When did Prince William and Kate Middleton meet? Their full relationship timeline

Prince William and Kate Middleton met whilst studying at St. Andrews University

Prince William (left) and Kate Middleton (right), the Prince and Princess of Wales
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you've been wondering when did William and Kate meet, we've taken a look at their full relationship timeline, going all the way back to their days at university. 

Just like many want to know when did Prince William and Kate Middleton get married, Royal fans are also keen to know how the couple got together. It seems a long time ago now, and so much has happened in between. Now a family of five - with rumours that Kate Middleton and Prince William are planning for a fourth child - the Prince and Princess of Wales are set for busy 2023 - but when did they first meet?

Kate was the shy, sporty, History of Art student who caught Prince William’s attention when she walked in that infamous university fashion show - while William, of course, was a world famous Prince who won Kate’s heart with his charm, wit and kindness. Together they are now one of the most photographed couples in the world. Kate, now the Princess of Wales, showing that fairytales really do come true!

When did William and Kate meet?

William and Kate first met in 2001 while at university, when they were studying at St. Andrew's University in Scotland. They both moved into St. Salvartor's Hall that year, and struck up a friendship.

Fast forward ten years and in the couple's engagement video Prince William says: "When I first met Kate, I knew there was something very special about her. I knew there was possibly something that I wanted to explore there...We ended up being friends for a while, and that just sort of was a good foundation. Because I do generally believe now that being friends with one another is a massive advantage. And it just went from there."

The following year, the pair moved in together with friends friends Fergus Boyd and Olivia Bleasdale in an off-campus apartment. 

Prince William said in the same interview: "We moved in together as friends. We lived with a couple of others, as well, and it just sort of blossomed from there, really, we just saw more of each other, hung out a bit more and did stuff."

Prince William and Kate Middleton: Relationship timeline

2002: The fashion show that changed everything

Kate, then 19, took part in a St. Andrews University fashion show, strutting down the catwalk in a rather barely-there sheath dress. Prince William paid £200 for a ticket and reportedly whispered to friend Fergus Boyd, "Wow, Fergus, Kate’s hot!"

Although Prince William and Kate had been good friends prior to this night, seeing Kate confidently take to the catwalk seemingly made Prince William see her in a totally different way, as the moment is sighted as when the Royal love story first started. 

The young couple had their privacy protected up in Scotland - as the Palace had arranged that the press would leave William alone throughout his studies - but the pair’s relationship was confirmed in 2004 when they were pictured skiing together.

In 2005 William and Kate both graduated from St. Andrews, with Kate's dad capturing a sweet photo of the couple celebrating.

Kate Middleton (left) and Prince William (right) with their arm around each other

(Image credit: Getty Images)

2007: Break-ups and make-ups

After leaving the University of St. Andrews in 2005, Prince William embarked on his military career at Sandhurst, while Kate landed a job at Jigsaw as a buyer. The couple’s different jobs meant they were in a long distance relationship – but they still made time to see each other and hit their favourite nightclub hotspots when they were both in London!

However, it wasn’t all fun and games. The couple struggled with distance and the intense media attention on their relationship. As a result, the young couple split up in 2007.

Luckily, the split didn’t last long! Both William and Kate missed each other and couldn’t stand to be apart. They got back together later that year – much to the great relief of the general public who had already fallen in love with Kate.

In 2008, Kate joined William at his graduation ceremony from the RAF. However, by this time the Princess-to-be had been nicknamed "Waity Katie", as Prince William still hadn't popped the question to his long-term girlfriend.

2010: Finally – a proposal!

Finally, he put a ring on it! Prince William proposed to Kate during a getaway to Kenya in October 2010. A "very excited" Kate chose a navy Issa dress to complement her sapphire engagement ring, which belonged to William’s mum, the late Princess Diana, for the official engagement announcement photos.

Kate Middleton and Prince William engagement photo

(Image credit: Alamy)

"It’s my mother's engagement ring," William explained. "So I thought it was quite nice because obviously she’s not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all—this was my way of keeping her sort of close to it all."

The engagement was announced to the public on November 16, along with the news that the wedding will take place in the Spring or Summer of 2011, in London.

2011: A royal wedding to remember

From the Alexander McQueen dress to the cheering crowds and that iconic kiss on the balcony, the 29th April 2011 was certainly a day for the history books. The down-to-earth Duchess-to-be chose to do her own make-up for her wedding day, and Kate looked absolutely stunning.

