Kate Middleton and Prince William's Love Story: From St. Andrews to Three Kids

The Prince and Princess of Wales have more than a decade of marriage under their regal belts.

A royal love story for the ages! Kate Middleton and Prince William have more than a decade of marriage under their regal belts, share three kids and are next in line to the British royal throne after King Charles III and Queen Camilla. 

But when the Prince and Princess of Wales first met, they were two lovesick college students at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. They went from friends and roommates to longtime loves in a matter of years. 

As the final season of The Crown prepares to follow the royal couple's early love story, look back at a timeline of their real-life romance:

2001: College Freshmen

Though they'd go on to have a happy life together, when William and Kate met at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland as college freshmen, they were simply friends at first. 

"We were friends for over a year first and it just sort of blossomed from then on," William shared in the couple's engagement interview with ITV years later. "We just spent more time with each other and had a good giggle, had lots of fun and realized we shared a lot of the same interests. She's got a really naughty sense of humor which kind of helps me."

Kate noted that it took "a bit of time" for her and her future husband to get to know one another, adding, "But we did become very close friends from quite early on."

2002: Roommates

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Still just friends, the schoolmates moved in together with a group of friends, including Fergus Boyd and Olivia Bleasdale. William later shared that the romance "blossomed from there." 

During this time, Kate also modeled in a student fashion show, which is rumored to have been where she caught William's eye as possibly more than a friend. The future Princess of Wales wore a sheer dress by peer Charlotte Todd as a part of the assignment appropriately titled, "The Art of Seduction." 

In 2019, Kate revealed that William used to cook her dishes in college to impress her. 

"[In our] university days, he used to cook all sorts of meals," Kate said. "I think that’s when he was trying to impress me. Things like Bolognese sauce and things like that."

2004: Going Public

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After keeping things private for more than a year, William and Kate's romance was thrust into the public eye in 2004 after photos were printed in The Sun of the couple on a ski holiday in Switzerland. The headline "Wills gets a girl" sent shockwaves through the royal world as the royal family threatened to boycott the British tabloid for breaking the agreement to give the family privacy following a public photo call with William, Charles and William's younger brother, Prince Harry. 

March 2006: PDA Alert

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Kate and her sister, Pippa Middleton, were greeted by William at Eton College. In a rare moment of PDA, William was seen hugging and kissing his future bride. 

May 2006: A Royal-Adjacent 

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Kate attended the wedding of Laura Parker Bowles and Harry Lopes along with William, Harry, Charles and Camilla. Laura is the daughter of Camilla. 

December 2006: First Royal Event

Kate supported William at his graduation from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where there was another special guest in attendance -- William's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. 

February 2007: Getting Their Cheer On

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Kate joined William and Harry in the stands at the RBS Six Nations Championship match in London. The trio was seen passionately cheering on England together. 

2007: A Split

The couple broke up for several months between April and June. William spoke about the decision during the couple's engagement interview years later, saying, "We did split up for a bit. We were both very young. It was at university, and we were both defining ourselves as such and being different characters. We were finding our own way… it soon worked out for the better."

Kate added that she "wasn't very happy" about the split at the time, but ultimately felt that it was a good decision for their relationship. 

"It made me a stronger person. You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn't realized," she shared. "I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you're younger and I really valued that time for me."

April 2008: William's Biggest Fan

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Kate attended Prince William's RAF Cranwell graduation ceremony. The couple was all smiles as William completed in Royal Air Force training. 

January 2010: William's Final Graduation

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In the final step of his Royal Air Force training, William graduated from RAF Shawbury with a smiling Kate by his side. 

November 2010: Engagement News

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The couple was overjoyed to announce their engagement publicly just a few weeks after William popped the question while on holiday in Kenya. 

"We had a little private time together with some friends and I just decided that it was the right time, really. We'd been talking about marriage for a while so it wasn't a massively big surprise," William admitted during the couple's engagement interview. "I took her up somewhere nice in Kenya, and I proposed." 

"It was very romantic. There's a true romantic in there," Kate said of her future husband, adding that the proposal was a "total shock." 

William said that despite the surprise nature of the proposal, the couple had been discussing marriage for "a while."

"It just felt really right. I had been doing a bit of planning because I wanted to show my romantic side," William admitted. 

William presented his future bride with his late mother Princess Diana's engagement ring in her marriage to then-Prince Charles. 

"This is my way of keeping her close to it all," William shared. 

