How Did Kate Middleton Meet Prince William? Inside the Duke and Duchess’s Relationship

Although she isn’t the first commoner to marry into the British royal family, Kate Middleton is certainly one of the few that did it out of love. Before Kate, it wasn’t uncommon for royal parents to set their children up with suitors, especially if they are a future monarch, like William. And while some other royal couples met and fell in love before Kate and William, there’s something quite different about the Duke and Duchess’s love story. So, how did Kate Middleton meet Prince William? We share all the details of how the future king and queen (consort) of England met, plus an inside look at Kate Middleton and Prince William’s relationship, ahead.

Kate and William tour Canada
| Dominic Lipinski-Pool/Getty Images

How did Kate Middleton meet Prince William?

Surprisingly enough, Kate Middleton met her husband in a very common way — at University. In 2001, the two were studying at the University of St Andrews, and both lived at the school’s St Salvador’s Hall, a dormitory close to the campus’s quadrangle area. According to reports, Prince William fell for Kate in 2002, after seeing her in a charity fashion show wearing a rather risqué ensemble (it definitely went against the royal family’s style rules).

Kate Middleton and Prince William’s relationship

Kate Middleton and Prince William’s relationship is not as fairytale as you think. As it turns out, the couple experienced a few upsets early on in their relationship and even split up for a brief period. Up ahead, we take a look at some of the most notable aspects of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s relationship.

They began dating in 2003

Despite meeting in 2001 and William allegedly falling in love with Kate in 2002, the couple didn’t actually start dating until 2003 — though, at the time, they kept their relationship status under wraps.

They lived together while in university

When the two were in their second year at the University of St Andrew, they allegedly shared an apartment. However, it’s not what it seems. They also lived there with two other friends.

Kate Middleton and Prince William’s relationship sparked a ton of media attention

In the early days of Kate Middleton and Prince William’s relationship, Kate used her lawyers to voice her concern about the harassment she received from the media. However, that wouldn’t be the first time. Again in 2007 — around the duchess’s 25th birthday — Prince Charles, Prince William, and Kate’s lawyers issued warnings of legal action to the press.

They broke up at one point

Shortly after the warnings were sent to the media, William and Kate split up. According to some reports, they made the mutual decision while on vacation as a Swiss resort. However, their breakup didn’t last long. Shortly after their breakup, they were seen in public together a few times and supposedly rekindled their love.

Kate’s nickname was ‘Waity Katie’

Thanks to their long relationship and the world’s eagerness for William to propose, Kate Middleton earned the nickname, “Waity Katie” in the months leading up to their engagement.

They got engaged in Kenya in October 2010

Nine years after meeting (and around three years after getting back together), Prince William finally popped the question. The two were vacationing in Kenya at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and William presented Kate Princess Diana’s famous blue sapphire engagement ring.

They got married on St Catherine’s day

Ironically — or, maybe on purpose — Prince William married Catherine (Kate) Middleton on St Catherine’s day. The April 2011 ceremony took place at the iconic Westminster Abbey and was televised around the world. Following their “I do’s,” the newlyweds went on a carriage ride through the city of London and back to Buckingham Palace where they shared their first kiss on the palace’s balcony.

They have three children together

A little over a year after their nuptials, the palace announced Kate Middleton’s first pregnancy. And, in July 2013, the commoner-turned-royal gave birth to Prince George, a future King of England. Three years later, in May 2015, Kate and William welcomed their first and only daughter, Princess Charlotte. And, in April 2018, they completed their family with Prince Louis.

They advocate for mental health together

Kate and William work with many charities, but one of their biggest initiatives is mental health. Together with Prince Harry, they founded a campaign called “Head Together.” The three of them have talked openly about their own struggles — something unheard of for the royal family — in hopes of removing stigmas surrounding mental health.

They live at Kensington Palace

The duke and duchess own a handful of royal properties. However, they call their apartment at Kensington Palace their full-time home.

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