Once upon a time, a 20-year-old girl named Kate Middleton caught the eye of a 19-year-old boy named William, who just so happened to be the eldest son of the late Princess Diana and second in line of succession to the British royal throne, and that was that. Over the course of their 15-year-and-counting relationship, William and Kate endured one breakup, celebrated six years of marriage and created two tiny royal humans, Prince George (4) and Princess Charlotte (2). From their days as college students to their royal happily ever after, take a look back at Prince William and K-Middy’s fairy-tale love story.
Be Still, Our Melting Hearts: Prince William and Kate Middleton's Fairy-Tale Love Story
Let’s rewind to the year 2002, when Prince William and Middleton were two young sophomores at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland. Middleton (philanthropist extraordinaire) volunteered to model in a charity fashion show, and William (a real life prince) paid £200—about $360—to sit front row. Although the Duke of Cambridge was immediately interested in the future Duchess, she was going steady with some university plebeian. When she ended the relationship later that year, her knight prince in shining armor was ready and waiting.
The Honeymoon Stage
The first photos of Prince William and his new girlfriend surfaced in April 2004. Over the course of the next year, the young lovebirds made several public appearances together in the form of romantic ski getaways and plus-one wedding dates. They even held a joint luncheon with their families to celebrate their June 2005 graduation from St. Andrews.
After four years of young love, the pair broke things off (gasp) in 2007. A few months prior to their official split, the Middleton family invited William to join them on a holiday getaway to the posh Scottish castle, Jordanstone House. The prince agreed to attend but changed his mind at the last minute, which (understandably) upset K-Middy and sparked tension in the relationship. Over the next few months, the couple rarely saw each other and called it quits in April.
Following their breakup, both William and Kate became darlings of the London socialite scene. Thankfully, their separation lasted only five months, and by August 2007 they were back together. The pair decided to do things differently this time around and kept their relationship low-key. Naturally, the prince whisked Kate off to the Seychelles, booked an entire resort for their private use and checked in under the names of Martin and Rosemary. You know, for privacy.
William popped the question while he and Middleton were enjoying a romantic jaunt in Kenya in October 2010. The couple kept their happy news a secret until the following month when the royal family officially announced their engagement to the press and K-Middy stepped out sporting the late Princess Diana’s stunning blue-sapphire-and-diamond ring on her left ring finger. Oh, this old thing?
On April 29, 2011, the wedding of the decade our lifetime took place at Westminster Abbey in London. Kate rolled up to the ceremony in a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI (because why not?) and stunned in an ivory silk and tulle Alexander McQueen gown. After sealing the deal, Middleton emerged from the Abbey with two new titles: Mrs. William Arthur Philip Louis and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. Not too shabby.
The Firstborn Child
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their first child, Prince George Alexander Louis, on July 22, 2013. George was only one day old when he made his first public appearance on the steps of St. Mary's Hospital and—since practice makes perfect—the four-year-old is a natural ham in front of the camera.
The Second-born Princess
Two years later, royal baby fever struck again when the family welcomed their second child, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, on May 2, 2015. Char’s birth earned her a spot behind Prince George as the fourth heir in line to the throne, which bumped Uncle Harry down to fifth in line. Sorry, Harry, but you can’t beat Char’s royal dedication. Have you seen her first curtsy?
...and They Lived Happily Ever After
From uni to parenthood, the Duke and the Duchess have come a long way. The family of four currently resides at Kensington Palace in London, which recently underwent a $6.5 million renovation. Sounds like they may be making room for baby number three... JK, there’s plenty of room. It’s a palace.