Prince William Caught in Sneaky Flirty Moment With Kate Middleton Early in Their Relationship

Prince William and Kate Middleton recently celebrated their 8th wedding anniversary, but how did the couple meet and fall in love? They met during their college days and were friends before they started dating, but there was a certain moment when William reportedly thought of Middleton as more than just a friend.

Prince William and Kate Middleton visit North Wales
Prince William and Kate Middleton | WPA Pool – Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Their college days

In the early 2000s, Prince William and Middleton became friends during their time at St. Andrews University. The moment William saw her in a different light, however, came in 2002, according to the documentary Prince William at Thirty, when Middleton wore a see-through dress with black underwear underneath when she was a model in the Don’t Walk charity fashion show.

Royal expert Katie Nicholl said that William’s eyes “popped out” when he saw the beautiful Middleton on the catwalk. She explained: “When Kate came out dressed in this amazing see-through dress and her lingerie, William just –— I mean, his eyes popped and he turned to his friend and he said ‘Wow, Kate’s hot!’”

Jules Knight, a friend of William’s from the university, called Middleton’s appearance in the show a transformative moment, noting, “She was on the catwalk and looked amazing and suddenly this sort of butterfly emerged from the chrysalis.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton visit St Andrews
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images

Their ‘romance blossomed’

In the documentary, it’s reported that after that moment their “romance blossomed” and they went on to live together in a house share on Hope Street in St Andrews. Surprisingly, the couple kept their relationship a secret from the press.

Despite their discretion, of course, their university friends caught on to the relationship, with Helen McArdle, who lived in the room next to Middleton their first year, caught the two in an intimate moment in a bar.

She shared: “Ma Bells was a popular drinking location for them, also known as Yah Bells in St Andrews. And I remember seeing the two of them at the bar and him pinching her bottom and that was the first time I remember thinking: ‘Well, they’re definitely a couple.’”

Their breakup

For a brief time in 2007, Prince William and Middleton broke up, as he was reportedly “tempted” by the single life away from Kate. Royal biographer Andrew Morton shared the details of their split in his 2011 book, William and Catherine, noting that for William, “there was an emotional conflict,” adding that “while Kate had made it clear that she wanted a commitment from her man, Prince William, according to close friends, was not so sure. Siren voices were calling suggesting that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence.”

That included the “temptations” of partying with other officers, Morton explains: “For an unsettled suitor, temptation came in the form of his fellow officers of the Blues and Royals, nicknamed the ‘Booze and Royals.’ William found himself juggling his romance with night-time drinking sessions with his new Army friends.”

He continued: “The juxtaposition of the prince acting like a bachelor having a good time and the last picture of him and Kate together, wearing dowdy matching tweed outfits at the Cheltenham races in March while looking gloomy and ill at ease, indicated that all was not well in Wills’ World.”

The couple eventually reconciled and went on to get engaged in 2010. Middleton spoke of their breakup in their engagement interview, noting: “I think at the time I wasn’t very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person, you find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realized. 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!”