A look back at Prince William and Kate Middleton's right royal romance

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They have just celebrated 10 years of marriage and life looks rosy for Prince William and Kate Middleton.

They have three beautiful children, Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six and Prince Louis, three and are a constant source of support to Queen Elizabeth as senior members of the British royal family, but things weren't always as straightforward for the young couple. 

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, his wife Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and their children
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and their children Prince George of Cambridge (R), Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (3rd L) and Prince Louis of Cambridge (L). Photo: Getty Images

William and Kate met at St Andrews University in Fife, Scotland in 2001 when he enrolled to study Geography and she Art History. While it's not known where they first met, Kate confirmed in an interview for her engagement that it was early in their university lives. 

"William wasn't there for quite a bit of the time initially, he wasn't there from Fresher's Week, so it did take a bit of time for us to get to know each other, but we did become very close friends from quite early on," she said.

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"I actually went bright red when I met you and scuttled off feeling very shy about meeting you," she admitted to William in the interview.

Rumour has it William became smitten with Kate after he watched her model a £30 sheer skirt as a dress in a college charity fashion show the following year.

A see-through dress worn by Kate Middleton during a charity fashion show
The see-through dress worn by Kate Middleton during a charity fashion show at St Andrews University in 2002 that helped Kate Middleton catch the eye of husband-to-be Prince William. Photo: Getty Images

"We moved in together as friends... with a couple of others as well, and it just sort of blossomed from there really," the Prince would later say in the couple's official engagement interview.

"We were friends for over a year first," William told the Telegraph in 2010. "We just spent more time with each other and had a good giggle... and realised we shared the same interests."

It wasn't until a ski holiday to Klosters in 2004 that the press and public became aware they were dating, by which time they'd already weathered one brief breakup in 2003. 

Prince William and girlfriend Kate Middleton use a T-bar drag lift whilst on a skiing holiday
Prince William and girlfriend Kate Middleton on a skiing holiday in Klosters, Switzerland. Photo: Getty Images

University had provided a blissful life for William and Kate and they celebrated graduating together in 2005.

"I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who has made my time here so enjoyable. I have been able to lead as 'normal' a student life as I could have hoped for and I'm very grateful to everyone, particularly the locals, who have helped make this happen," William said before the ceremony.

(NO SALES) In this Handout Image provided by Clarence House www.officialroyalwedding2011.org, Kate Middleton on the day of her graduation ceremony at St Andrew's University  in St Andrew's on June 23, 2005  in Scotland.
Kate Middleton on the day of her graduation ceremony at St Andrew's University.
ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND - JUNE 23:  (R-L) Prince William and the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay leave the Princes graduation ceremony, June 23, 2005 in St Andrews, Scotland.  The Prince, who earnt a 2:1 class Ma in Geography will lose the special protection set up to prevent the media from trailing him whilst he was in full-time education. William will be conducting his first solo official engagements in New Zealand over the next few months which will include ceremonies marking the anniversary of the end of World War II.  (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)
Camila and Prince Charles accompany at his graduation ceremony on June 23, 2005 in St Andrews, Scotland. Photo: Getty Images

The following year, Kate was by William's side at a number of high profile royal events including Camilla's daughter', Laura Parker Bowles' wedding and his graduation from the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in December and it seemed that indeed the couple was serious.

However not long after, the unthinkable happened, over Christmas 2006 the couple split up!

"We did split up for a bit," William admitted in their televised engagement interview. "We were both very young... and we were both finding ourselves and being different characters and stuff.

"It was very much trying to find our own way and we were growing up.

"At the time I wasn't very happy about it but actually it made me a stronger person," Kate admitted in the interview. "You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn't realised. I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you're younger.

"I really valued that time, for me as well, although I didn't think it at the time," she added.

The media attention didn't stop for Kate during their time apart, but she put on a happy face as she fronted the paparazzi. 

By the summer of 2008, the couple had rekindled their relationship and Kate was once again by William's side as he received his wings from the Royal Airforce.

Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton arrive  at the Central Flying School at RAF Cranwell
Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive at the Central Flying School at RAF Cranwell where Prince William received his RAF wings in a graduation ceremony. Photo: Getty Images

From then on their relationship blossomed, though when an engagement announcement was not forthcoming Kate was given the nickname 'Waity Katie' by some cruel commentators.

But she had the last laugh when William popped the question on a romantic holiday in Kenya in October 2010.

"We had a little private time away together with some friends, and I just decided it was the right time really," William said in their engagement interview. "We'd been talking about marriage for a while, so it wasn't a massively big surprise, but I took her up somewhere nice in Kenya."

"It was very romantic," Kate added.

He proposed using his mother, Princess Diana's sapphire engagement ring.

When they announced their engagement in November 2010, Prince William said the ring "was very special to me" and giving it to Kate was "my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today"

Kate Middleton, wearing her engagement ring
Kate Middleton, wearing her engagement ring which once belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales. Photo: Getty Images

Royal watchers and fans of the couple didn't have to wait long for the wedding as the couple tied the knot on a sunny spring day in April 2011.

Kate wore a stunning gown designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, and the Queen loaned her the Cartier Scroll Tiara for the special day. The couple were gifted the titles the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge by the Queen on their wedding day.

Catherine Middleton waves to the crowds as her sister and Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton
Kate with her Maid of Honour, sister Pippa Middleton. Photo: Getty Images
Prince William Duke of Cambridge (L) and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge (2nd to L) exit Westminster Abbey
Their Royal Highnesses Prince William Duke of Cambridge and his wife Catherine Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day Photo: Getty Images
Kate and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge on the balcony at Buckingham Palace
Kate and William kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace following their wedding at Westminster Abbey. Photo: Getty Images

Royal tours and stepping up to their roles as senior royals followed but of course, everyone was then waiting for the announcement of an heir. 

Following the success of the London Olympics for the UK, in December 2012 it was announced that Kate was pregnant.

Prince George was born July 22nd 2013 and made his first public appearance outside the Lido Wing of St Mary's Hospital, Paddington at one day old.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing
Prince William and Kate depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son Prince George at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013. Photo: Getty Images

Their daughter Princess Charlotte was born in 2015 followed by Prince Louis in 2018.

The family now reside at Kensington Palace in London so that their children can attend school – Prince George and Princess Charlotte at Thomas's School in Battersea and Prince Louis at the nearby Willcocks Nursery School in west London.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge with charlotte
William and Kate show their newly-born daughter, Princess Charlotte. Photo: Getty
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave the Lindo Wing
The royals leave the Lindo Wing with their newborn son Prince Louis of Cambridge on April 23, 2018. Photo: AP

Despite the fact that both William and George will one day be king, and a difficult couple of years with the fallout between William and Harry, and Coronavirus, the couple try to make life as normal as possible for their children.

But their main focus is service and supporting the Queen.

Princess Charlotte arrives for her first day of school, with her brother Prince George
Princess Charlotte and her brother Prince George are dropped off at school by their parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Photo: Getty Images

"My grandfather's century of life was defined by service – to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family," William wrote in a statement on Instagram following the death of his beloved grandfather Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. 

"I feel lucky to have not just had his example to guide me, but his enduring presence well into my own adult life – both through good times and the hardest days. I will always be grateful that my wife had so many years to get to know my grandfather and for the kindness he showed her.

"My grandfather was an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation," he added. "Catherine and I will continue to do what he would have wanted and will support The Queen in the years ahead. I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job."

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