Prince William and Kate Middleton's Complete Relationship Timeline

This royal love story began in their college dorm.
Prince William and Kate Middleton
Photo: Getty Images,Design: Natalie Romine
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Apr 29, 2024

As two of the most recognizable royals in the world, Kate Middleton and Prince William's relationship has long been a subject of public interest. Given their line in succession to the British throne, William and Kate will one day replace his father, King Charles, and his wife, Queen Camilla. Considering Middleton's upbringing as a commoner, Brits and royal watchers around the world have been captivated by her romance with the future King of England.

Interestingly enough, this famous love story began over 20 years ago when the couple met in college. (Royals, they're just like us!) Look back on Kate Middleton and Prince William's relationship timeline, from 2001 to today. Plus, read the latest on their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

  • Prince William and Kate Middleton met in college at St. Andrew's University in 2001.
  • After dating for nine years, Prince William and Kate Middleton got engaged on a safari in 2010.
  • Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding took place on April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey.
  • Prince William and Kate Middleton share three children: George, Charlotte and Louis.

In this article:

How Did Kate Middleton Meet Prince William?

Prince Wiliam and Kate Middleton met in 2001 while attending St. Andrews University in Scotland. The two first crossed paths in their dorm building, St. Salvator's Hall. Middleton recalled their fateful meet-cute in their engagement interview with ITV, saying, "I actually think I went bright red when I met you and sort of scuttled off, feeling very shy about meeting you."

Prince William added that their relationship progressed naturally, saying they "were friends for over a year first and it just sort of blossomed from then on. We just spent more time with each other had a good giggle, had lots of fun and realized we shared the same interests and had a really good time."

It was during their second semester at St. Andrews that their friendship turned romantic. After the prince reportedly told a classmate that he found Middleton attractive, they moved into a flat with friends for their second year at school…and the rest is history.

Prince William and Kate Middleton's Relationship Timeline

Considering Kate Middleton and Prince William have been together for over 20 years, their relationship timeline spans decades of public appearances, engagements, and red carpet moments. Here's a peek into the highlights of their romance, from 2001 to today.

September 2001: Prince William and Kate Middleton Meet at St. Andrews

Kate Middleton and Prince William in 2007
Photo: Indigo | Getty Images

The couple's story begins at St. Andrews University in Scotland, back in September 2001. Prince William and Kate Middleton met in their dorm building and became fast friends.

October 2002: William and Kate Move In Together

By their second year in college, William and Kate moved into a flat with two other friends. Their platonic relationship took a romantic turn in the spring, notably after the royal watched his roommate walk the runway in a fashion show run by art students. (And yes, the rumor is true: She was wearing a sheer dress on the catwalk!) Many royal biographers pinpoint this moment as the turning point for the couple's romance.

The following year, William and Kate moved out of their shared flat and into an apartment of their own. In their engagement interview, the prince told Tom Bradby how he tried to woo his future wife: "When I was trying to impress Kate, I was trying to cook these amazing fancy dinners, and all that would happen was, I would burn something, something would overspill, something would catch on fire, and she'd be sitting in the background just trying to help and [then] taking control of the whole situation."

April 1, 2004: William and Kate Take Their Romance Public

Prince William and Kate Middleton at a sporting event
Photo: Richard Heathcote | Getty Images

Kate Middleton and Prince William kept their relationship private for about a year, taking the time to explore their connection away from paparazzi and prying eyes. Their romance was made public on April 1, 2004, when The Sun published photos of the couple on vacation at Klosters Ski Resort in Switzerland.

December 2006: Kate Attends Prince William's Military Graduation

Indicating the seriousness of their partnership, Kate Middleton attended her boyfriend's graduation from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in December 2006. Her attendance at the milestone event marked her first royal engagement. (Even Queen Elizabeth II was there!)

While Kate reportedly spent time with Prince William's family that night, it wasn't her first time meeting them. In the engagement interview, Middleton opened up about the first time she met her future father-in-law, King Charles. "I was quite nervous about meeting William's father but he's very, very welcoming and very friendly, so it couldn't have gone easier, really, for me," she said.