February 2011: First Official Outing

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Months ahead of their wedding, the engaged couple made an official royal outing to Trearddur, Wales, where they launched the lifeboat Hereford Endeavour in Trearddur Bay. Kate was all smiles as she greeted the crowds who had lined up to see her and her fiancé.

April 29, 2011: William and Kate's Wedding

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People all over the world tuned into Westminster Abbey to see Prince William marry Kate in a fairy-tale wedding. The bride wore a now-iconic Alexander McQueen gown, designed by Sarah Burton, which featured lace sleeves and a classic cut. William wore his red military uniform for the special occasion. Upon their union, Queen Elizabeth II gave the couple the royal titles of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 

July 2011: Kensington Palace Residence

Following their private honeymoon in Seychelles, the couple moved into Kensington Palace, where William's mother, Princess Diana, had once lived. 

January 2012: A New Addition

The couple started their journey into parenthood with a cocker spaniel puppy named Ludo. 

July 2012: The Royal Foundation

With the honeymoon stage complete, the couple got to work, launching their Royal Foundation website, focused on their charitable works. 

August 2012: London Olympics

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The couple, along with Prince Harry, passed the Olympic torch at Buckingham Palace. They also attended the opening ceremonies as well as several events, cheering on Team England. 

September 2012: Diamond Jubilee Tour

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The couple embarked on an official royal tour of Singapore, Malaysia, and Borneo in honor of the queen's Diamond Jubilee year. 

December 2012: Baby News

The highly anticipated announcement that William and Kate were expecting their first child together came ahead of the holidays. Kate, who would go on to physically struggle with all of her pregnancies, was admitted to the hospital that same day for pregnancy-related illness. 

July 2013: Prince George Is Born 

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The couple's first baby arrived on July 13, 2013. The royals stepped out at St. Mary's Hospital to greet the press and well-wishers just hours after the birth wearing matching cornflower blue looks. Their son was named Prince George Alexander Louis. 

September 2014: More Baby News

The pair was focused on expanding their family and just over a year after George's birth, they made the announcement that Kate was once again pregnant. Unfortunately, Kate once again suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum during her pregnancy, which led to hospitalization and treatment. 

May 2015: Princess Charlotte Is Born

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A baby girl was born on May 2, 2015. The proud parents and her excited older brother welcomed Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana at St. Mary's Hospital. 

July 2015: Fatherly Praise

In a rare interview with the BBC, William gushed about his wife's skills as a mother. 

"It is fantastic having a lovely little family and I am so thrilled," he said at the time. "Catherine has been doing an amazing job as a mother and I'm very proud of her… I take my duties and responsibilities as a father very seriously, and I want to bring my children up as good people." 

April 2016: Meaningful Anniversary

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The couple took a trip to the Taj Mahal ahead of their fifth wedding anniversary. The location was meaningful as Princess Diana famously posed there in 1992. 

February 2017: Red Carpet Ready

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went glam for the BAFTA Awards, walking the red carpet together. Kate wore an Alexander McQueen off-the-shoulder gown and a chic updo, while William rocked a classic tux. 

September 2017: New Pregnancy

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The royals announced that Kate was expecting again, with her illness causing her to miss Prince George's first day at school. William took his son for the special occasion as Kate was once again in a doctor's care. 

February 2018: The Fab Four

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Before the royal rift, William and Kate were all smiles with Prince Harry and his then-fiancée, Meghan Markle, at the Royal Foundation Forum in London. Meghan described the collaboration as "togetherness at its finest." 

April 2018: Prince Louis Is Born

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The couple welcomed their second son, Prince Louis Arthur Charles, on April 23, 2018. They introduced him to the world shortly after, stepping out with big smiles at St. Mary's. 

May 2018: Royal Wedding

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The couple and their two eldest children were in attendance at the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan in Windsor, England. Prince George and Princess Charlotte served as members of the wedding party as William supported his brother at St. George's Chapel. 

October 2019: Royal Trip

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Becoming the first royal couple to visit Pakistan in 13 years, the duke and duchess had a four-day tour of the country, following in Princess Diana's footsteps in many ways. 

January 2020: Kate's Confession

Kate opened up about her struggle postpartum following the birth of Prince George. 

"It was the first year and I'd just had George -- William was still working with search and rescue -- and we came up here and I had a tiny, tiny baby in the middle of Anglesey. It was so isolated, so cut off," she told other parents, according to royal reporters. "I didn't have any family around and [Prince William] was doing night shifts. So... if only I had had a center like this." 

