Prince William and Kate Middleton Once Went to Great Lengths to Hide Their Relationship

Prince William and Kate Middleton might live in a fairytale nowadays, but things weren’t always so easy for the couple. The two met back in 2001, and they’re now one of the world’s most famous couples. But surprisingly, they once went to great lengths to hide their relationship from the public.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Ian Vogler/Pool/Getty Images

Prince William and Kate Middleton met in 2001

When William announced that he was enrolling at University of St. Andrews in Scotland, people were shocked. It was royal tradition that he go to a school such as Oxford or Cambridge, but the new generation of royals was determined to break barriers. Upon arriving, William and Kate were living in the same dormitory, and they quickly got to know each other. They remained only friends for two years, as both were seeing other people by the time they were introduced.

In their second semester of college in early 2002, after William had nearly dropped out but was convinced by his father to return, he saw Kate walking in a fashion show. She was wearing a see-through dress with black lingerie underneath, and it completely changed William’s perception of her. He knew he wanted to be more than friends.

The two kept their relationship a secret for two years

When William approached Kate after the fashion show, he was determined to tell her how he felt. He reportedly confessed his love for her at a party, and though she was dating someone else, she quickly ended the relationship, and she and William started dating. But they wanted to keep their relationship under wraps from the press and the public for as long as possible.

William and Kate kept their relationship hidden for as long as they could. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

By their sophomore year, William and Kate decided to move in together, along with a few other friends. But they did their best to make sure nobody knew they were dating. According to royal biographer Katie Nicholl, the two were determined to make it look as though they were just friends. “Their bedrooms were on separate landings, but by this stage it was nothing more than pretense,” Nicholl wrote of the two living together.

“William and Kate had fallen in love and were enjoying a conventional university romance, albeit one involving elaborate cover-ups and decoys,” Nicholl added. “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.” Their relationship was publicized only after William was photographed kissing Kate on a ski trip in 2004.

They went through plenty of trials and tribulations

Though William and Kate’s relationship worked out, it wasn’t without its own set of challenged. They broke up twice during their nearly decade-long romance before the wedding — once in 2004 and again in 2007. But through it all, they always came back to each other. William was a bit more of a free spirit who took longer to figure out what he wanted, but he seemed to know all along that Kate was the one. These days, their relationship is the farthest thing from a secret, and they’re currently raising three kids in the public eye.