What Took Prince William so Long to Propose to Kate Middleton?

Theirs is a royal love story that captivated the attention of multiple nations, and after nearly two decades together, their relationship is still going strong. Prince William and Kate Middleton first started dating while attending university, and throughout many ups and downs, they have stayed solid.

Now that they have three young children, many royal fans are more impressed than ever with how they have managed to stay so close throughout scandals and intense public pressure. Keep reading to find out how Kate Middleton and Prince William first started dating and what took them so long to get engaged.

When did Prince William and Kate Middleton start dating?

Kate Middleton and Prince William
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge | Clive Mason/Getty Images

It all started for Kate Middleton and Prince William in the early 2000s, when they were both students attending St. Andrew’s University. They spent a great deal of time together both on campus as well as off, and even shared a house together, along with some other roommates. By 2003, Middleton and the prince started dating, and the paparazzi began capturing photos of the young couple on vacations and getaways, apparently very happy together.

Their relationship continued to progress all throughout their university years, and by 2006, Middleton was spotted at Prince William’s Army officer graduation. Still, in 2007, their romance hit a snag and in April, it was reported that they had broken up.

Years later, both Prince William and Kate Middleton reflected on their breakup, stating that they had both been very young and that they had needed a bit of time and space in order to properly “find themselves.” Some royal insiders also recently opened up about the 2007 split, saying that Prince William had believed at the time that all the fun was out of their relationship and that he just wasn’t ready yet to make a commitment to Kate Middleton.

Prince William wanted to make sure the timing was right

By the summer of 2007, only a few months after they had broken up, media outlets were reporting that Prince William and Kate Middleton were back together again. For the next several years, they would prove that they were as solid as ever, making appearances at both formal events and escaping away to private vacations. Speculation about a possible engagement started ramping up, with media outlets even dubbing Middleton “Waity Katie” because they had been dating for years without a commitment.

In 2010, it seems as though the pressure for Prince William to propose started ramping up. Some reports suggest that Prince William felt ready to propose after spending more time around Middleton’s loving, close-knit family, while many believe that it was simply the perfect timing for the two to make a big commitment to each other.

It seems likely that Prince William also wanted to be sure that Kate Middleton could handle the intense pressure of being married into the royal family, and after the length of time that they had been together, he knew that he could rely on her. Either way, Middleton wouldn’t have to wait much longer for her proposal.

When did Kate Middleton and Prince William get engaged?

In November 2010, Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement. To seal the deal, Prince William had gifted Middleton with his late mother’s sapphire and diamond ring. The couple seemed more in love than ever before – and their wedding in early 2011 drew thousands of spectators, as well as thousands of fans who watched the wedding as it was televised around the world.

These days, Middleton and Prince William are still happily married. There’s no doubt that they provide inspiration to couples everywhere, providing an example of how love can sometimes succeed, even under intense scrutiny.