2001 - 2005
The love story begins at St. Andrews University, where William and Kate are both studying art history. The prince later switches to a geography course, but the pair remains close. In 2002, they move into a student house with two other friends and by Christmas 2003, romance blossoms when Kate splits from her previous boyfriend. Their relationship becomes public after they are pictured skiing in Klosters together and in June 2005, the royal and his new girlfriend are pictured looking very much in love on the day of their graduation ceremony.
After graduation, William and Kate kick off their careers. Kate gets a job as an accessories buyer for fashion chain Jigsaw, while the prince joins the elite Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. Kate makes her most significant public appearance to date when she turns up to watch William graduate as an Army officer. This is the biggest clue that she has been widely accepted into royal circles.
Disaster strikes when it's reported that the pair has split. Media attention is said to be a contributing factor, but the break-up doesn't last long. By June, William and Kate are dating again. Years later, William looks back on their time apart as a positive experience. "We were both very young… and we were both defining ourselves as such and being different characters, it was very much trying to find our way and we were growing up, it was just a bit of space, things like that and things worked out for the better," the prince said in an interview with ITN at the time of the engagement.
Now that they're back together, Kate makes her first appearance at a formal event with the prince in 18 months. She watches William receive his wings as a qualified RAF pilot from the Prince of Wales at a ceremony in Cranwell. More importantly, they appear to be seriously loved up.
The couple takes their next big step when they move in together at a four-bedroom farmhouse in north Wales. It's close to Prince William's RAF Valley in Anglesey and they call it home for the next three years.
The couple, who have now been dating for almost seven years, are spotted at a friend's wedding in Gloucestershire. Following the move to their new Welsh home, speculation around their own engagement reaches new heights. Surely a proposal is on the cards by now...
They're ENGAGED! On 16 November, Clarence House confirms the news we had been waiting for and announces that William proposed to Kate while they were on holiday in Kenya. Kate proudly wears Princess Diana's engagement ring as they pose for the world's media at St James's Palace. On 23 November, there's more great wedding news. It's announced the royal nuptials will take place on April 29, 2011. The countdown is on.
As the first invitations to the royal wedding are sent out, the couple return to St Andrews, the town where the romance began. "This is a very special moment for Catherine and me," William said in a speech to university students, the BBC reports. "It feels like coming home." Just when we thought these two couldn't get any more adorable.
On 29 April, William and Kate tie the knot at Westminster Abbey in London and later celebrate their marriage with a reception at Buckingham Palace. Five thousand street parties take place across Britain and wedding fever spreads around the world, with an estimated two billion people in every time zone tuning in to watch the ceremony on television. The royal couple is now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Kate's custom-made Alexander McQueen wedding dress goes down as one of the most famous in history.
Hearts melt everywhere when the newlyweds attend their first official engagement as a married couple at the ARK Gala Dinner at Kensington Palace. William is suited and booted in a tux and Kate embraces her inner princess in a blush pink Jenny Packham gown.
William and Kate go on their first-ever royal tour as husband and wife, visiting Canada and California. As predicted, they are a big hit at every activity thrown at them, including dragon boat racing and attending a rodeo in Calgary. They even pull off matching cowboy hats. #RelationshipGoals.
The Duke and Duchess return to the balcony of Buckingham Palace, but this time it's to support the Queen during her Diamond Jubilee. Following a thanksgiving service at St Paul's Cathedral, the younger members of the royal family join their grandmother who waves to well-wishers on the final day of the celebrations. This memorable occasion is said to be a very public reminder that William and Kate are the monarchy's future.
The couple embarks on a nine-day tour of the Far East, taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu, in
There's a ROYAL BABY on the way! St James's Palace announces that the couple is expecting their first child and both the royal family and the Middletons are said to be delighted. Due to a case of , Kate is admitted to hospital in London. She tells the media she is feeling "much better" when she leaves after three days of treatment on December 6. The world spends the next seven months patiently waiting for the first glimpse of the future king or queen.
With a little one on the way and a permanent family home needed, reports suggest William and Kate will move to Anmer Hall on the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. They settle
IT'S A BOY! On 22 July, HRH Prince George of Cambridge is welcomed into the world at St Mary's Hospital in London. He replaces his uncle Prince Harry as third in line to the throne, after his father, Prince William, and grandfather, Prince Charles.
Prince George is
Eight-month-old Prince George joins his parents on his first royal visit and quickly becomes the star of their three-week Australia and New Zealand tour. The moment the eight-month-old meets a baby kangaroo named after him in Sydney is a particular highlight.
Kensington Palace confirms baby number two is on the way! The Duchess is forced to cancel a string of engagements after being stricken with severe pregnancy sickness once again. In October, Kate says she is glad to "get out of the house" at her first official engagement in London since announcing that she is expecting her second child.
On May 2, the royal couple welcomes their daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Barely 10 hours after she was born, the new Princess is introduced to the world on the steps of the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, Paddington. "It's very special having a new little girl… I feel very, very lucky that George has got a little sister," Kate said in an interview with ITV months later.
Trust Princess Charlotte to steal the spotlight during the annual Trooping the Colour celebrations. The young royal carries out a royal rite of passage when she makes her debut on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in June 2016. William and Kate couldn't look happier. George, less so...
British royalty meets Hollywood royalty on the BAFTAs red carpet in London. Kate wows everyone in an Alexander McQueen gown, while William sticks to the traditional tux. Meanwhile, anyone who has previously been worried about the couple's lack of hand-holding finally gets an answer. According to one royal etiquette expert, it's down to decorum.
The couple put the negative press surrounding William's "dad-dancing" during a ski trip to Verbier behind them on an official visit to Paris. It's said to be a poignant trip for William as it's the first time he has been on royal duty in the city since his mother, died there almost 20 years ago.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge join Prince Harry to face the perils of watching the London Marathon from behind the barriers just like the rest of us. In the lead-up to the event, which was sponsored by their campaign Heads Together, the royal trio opens up about their . The princes discuss dealing with the death of their mother while Kate talks about the challenges of parenthood. The revealing insight marks a further departure from the royal family's practice of the "stiff upper lip" (and makes us want to hang out with the royal trio even more).
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.