Prince William and Kate Middleton Used Decoys to Keep Their Relationship a Secret in College

Today, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are one of the most recognizable the world. But once upon a time they tried to keep their relationship a secret and went to great lengths to do so.

Read on to find out what decoys Will and Kate used to try and throw everyone off while they were dating and when their romance became public knowledge.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

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Prince William and Kate’s romance didn’t blossom right away

Prince William and his future bride were introduced in 2001, the first year they were studying at St. Andrew’s University and became friends before getting romantically involved.

“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,” Kate explained during their joint engagement interview.

When they first met, Kate was seeing Rupert Finch who was in his final year of studying law at the school. That relationship didn’t last very long though and they ended things less than a year later. It wasn’t long after that Kate and the prince started dating.

Kate Middleton and Prince William
Kate Middleton and Prince William | Middleton Family/Clarence House via GettyImages

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The decoys they used to throw everyone off

Knowing the paparazzi would hound them everywhere they went once they caught news of their relationship, Will and Kate opted to try and hide it from everyone except their closest friends and family. They even moved in an off-campus apartment together but in the same flat as a few other students as well so no one would read too much into it.

“Their bedrooms were on separate landings, but by this stage, it was nothing more than pretense,” royal biographer Katie Nicholl told Vanity Fair. “William and Kate had fallen in love and were enjoying a conventional university romance, albeit one involving elaborate cover-ups and decoys.”

Nicholl revealed that “In a bid to keep their relationship below the radar for as long as possible, they would leave the house at different times and arrive at dinner parties separately, and made a pact never to hold hands in public.”

Happily ever after

 Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Louis, Prince George, and Princess Charlott
Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Louis, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte | Comic Relief/BBC Children in Need/Comic Relief via Getty Images

Although their tactics for keeping their romance under wraps worked for a while, it was only a matter of time before the cat was out of the bag.

In 2004, Will and Kate’s relationship became public knowledge when they went skiing together in Switzerland. The two, who had always avoided PDA, were photographed looking cozy during the trip.

They continued dating for several years and in 2010, the prince popped the question. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were married in 2011 and today appear to be living their happily ever after with their three children.

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