She was reported to have spent several weekends at a remote cottage on the Queen's Balmoral estate and taken painstaking steps to keep their budding closeness under wraps. It wouldn't be fair on him or them. It wasn't too long before Kate got to experience a royal wedding.
It was their first appearance together at a family wedding and seen by royal watchers as a sign that Kate was gearing up to be a permanent fixture in William's life. In June , William and Kate's university life came to an end. After their graduation ceremony the couple, joined by their families, attended a celebratory lunch together, and began looking forward to the rest of their lives — but nothing, from here on in, would be the same.
Having been able to live in virtual seclusion during their time as students, they wouldn't be granted such luxury once out of the safety of Fife and into the big, wide world. It was a momentous occasion for Prince William when he passed out from Sandhurst in December — for more reasons than one. The occasion was the first time that his girlfriend — who had recently begun a job as an accessories buyer for high street store Jigsaw — had been seen at a high-profile public event also attended by the Queen and other senior royals. Her presence sparked a media frenzy and engagement rumours refused to die down, as Kate drew comparisons to William's late mother Diana in her elegant red coat and black hat.
Suddenly, Kate was a target for the paparazzi, and the young couple were followed closely as they went about their day-to-day lives. By January, lawyers for the Princess-to-be announced they were considering legal action over the photographers tracking her every move, and in response Britain's newspapers banned the use of paparazzi pictures. However, in March she lodged a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission over a paparazzi photograph published in the Daily Mirror , showing her on her way to work with a takeaway coffee.
The paper issued a public apology and the complaint was withdrawn. But the pressure the intrusion put on their union would eventually become too much for them to bear In April that year, the nation was shocked by swirling reports that the royal couple — pictured here at Cheltenham races just one month earlier — had parted ways. One month later and Kate certainly wasn't playing the 'woe is me' card.
She continued to join her sister Pippa at their favourite London nightclubs, including Mahiki and Boujis, and put in a stunning appearance at a book launch party in the capital. By July, the couple had still not officially reunited.
How did Kate Middleton meet Prince William?
Prince William, for his part, was remaining tight-lipped on the status of their relationship. A day before the Wembley concert, held on what would have been his mother's 46th birthday, he was taken aback by a question about whether or not Kate would be attending. Everyone's going to be there on the night and it's going to be a very good night," he said — prompting his brother to joke: A holiday for two was in store in August , when William whisked Kate off to the Seychelles, as reports circulated in the UK that the brunette beauty had been given the keys to William's official residence, Clarence House.
The couple didn't get engaged — but they did have something else in store: Kate's first meeting with the Queen since their split hit the headlines. They headed to Balmoral, the royal Scottish hideaway where the monarch and Prince Phillip spend their summers, for a short break. They are very much in love and want to enjoy their relationship out of the spotlight before they go public again. An Easter break in their beloved Klosters proved the perfect getaway for the sporty pair, who had had little time for romance in the previous months as William took part in an intensive pilot training course at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire.
For the first time, Kate was granted a Royal Protection officer on the slopes — and in a further sign of her importance within royal circles, Prince Charles joined them later on during their stay. They are very much together. Just over a year after their reported separation, Kate was back by William's side in April , when he received his wings upon completing his RAF training. It was her first appearance at her boyfriend's side at a formal event since December — when she attended his passing out ceremony at Sandhurst.
And she looked every inch the Princess-in-waiting, turning heads in an ivory-coloured double-breasted coat and black suede calf-length boots.
A month later in May and there was no doubting the seriousness of their relationship. While William was duty bound to attend another event, Kate went to his cousin Peter Phillips' wedding to his Canadian love Autumn Kelly in his place. Palace insiders revealed that William's decision to let Kate stand in for him underlined the strength of their relationship. The following month in November , the delighted couple broke their silence, and shared their engagement joy.
William had presented his future bride with his late mother Princess Diana's ring — a blue sapphire diamond sparkler. As she took her father Michael's arm to make her way up the steps to the abbey, the beautiful Kate was met with gasps from the crowd.
2001 - 2005: The University years
The groom and the bride sealed their love in a ceremony that combined pomp and pageantry with the most personal of touches, and converted Kate at a stroke into Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. Crowds lined the streets, waving Union Jack flags and cheering and applauding with delight as the newlyweds kissed on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
For their second year, they moved into a student house along with two other friends, but romance didn't blossom until the end of , when Kate split up with her boyfriend a fellow St Andrews student. The relationship became public knowledge when they were photographed on a skiing trip to Klosters in ; the following year, the pair were pictured together on their graduation day. Later looking back at the brief split in an interview announcing his engagement, William said: It was very much trying to find out way and we were growing up, it was just a bit of space — things worked out for the better.
April marked the first time that Kate had attended a high profile public event with her boyfriend since their brief split the previous year: Mario Testino, whose images of Diana are among the most iconic shots of the late princess, was behind the lens for the couple's engagement photos.
Royal Wedding: timeline of Prince William and Kate Middleton's modern romance - Telegraph
Kate opted to wear a white dress from high street favourite Reiss, which immediately sold out just like her [blue Issa wrap dress , worn to the press conference. On 29th April , William and Kate were married at Westminster Abbey, in a ceremony thought to have been watched by as many as two billion people in more than countries around the world.
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As far as first royal gigs go, hosting Barack and Michelle Obama at Buckingham Palace certainly isn't bad. After that, the newlyweds were put straight to work, embarking on their first overseas tour. According to one royal biographer, Prince Charles was reportedly slightly displeased at the sheer volume of photo opportunities, branding their posing as 'tasteless,' but we loved every single one.
The baby prince was christened in October, in the Royal Chapel at St James' Palace, wearing an antique christening gown that has been worn by royal babies as far back as In September , the Duke and Duchess had yet more happy news to share:
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