Even though Prince William and Kate Middleton (now the Duchess of Cambridge) have been together for almost 15 years, their relationship hasn’t always been easy. After meeting in 2001 and finally getting together, the two broke up more than once; however, they always found their way back to each other. The two have been married now for six years, but there’s a lot people don’t know about their relationship, so check out these 10 obscure facts about the royal couple’s romance:
10. Gap Year
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During their gap year, both Prince William and Kate went on a volunteering trip to Chile that was organized by Raleigh International. They completed identical ten-week expeditions only one month apart. William was there from October to December in 2000 and Kate joined the charity expedition in January 2001.
They met back in 2001 when they were both living in St. Salvator’s Hall, a residence at St. Andrew’s. They met when Kate was invited to sit with William and his friends while they ate. They quickly discovered that they had a lot in common. Kate was a country girl who loved sports, especially swimming, much like William. She was also a good skier just like William, and they were both studying Art History. She also got along well with his friends, Fergus Boyd, an Eton classmate, and Olli Chadwick-Heale, who were known as Sally’s boys.
8. Seeing Kate in a New Light
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Before the night of the annual Don’t Walk charity fashion show, Will didn’t see Kate as anything more than a friend; however, after watching her walk down the cat walk, he changed his mind. He reportedly told his friend Fergus, “Wow, Fergus, Kate’s hot!” After the show, he decided to make his move. They were a corner talking and toasting Kate’s success when he leaned in to kiss her, but Kate rebuffed him because she was dating a fourth-year student named Rupert Finch.
During their second year, the Prince of Wales moved in with Kate, his friend Fergus and another friend, Olivia Bleasdale. This is when Prince William and Kate first began dating, although they did their best to keep their romance under wraps, which involved leaving the house at different times and arriving at dinner parties separately. During their third year, they moved out of their shared accommodations to Balgove House, a sprawling private estate a quarter of a mile outside the town center.
6. Going Public
They went public with their romance in April 2004 when they went to Klosters, Switzerland, for a ski trip. William made no attempt to hide his affection for Kate and the tabloid, The Sun, was able to get pictures of it and confirmed the relationship. Rumors had been around for months that they were dating, but because of how discreet they initially were, the rumors had never been confirmed until this point.
5. Trial Separation
During the summer of 2004, the couple briefly separated. Will was feeling claustrophobic and decided to take a break from the relationship, and began spending time with American heiress Anna Sloan (who wasn’t interested in him) and heiress Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe (who he pursued but was rebuffed). When Kate and William returned to St. Andrews that fall, they continued to live together and it wasn’t until Christmas that they were back together, but they had agreed to take things slowly.
4. Engagement Rumors
After graduating from St. Andrews, the media became obsessed with the possibility that the two would get engaged; however, the Prince made it clear that he wouldn’t get married until he was “at least 28 or maybe 30.” As a result, the press dubbed Kate “Waity Katie” because she seemed to be hanging around waiting for the Prince to propose.
In 2007, after William was photographed getting a little too close with a couple of different women during a couple of night’s out, Kate gave him an ultimatum – either he gives her his full commitment or they breakup. William ended up choosing the latter. While Kate was devastated, she didn’t mope. Instead, she and her sister got dressed up and began hitting the town. She also joined the Sisterhood, a group of 21 women who were planning to row from Dover to Cap Gris Nez in a dragon boat to raise money for charity. Within a few weeks and before she finished training for the race, she and William were back together.
2. His Promise
Following their split in 2007, Wills made a pact with Middleton during a trip to Seychelles about their future together. They decided that they were going to stay together and made a secret pact that he would make her his wife, but only after he finished his military training.
1. Proposal and Marriage
During a trip to Kenya in October 2010, William finally proposed to his university sweetheart in a secluded log cabin, using his mother’s 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire ring. According to the Prince, he wanted to propose in Africa because it’s one of the places he feels most comfortable. “I regularly daydream. Africa is definitely one of the places I go to. It does completely settle me down. [Kate] understands what it means to me being in Africa, and my love of conservation,” he told CNN. “I didn’t really plan it that far in advance. I just knew I wanted it to feel comfortable where I did it and I wanted it to mean something, other than just the act of getting engaged.” The couple announced their engagement in November 2010 and then were married on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey. The couple now have two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and they are currently expecting their third child.