As a married royal couple, Prince William and Kate Middleton are expected to be elegant, generous, and flawless, but it wasn’t always like that. There are numerous rules and traditions that the future king and his wife needed, and still do, to follow, including notifying Queen Elizabeth II about their children’s names before announcing them to the public, the fact that Kate can almost never take her coat off, and so on. Before all this, they had a little bit less stressed life.
Middleton is a daughter of a couple of commoner millionaires, Michael and Carole Middleton, who made their fortune thanks to their party-planning business Party Pieces. She has 2 siblings, Pippa and James. Middleton met William at University of St. Andrews. They both were into sports and art. When growing up, William was always seen with someone, but he never had a long-term girlfriend till his college days. During the summer after finishing at Eton, William got close to Rose Farquhar. In 2011, the book titled The Making of a Royal Romance was published, and there was a part in which William and Rose’s romance was described, saying: „It was a long, hot summer and William spent a lot of time at Highgrove and Rose was always around…That summer they realized that they both actually rather liked each other and it was William who made the first move. It was a very sweet and innocent love affair and Rose still laughs about the time they got caught by a farmer in a field. They are still good friends and speak all the time.“
During an interview for his milestone birthday, William said: „I like to keep my private life private.“ In 2000, both William and Kate took a gap year to travel. During their first year at St. Andrews, Middleton was crowned the prettiest girl in their residence hall. William asked her to join his regular breakfast table, and they soon bonded over their shared interests. They were friends for a long time. Once William wanted to learn more about acting, he also started dating Carly Massy-Birch, a creative writing student. Her friend said: „She was quite a catch and every girl at St. Andrews was envious of her because she was with William.“ Carly’s request that William chooses between her and Arabella Musgrave, ended her and William’s relationship.
The first time William saw Kate as more than a friend was in March 2002. At that time, Kate was dating Rupert Finch, a fourth-year student. At the after-party, William complimented Kate, which made her blush, but she didn’t want to give off the wrong impression. Soon before the end of their first year at St. Andrews, it was pretty clear that they are into each other. They and few more people decided to live off-campus during their second year at St. Andrews. During an interview for his 21st birthday, William said: „If I fancy a girl and she fancies me back, which is rare, I ask her out. But at the same time I don’t want to put them in an awkward situation, because a lot of people don’t understand what comes with knowing me, for one—and secondly, if they were my girlfriend, the excitement it would probably cause.“ It was him claiming that he was single at that time, but allegedly he and Kate were dating.
In June 2003, Middletons threw a birhday party for Kate. Kate’s father, Michael Middleton told a reporter that he didn’t expect to end up with royals in-laws. However, during his 21st birthday, William seemed close to Jecca Craig, but insisted that they were friends. He explained: „There’s been a lot of speculation about every single girl I’m with, and it actually does quite irritate me after a while, more so because it’s a complete pain for the girls.“
When their third year as St. Andrews started, William, Kate, and Oli Baker moved into a four-bedroom cottage. William and Kate were pictured in the Swiss village of Klosters, and after that, it was official that they were dating. The couple spent more time together, and the press was all over Kate. In 2004, after their third year at St. Andrews, William planned to go to the Greece without Kate. His friend Guy Pelly arranged a sailing trip with all-female crew. At that time, Kate believed that William was never going to commit fully, and spent most of her summer at home. With the beginning of their fourth year at St. Andrews, Kate was invited to Prince Charles’ 56th birthday party, and also to Klosters in March 2005. William, on the other hand, visited Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, during the summer, and when Kate found out, she decided that they should not be in contact anymore. They got back together by May, and on 23rd June, 2005, they both graduated.
The following year, William was joining the military. When asked about his plans about getting marry, he said: „I’m only 22 for God’s sake. I’m too young to marry at my age. I don’t want to get married till I’m at least 28, or maybe 30.“ During the summer, Kate and William traveled to Kenya. He went to the Royal Military Academy to train to be a helicopter pilot, and she moved into her own flat in London. In 2007, they spent spring break together, and her parents were at William’s passing-out ceremony at Sandhurst. Kate even started studying about royal protocols, rules, and traditions. Paparazzi were following her everywhere, so the palace released a statement saying: „“Miss Middleton should, like any other private individual, be able to go about her everyday business without this kind of intrusion. The situation is proving unbearable for all those concerned.“ When he went to Dorset, William and Kate didn’t see each other much, and he was even photographed with other girls.
Many expected the engagement, but William broke up with Kate soon after. On 31st March, they were on a double date with Hugh and Rose van Cutsem, and on the 3rd April, they were single, and Kate went on a trip to Ireland. She decided to train rowing, and signed up for a charity rowing challenge. The group’s leader, Emma Sayle, explained: „Kate was very down and I think the training became her therapy.“ She was escorted home from a party one night by her old beau Willem Marx. She even ended up on the cover of Hello!, and was always photographed looking the best she could.
William was partying a lot at that time, but he surely started regretting their break up. In June 2007, he decided to invite Kate to a costume party. Kate came dressed as a naughty nurse. He wanted her back and made his move. It wasn’t long before they reconciled. It has been reported that they were officially back together on 24th June 2007. William proposed Kate with the sapphire and diamond ring that once belonged to his mother, Princess Diana. He was 28 years old at that time. When Kate was asked about the time William decided to break up, she said: „I think at the time I 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. 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.“
William also talked about it, saying: „We were both very young. We were both finding ourselves and being different characters. It was very much trying to find our own way and we were growing up so it was just a bit of space and it worked out for the better.“