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The love story of the Prince and Princess of Wales

In 2001, Prince William met Catherine Middleton while they were students in residence at St Salvator’s Hall at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. While the two were close friends at first, it was at a charity fashion show in 2002 that Catherine reportedly caught William’s eyes as she wore a see-through lace dress. During their second year, they became flatmates with another pair of mutual friends. By 2003, the couple were already dating although they briefly split in 2004.

Similar to his mother and father, Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ relationship, William and Catherine were closely followed by the press. Kate would also grow increasingly popular with the public.  At one point, the coverage became so intense William asked the press to keep their distance from Kate.

As the years went on, we saw Catherine step out at royal events, often something one doesn’t see when a royal is dating unless the relationship is extremely serious. We would first see her in December 2006 as Catherine joined her family at William’s passing out parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The next April, the two reportedly called it quits. Months later, it seemed love was on the mend as Catherine and her family attended the Concert for Diana that July, marking the late Princess’ birthday and ten years since her passing. 

In October 2010, William and Catherine got engaged during a private holiday in Kenya. Clarence House officially announced the nuptials on 16 November with a press call at St James’s Palace in London. William would give Catherine the same ring his mother wore, an 18-karat white gold ring with a 12-carat Ceylon (Sri Lankan) sapphire and 14 round diamonds. Queen Elizabeth II was said to be ‘absolutely delighted’ for the couple. 

The two wed at London’s Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011. It’s estimated about a million people lined the procession route between The Abbey and Buckingham Palace. In addition, tens of millions of people watched live across the world. That includes 72 million live streams on YouTube. In the UK, TV audiences peaked at 26.3 million views with a total of 36.7 million watching part of the coverage.

The couple would go on to have three children, Prince George (b. 2013), Princess Charlotte (b. 2015), and Prince Louis (b. 2018.) 

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022 and the accession of William’s father, King Charles, the couple became Prince and Princess of Wales.

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About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.