January 2020: No More Kids

During an appearance in Bradford, England, Kate told one fan in the crowd, "I don't think William wants any more," when asked about baby No. 4. 

April 2020: Isolating Together

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the pair did official appearances via Zoom where they talked about their Easter plans with their kids. 

"There will be a lot of chocolate to eat here," William said of their home.

"You keep eating it!" Kate jokingly called her husband out for his sweet tooth. 

July 2020: William's Rough Gift

During a podcast appearance, William joked about a bad gift he got his wife early in their courtship. 

"I gave my wife a pair of binoculars once. She's never let me forget that. That was early on in the courtship, that was," William said on The Peter Crouch Podcast. "I think that sealed the deal, really. Yeah, I wrapped them."

April 2021: Prince Philip Dies 

Amid their rift, Harry and William reunited at the funeral of their grandfather, Prince Philip. The highly anticipated reunion was, in part, facilitated by Kate

"They were very tense as they walked into that chapel," royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET of William and Harry at the time. "As they came out of it, you could see some tension diffused. And I think that was largely down to the Duchess of Cambridge, who made a point of speaking to Harry and when she did that, you can see them visibly relax… It's always been my understanding that behind the scenes, Kate has tried very hard to forge a rapprochement and act as a peacemaker between William and Harry."

April 2021: 10th Anniversary

In honor of their milestone anniversary, the couple debuted stunning new family photos and a sweet video of themselves and their kids at the beach. 

May 2021: YouTube Stars

Showing some cute chemistry, the couple launched their official YouTube channel. "Be careful what you say because these guys are filming everything," William teased his wife. 

September 2021: Bond, James Bond

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Decked out in a sparkly golden gown, Kate was joined by William at the world premiere of Daniel Craig's final James Bond film, No Time to Die

January 2022: William Gets Nervous

William made his position on having more kids clear during a visit to Lancashire, England, when Kate held a sweet baby. 

"Don't give my wife any more ideas!" the father of three declared as the crowd laughed. 

May 2022: Top Gun

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They felt the need, the need for speed! The royals attended the U.K. premiere of Top Gun: Maverick at London's Leicester Square. They greeted star Tom Cruise and the rest of the cast at the event. 

June 2022: Kate and William Move

The Cambridges headed to the countryside, leaving their Kensington Palace home behind. They moved with their three children to a new residence in the county of Berkshire, near Windsor Castle. 

A source told ET at the time, "Prince William and Duchess Kate are expected to relocate this fall to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor. The couple have been looking at schools in the Berkshire area near Bucklebury, where Kate’s parents are and closer to the queen’s home base at Windsor Castle."

September 2022: Queen Elizabeth's Death

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Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the couple had to navigate their estranged relationship with Harry and Meghan. At the time, a source told ET that William reached out to Harry and Meghan via text to reconnect. 

In the wake of the queen's death, Charles became King Charles III and William and Kate adopted the titles of Prince and Princess of Wales. 

November 2022: Courtside Cuties

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On the couple's Royal Tour of Boston, they took in a Boston Celtics game and were spotted clapping courtside. 

January 2023: United Front

In the wake of Harry's tell-all memoir, Spare, which widely bashed William, the couple stepped out together for official events, not showing any sign that something was wrong. 

April 2023: Casual Anniversary

For their 11-year anniversary, William and Kate shared a casual bike-riding pic together. 

May 2023: King's Coronation

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The royal pair and their three children were in attendance at the coronation of King Charles III. They later shared a video from the historic event on their social media accounts writing, "What. A. Day." 

July 2023: Rare PDA

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The duo embraced in a rare moment of PDA during a charity polo match. Though they're known for keeping their distance at public events, William held his wife and kissed her on both cheeks at the match. 

September 2023: Playful on a Podcast

The Good, The Bad, and The Rugby

The pair jokingly discussed their competitive side with Mike Tindall, who is married to William's cousin, Zara Tindall, on his The Good, the Bad & the Rugby podcast.

"I don’t think we've managed to finish a game of tennis, the two of us," Kate said. "It becomes a mental challenge between the two of us."

Apparently, according to the prince, it becomes a game of "who can out-mental each other."

November/December 2023: The Crown 

Netflix

With the six and final season of The Crown premiering on Netflix in two parts, the show is set to document the couple's early romance. Though their part of the story won't come until Dec. 14, many photos of the actors playing the royal couple have been released. 

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