THIMPHU, BHUTAN - APRIL 15:  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge p...
Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
20 Facts About Prince William & Kate Middleton’s Relationship You Probably Didn’t Know

Their love story is one for the ages.

by Jen McGuire

On April 29, 2021, Kate Middleton and Prince William will celebrate 10 years of marriage. Since their wedding day in 2011, their lives have been in the spotlight. As heir to the throne and the future royal consort, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have seen their relationship followed closely by media and royal watchers alike. As difficult as this has presumably been, they appear to have dealt with the pressure by leaning on each other and finding ways to live privately when possible.

As with all relationships, there have been a few bumps along the way for the royal couple. Touches of possible scandal, a brief breakup, but there they stand, still together. After nearly two decades as a couple, if you count their premarital relationship, they have been there for each other through major life events. When Prince William’s beloved grandfather Prince Philip died, Middleton was by her husband’s side. When her sister Pippa Middleton got married in 2017, Prince William was, of course, at the wedding.

This is the stuff not of fairy tales, but rather a couple who have blended their lives over time. And like all stories, it had to start somewhere. Here are some facts about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge you may not have known.

They Met As University Students

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Prince William first met Kate Middleton when they attended St. Andrew’s University in Scotland in 2002. They started out as friends by all accounts, but eventually a spark was ignited at a charity function.

But They Crossed Paths When They Were Kids

Handout/WireImage/Getty Images

While they didn’t officially meet until college, their paths did cross when Kate Middleton was a child and her school hosted 9-year-old Prince William’s school for a hockey game. In the biography Kate: The Future Queen, Katie Nicholl wrote, “Although [Kate] wasn’t especially interested in boys, the arrival of one particular young man had caught her attention.”

They Were Roomies

Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The pair still weren’t fully an item until their second year of university when they shared an apartment with two other friends. “We moved in together as friends because we were living together, we lived with a couple of others as well,” Prince William told the BBC in 2010, “and it just sort of blossomed from there really.”

Kate Had Private Security Provided By The Royal Family

Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Getty Images

In 2006, Prince William and Kate Middleton were doing their best to keep their relationship low-key. But the paparazzi were following her everywhere. This led to the royal family assigning a 24-hour security detail paid from the Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department... a clear sign that things were getting serious.

They Broke Up For A Bit

David Davies - PA Images/PA Images/Getty Images

In 2007, the couple broke up for a brief period of time. Kate would later say during their engagement interview with the BBC that she was glad of the time apart. “You can get consumed by a relationship when you’re younger and I really valued that time for me as well, although I didn’t think it at the time,” she said. They were back on within a few months.

Kate Worked In Retail While They Were Dating

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The young couple dated for several years, and during that time, Prince William was attending Sandhurst Military Academy. As for the duchess, she worked several jobs in the retail and fashion industries, including as an assistant accessories buyer for Jigsaw as well as working for her family’s party supply company, Party Pieces.

Tabloids Called Her “Waity Katie”

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The British tabloids dubbed Kate Middleton “Waity Katie” when the couple had been dating for several years and there was still no engagement ring.

Prince William Once Bought Kate A Pair Of Binoculars

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Prince William admitted in an interview in 2020 that one of the least romantic gifts he gave Kate when they were first dating was a pair of binoculars. “She’s never let me forget that,” he said.

They Got Engaged In Africa

John Stillwell - PA Images/PA Images/Getty Images

After seven years of dating, Prince William proposed to Kate during a holiday in Kenya. She said in an interview with the BBC, “There’s a true romantic in there,” about Prince William’s proposal.

Kate’s Engagement Ring First Went To Prince Harry

Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

Prince Harry inherited his mother Princess Diana’s engagement ring, but gave it to Prince William as a gift so that Kate could one day wear it on the throne.

They Broke Tradition On Their Wedding Day

Anwar Hussein/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Prince William and Kate’s wedding day in April 2011 was watched by millions, and one of the sweetest moments was when they broke with tradition to kiss twice on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

They Honeymooned Off The Coast Of Africa

WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The Duke of Cambridge surprised his new wife in 2011 with a romantic trip to Seychelles, an island country off the coast of Africa.

Early Years Of Their Marriage Were Spent In Wales

Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images

Kate’s early years of marriage and motherhood to Prince George, who was born in 2013, were spent living in North Wales. At the time, Prince William was working as an air ambulance pilot for the Royal Air Force, and the duchess was seen often picking up groceries at the local Tesco.

She recalled her early years as a mom living in North Wales as “isolated” and “lonely” in 2020 during a visit to Ely and Caerau Children’s Centre in Cardiff, Wales, telling the center: “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.”

Kate Turned “Bright Red” When She First Met William

Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images

Kate might seem incredibly confident now, but she told the BBC during their engagement interview that the first time she met her husband at college, she turned “bright red when I met you and sort of scuttled off, feeling very shy about meeting you.”

Prince William Has A Cute Nickname For Kate

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Prince William’s nickname for his wife is “poppet,” while she has been heard calling him “babe,” according to How cute is that?

They’re Competitive

Kate Middleton and Prince William love to compete against each other.Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images

Both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are sporty people, and they love to compete against each other. They have frequently sailed against each other in regattas on official duty and tend to look their most relaxed while in competition. Whatever floats your boat.

They Love Watching Games Of Thrones


During an interview on Radio 1 in 2019, Prince William admitted that he and his wife liked to kick back and watch television after they put their three kids to bed. What do they watch? “We’ve watched Homeland, big fans of Homeland. Game of Thrones we’ve watched as well. Seems like everyone has watched Game of Thrones.”

They’re Passionate About Mental Health

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

As a royal couple, both Kate and Prince William are involved in many charities. But in 2017, they realized that there was a “common thread” throughout all of their charities: mental health awareness. And so they partnered with Prince Harry on Heads Together, an organization dedicated to ending the stigma of mental health issues. It seemed to really bring them together as well.

Prince William Showed Off His Cooking Skills To Impress Kate

Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

In 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge cooked with Mary Berry for the holiday special A Berry Royal Christmas, and Kate told the Great British Bake-Off host that her husband used his cooking skills to impress her in their early days. “In [our] university days he used to cook all sorts of meals,” she admitted. “I think that was when he was trying to impress me, Mary. Things like Bolognese sauces and things like that.”

Kate Has Called William Her “Greatest Support”

In February, Kate was asked during a video call what her “greatest support” during the COVID-19 lockdown had been, and she wrote on a piece of paper just one word: “William.”