April 2007: William and Kate Break Up...Then Get Back Together

In the spring of 2007, after about five years of dating, Prince William and Kate Middleton briefly broke up. During their time apart, Middleton enjoyed a trip to Ireland with her friends while William fielded questions from the press about the status of their relationship.

The split didn't last for long. By the summer, reports indicated that the couple had reconciled. Kate spoke about their break-up in their engagement interview, telling Bradby it was the right decision. "I think I at the time wasn't very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person...You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn't realized," she explained. "Or I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you're younger. I really valued that time for me as well although I didn't think it at the time, looking back on it."

October 20, 2010: Prince William and Kate Middleton Get Engaged

Kate Middleton and Prince William engagement photo
Photo: Chris Jackson | Getty Images

Kate Middleton and Prince William got engaged on October 20, 2010. (They formally announced their engagement with the world on November 16, 2010.) The special moment took place in a cabin on the side of Mount Kenya in Africa. "We had a little private time away together with some friends, and I just decided that it was the right time, really," Prince William told Bradby. "We'd been talking about marriage for a while, so it wasn't a massively big surprise, but I took her up somewhere nice in Kenya, and I proposed."

Middleton called their engagement "very romantic," with her fiancé adding that he put a lot of thought into the proposal. "It just felt really right to ask in Africa, beautiful time, and I had done a little bit of planning of sorts to share my romantic side," he shared.

Prince William presented his future wife with Princess Diana's engagement ring, an oval-cut sapphire set in a halo of diamonds, making the experience even more sentimental. "I had been carrying around the ring in his rucksack for three weeks … I literally would not let it go, everywhere I went I was keeping hold of it, 'cause I knew this thing, if it disappeared I'd be in a lot of trouble," he said.

April 29, 2011: Prince William and Kate Middleton's Wedding Takes Place

Kate Middleton and Prince William's wedding photo
Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo | Getty Images

Prince William and Kate Middleton got married on April 29, 2011. The royal wedding took place at Westminster Abbey and was attended by more than 1,900 guests. Thousands of fans and well-wishers lined the streets of London and over 23 million people watched the wedding broadcast on TV, making it a true global phenomenon.

The wedding was a lavish display of the grandest British royal wedding traditions. Kate's wedding dress by Alexander McQueen instantly became one of the most iconic celebrity dresses of all time, going on to inspire countless brides around the world.

July 2011: Kate and William Move Into Kensington Palace

Later that summer, the newlyweds put down roots at Kensington Palace. The couple moved into an apartment on the grounds of the royal residence, where they would be joined by a dog, Lupo, the following year.

July 22, 2013: William and Kate's First Child is Born

William and Kate with Prince George after he was born
Photo: Anwar Hussein | WireImage

In December 2012, the palace announced that Kate Middleton and Prince Williams were expecting their first child. "Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby," read a statement on their behalf. "The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news."

Prince George—formally known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge—was born on July 22, 2013. The new parents posed with their baby on the steps of St. Mary's Hospital shortly after welcoming him into the world.

May 2, 2015: Princess Charlotte Joins the Family

Kate Middleton and Prince William with Princess Charlotte outside the hospital
Photo: Mike Marsland | WireImage

George became a big bother on May 2, 2015, when Kate Middleton and Prince William's second child was born. Charlotte, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, made her debut on the steps of the royal hospital just 10 hours after her birth. "We're very happy, very happy," William told reporters and photographers.

April 23, 2018: Kate Middleton and Prince William's Third Child is Born

Price William and Kate Middleton holding Prince Louis after he was born
Photo: ISABEL INFANTES/AFP | Getty Images

The family grew once again in 2018 with the addition of Prince Louis. William and Kate's third child was born on April 23, 2018. As is royal tradition, the royal parents posed for photos with the newborn on the steps of St. Mary's hours after he made his arrival.