With her sister Pippa as her maid of honour, Kate had jaws dropping all over the world as she walked down the aisle of Westminster Abbey watched by millions to marry her prince.

They then headed Seychelles for their honeymoon, before moving into their new home at Kensington Palace in July that year.

2011-2012: Introducing the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge

So, the newly married couple wasted no time settling into their new roles as the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, which Queen Elizabeth bestowed upon them shortly before their wedding ceremony.

 From glittering red carpet events – where Kate looked every inch a princess – to official events, the couple got stuck in to life as a married royal couple.

The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also embarked on their first international royal tours as a couple. From donning cowboy hats in Canada to showing off their dance moves in Tuvalu, Kate and William stole hearts around the world.

2013: A new arrival

When Kate was pregnant the couple had to reveal their happy news a bit earlier than they’d wanted, due to Kate’s intense morning sickness. She was suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, which she spoke about this year on Giovanna Fletcher's podcast, Happy Mum, Happy Baby.

Prince George Alexander Louis was born on 22 July 2013 and Kate emerged looking serene, of course!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge outside the hospital with Prince George

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate has spoken about how becoming a mother for the first time was a “life changing moment” for her. The proud parents have been hands on raising little Prince George since he was born, and although he can be a handful, they’ve been loving every minute!

Kate has revealed over the years that little Prince George is a bundle of energy, with Prince William admitting “George is a right little rascal sometimes”!

2015: Hello Princess Charlotte!

Fast-forward less than two years and here the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are again on the steps of the Lindo Wing – this time with Princess Charlotte. Named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana after both her great-grandmother the Queen and her late grandmother Princess Diana, this little bundle was about to bring a whole lot more joy into William and Kate’s life.

William and Kate looked happier than ever with their beautiful brood at Princess Charlotte’s christening. For the children’s privacy and to ensure that they could have as ‘normal’ early lives as possible, the Duke and Duchess chose to raise their children in Anmer Hall, out in the countryside in Norfolk. While breaking from the tradition of living in Kensington Palace, countryside lovers Kate and William enjoyed the peace and freedom afforded to them away from prying eyes and paparazzi.

2016: Royal tours

In 2016, Kate and Prince William left their children in the capable hands of Kate’s parents, and headed off on an official overseas royal tour of India and Bhutan. Although the Duchess of Cambridge admitted that they missed their little ones “terribly”, the week long trip also gave the new parents some precious time together as a couple.

Over five years after their fairytale wedding, photos of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Canada also showed the world that the bond between this young royal couple was stronger than ever.

And the royal tour to Canada also marked another big first for the couple - their first overseas trip as a family of four! While Kate and William’s close bond was evident in every photo, it was little Prince George and a newly walking Princess Charlotte who totally stole the show!

Prince George, Prince William, Princess Katherine and Princess Charlotte outside a plane in Canada

(Image credit: Alamy)

2017: Launching their own charitable campaign

One of the Duke and Duchess's most notable achievements as a couple has been the successful launch of their mental health campaign, Heads Together. Launched along with Prince Harry, the campaign aims to end the stigma around mental health. 

Through a series of different events and through an online video campaign titled #OkToSay, the pioneering royals hope to start conversations between friends and family about mental health and any personal struggles they may have.

2018: Welcoming Prince Louis

In April 2018, the Duke and Duchess welcomed their third child, and second son, Prince Louis.

Born also at the Lindo wing, the couple looked delighted with their third bundle of joy, who is five years younger than their eldest son George. Kate wore a red dress with a white peter pan collar, similar to the one her mother-in-law had donned when she presented Prince Harry back in 1984.

2021: The 10 year anniversary

Marking a decade of marriage, William and Kate shared two romantic portrait photographs taken by photographer Chris Floyd.

“I recently visited Cambridge for the first time in my life,” Floyd shared about photographing Prince William and Kate Middleton. “That same day, by an astonishing coincidence, was also the day I was asked to photograph the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for their 10th wedding anniversary.”

A year later, the couple unveiled their first official joint portrait, painted by Award-winning British portrait artist Jamie Coreth.

2022: The Prince and Princess of Wales

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge assumed the new titles of Prince and Princess of Wales.

During his official announcement, King Charles said: "With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given."

The couple made their first solo appearance with their new titles when visiting Sandringham to view the bouquets, balloons and other tributes left by the public in the late Queen Elizabeth's honour.

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Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.