Six years ago, on a beautiful April morning, Prince William married his long-time girlfriend, Kate Middleton in a lavish wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
The pair, who had been dating for nearly a decade, met at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, in their first year of study. Despite a brief breakup in 2007, the couple reconciled and Prince William proposed to Kate in October 2010 on a quiet vacation to Kenya using his mother’s iconic engagement ring. The engagement was formally announced by Clarence House on 16 November.
Now, on their sixth wedding anniversary, let’s take a look back at the three major areas of their lives: family, royal duties, and work to see how far the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have come.
Prince William confirmed in the interview following their engagement announcement that “…we want a family, so we’ll have to start thinking about that,” while Kate admitted that she hoped to have as close-knit a family as she’d had growing up with the Middletons.
Almost immediately after their wedding, speculation turned to when the couple would welcome their first child. Over a year later, in December 2012, the couple announced that they were expecting, albeit earlier than planned due to Kate suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum – intense morning sickness – and being admitted to hospital.
On 22 July 2013, amid intense press coverage outside St Mary’s Hospital, the royal couple welcomed a son, Prince George Alexander Louis. Prince George is now third in line to the throne after his father and grandfather. He was christened on 23 October at the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace
Fourteen months later, on 8 September 2014, Kensington Palace announced that the Duchess of Cambridge was expecting her second child. She was again suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum.
On 2 May 2015, the royal couple welcomed a daughter, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, who is now fourth in line to the throne. Princess Charlotte was christened on 5 July at St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham.
While the Duke and Duchess maintain a London residence at Kensington Palace in Princess Margaret’s old apartments, they spend most of their time at their country estate Anmer Hall in Norfolk, which is a few kilometres away from Sandringham Estate.
Royal Tours and Royal Duties
The Duke and Duchess support the Queen at important family events such as Trooping the Colour and Commonwealth Day services and also attend Christmas functions at Sandringham every year. In Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee year, 2012, the couple stepped up their public duties to support her majesty. They also represented the United Kingdom at the 2012 Summer Olympics, which London hosted.
The couple attended their first State Dinner last year, when the President of China visited; and have attended the Diplomatic Reception twice, in 2013 and in 2015.
The couple has undertaken several royal tours since their wedding – the first, to Canada and the United States, occurred only months after the wedding.
Between 30 June and 8 July 2011, the couple toured several Canadian provinces and territories – Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Northwest Territories, and Alberta – and stopped in Los Angeles, California on 9 July before departing for home. The tour was a major success for the couple and was covered around the world.
In support of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee the following year, the Duke and Duchess toured South East Asia – Singapore, Malaysia, and the Solomon Islands. Unfortunately for the couple, controversy brewed back home while they were away, as several topless pictures of the Duchess sunbathing were published in a French tabloid.
In 2014, the couple, along with Prince George, toured New Zealand and Australia for three weeks. The tour was extensively covered in the media, especially on engagements where the young prince tagged along with his parents. They also undertook a whirlwind visit to New York City and Washington D.C.
In recent years, the family have visited India, Bhutan, Canada and France just to name a few. The Duchess of Cambridge has also undertaken her first solo trip to the Netherlands and will travel solo again in a few weeks to Luxembourg.
Patronages and Work
Since her wedding, Kate has maintained a small portfolio of patronages, specialising in the areas of mental health, children, sports, and art. She is also the patron of the RCAF cadets, a duty she assumed from Prince Philip in December 2015.
Her patronages include Action on Addiction, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, The Art Room, The National Portrait Gallery, Place2Be, SportsAid, The Natural History Museum, the 1851 Trust, and the Anna Freud Centre.
She also volunteers with the Scout Association, is a joint patron of the 100 Women in Hedge Fund’s Philanthropic Initiatives (along with her husband and Prince Harry), and supports the M-PACT programme, which focuses on how drug addiction impacts the whole family.
The Duchess’s first military patronage came in December 2015, when Prince Philip passed on his patronage of the RAF Air Cadets to her.
She has also recently taken on the patronage of Wimbledon following Her Majesty’s reduction in workload.
After their wedding, the Duke continued his RAF service, working in the Search and Rescue unit. He remained a pilot of Sea King helicopter until 2013. In 2014, he became a pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance and studied for his civilian pilot’s licence. He will leave his role in the air ambulance later this year and will become a full-time working royal.
It’s been a busy six years for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Here’s hoping that they have a wonderful anniversary and many happy years to come!