April 2020: Prince William and Kate Middleton Give a Rare Interview With BBC

While Kate Middleton and Prince William rarely participate in in-depth interviews, the couple sat down with BBC during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. The royals opened up about homeschooling their kids amid shutdowns, giving a glimpse into what daily life is like for their family.

"It's been ups and downs, like a lot of families self-isolating," Middleton explained. "The children have got such stamina, I don't know how. Honestly, you get to the end of the day and you write down the list of all the things that you've done in that day. So, you pitch a tent, take the tent down again, cook, bake. You get to the end of the day—they have had a lovely time—but it is amazing how much you can cram into one day, that's for sure."

September 9, 2022: William and Kate Become the Prince and Princess of Wales

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles ascended to the throne. In his first address to the UK as King, he revealed that his son and daughter-in-law—who were previously known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge—received new titles. "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 center ground where vital help can be given," he said.

This was a significant change for the couple. Not only did it mark the next step in their journey to one day reigning over the monarchy, it had sentimental meaning too: Prince William's beloved mother, Princess Diana, was also known as the Princess of Wales.

May 6, 2023: Kate Middleton and Prince William Attend King Charles' Coronation

Kate Middleton and Prince William at King Charles' coronation
Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo | Getty Images

Kate Middleton and Prince William supported King Charles by attending his coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey (their wedding venue!) on May 6, 2023. It was a monumental engagement for the couple, solidifying their roles as the most senior members of the royal family. The couple appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with their children after the ceremony, where they waved to onlookers below.

December 25, 2023: Kate Middleton and Prince William Celebrate Christmas With Their Children

Kate Middleton and Prince William with their kids on Christmas Day 2023
Photo: Samir Hussein | WireImage

Kate Middleton and Prince William's most recent public appearance together was on December 25, 2023. The couple celebrated Christmas by participating in a walkabout with their family after the royal church service, where they engaged with fans lining the streets.

March 22, 2024: Kate Middleton Thanks Husband Prince William for His Support Amid Cancer Diagnosis

On March 22, Kate Middleton made the shocking announcement that she was diagnosed with cancer and undergoing chemotherapy treatment. The news came months after Kensington Palace announced that Kate underwent "planned abdominal surgery" in January. While the issue was considered non-cancerous at first, testing post-surgery confirmed that cancer "had been present." The Princess of Wales thanked well-wishers in the emotional video clip, which was posted on William and Kate's social media channels. She also thanked her husband for his support during what was "an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family."

"Having William by my side is a great source of comfort and reassurance too," she said in the message. "As is the love, support and kindness that has been shown by so many of you. It means so much to us both. We hope that you will understand that, as a family, we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment. My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy, and I look forward to being back when I am able—but for now, I must focus on making a full recovery."

April 29, 2024: Prince William and Kate Middleton Celebrate Their 13th Wedding Anniversary

Lucky number 13! On April 29, 2024, Prince William and Kate Middleton marked their milestone 13th wedding anniversary. The royal couple shared a never-before-seen wedding portrait on Instagram in honor of the special day, writing, "13 years ago today!"

All About Prince William and Kate Middleton's Children

Prince William and Kate Middleton with their kids Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis
Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo | Getty Images

Kate Middleton and Prince William currently live in Windsor Castle with their children: Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5. The youngers often make public appearances with their parents at royal engagements and walkabouts (AKA strolls through public streets where the royals can greet citizens).

Considering their lineage in the royal family, William and Kate's kids are currently in the direct line of succession to the throne. Prince George is second, behind his parents, followed by Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. If George has children one day, they will move ahead of his siblings.

For now, though, Prince William and Kate are focused on raising their kids with as much normalcy as possible. The children currently attend the Lambrook School in the Berkshire countryside, where their parents are often seen participating in drop-offs and pick-ups.

In a 2016 interview with BBC, Prince William opened up about his parenting philosophy, saying, "I'm concentrating very much on my role as a father. I'm a new father and I take my duties and my responsibilities to my family very seriously and I want to bring my children up as good people with the idea of service and duty to others as very important."

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