The Duchess of Cambridge met the heir to the throne while she was a student at the University of St Andrews, in 2001. The following year, they moved into a student house with two other friends and, by Christmas 2003, romance reportedly blossomed when Kate split from her previous boyfriend. Their relationship became public after they were pictured skiing in Klosters together and, in June 2005, the two looked very much in love on the day of their graduation.
Despite being together for so long, it was not until 2008 that Kate was given the official status of “girlfriend” by the Royal Family, according to sources close to Buckingham Palace.
According to a 2007 report by The Guardian, there were “slight reservations about William marring out the aristocratic circles”, so the delay might have been due to Kate being considered a “commoner”.
Moreover, the Prince’s proposal was also very slow in coming.
According to a 2006 report by the Sunday Express, Queen Elizabeth II was the reason the Duke of Cambridge waited so long before getting on one knee.
A Palace aide revealed that Her Majesty had issued a stark warning to William about marrying the now Duchess of Cambridge too early.
The source told the publication that the monarch had said to her grandson to choose his partner very wisely, because she felt “enough was enough” in terms of royal divorces.
The decision was reportedly taken after the Queen saw the damage inflicted on the monarchy by the divorces of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson and Princess Anne and Captain Mark Philips.
The Palace aide said: “The Queen is the head of the Church and so from a point of principle she is opposed to royal divorces.
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It appears the Duke of Cambridge listened carefully to her grandmother’s advice.
The Prince finally proposed to Kate in 2010, while the two were on holiday in Kenya.
During an interview with CNN, William said he wanted the proposal to really “mean something” and explained why that time and location seemed the perfect opportunity.
He said: “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.
“I didn’t really plan it that far in advance. I just knew I wanted it to feel comfortable where I did it.”
Billed as “the wedding of the 21st century”, Kate and William married at Westminster Abbey, London, on April 29, 2011.
They now have three wonderful children, Prince George, Prince Charlotte and Prince Louis.