer to her as 'Pip.' The origin of Philippa means "lover of horses" in Greek, though Pippa has never taken up horseback riding.

For more on the Royal Wedding, including rare photos, interviews with family and friends, details on Kate's new life as a princess and a tour of their lavish homes, order a copy of Us Weekly's Will & Kate: The Royal Wedding now.