What you didn't know about Prince William & Kate's marriage

Though it's far from normal to have your wedding televised around the globe with two billion people watching, Will and Kate, or the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they are officially known, are refreshingly normal despite their royal status. From the way they met to their long road to the altar, the strangest things about Will and Kate's marriage are the things that most married couples deal with. Obviously inspired by Princess Diana's openness on her marriage with Prince Charles, Will and Kate may have set the example for another thoroughly modern royal wedding: that of Will's little brother Prince Harry and American divorced actress Meghan Markle.

The dress that brought them together is now a collector's item

Though they had met once before through mutual friends, it was Kate's catwalk during a charity fashion show in 2002 at St. Andrew's that had Prince William scrambling to win a date with his future wife. The notorious sheer dress designed by Charlotte Todd sold at auction in 2011, the year of Will and Kate's wedding, for a whopping 78,000 pounds. The buyer, who remained anonymous, said it was an "iconic piece," and that he was "happy with the purchase."

Their epic break-up

You think your break-up was bad? Try being in a longterm relationship with the future King of England. 

According to Marcia Moody's biography, Kate and William split in 2007, after the couple began spending more and more time apart and Kate had grown frustrated with William's bar-hopping ways. The breakup reportedly left Kate heartbroken and devastated; after all, according to Moody, there had been talk about a royal wedding. 

However, as is often the case with young love, Moody writes that the couple got back together within a few months. In 2010, the couple reflected on their break-up in a high-profile interview, during which Middleton admitted she wasn't too thrilled about the split when it first happened. "I, at the time, wasn't very happy about it but actually it made me a stronger person, you find out things bout yourself that maybe you hadn't realized," she said.

She continued, "You can get quite consumed by a relationship when you are younger. I really valued that time, for me as well, although I didn't think it at the time, looking back on it."

William gave Kate a chance to escape the royal lifestyle

In an interview with the BBC right after their engagement, when asked about the pressures of public life, William said he wanted to give Kate a chance to back out if royal life wasn't for her. "I wanted to give her a chance to see in and to back out if she needed to before it all got too much. I'm trying to learn from lessons done in the past and I just wanted to give her the best chance to settle in and to see what happens on the other side," he said.

Kate is the first British royal wife to hold a college degree

Kate and William met at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, where she was pursuing a degree in Art History. She graduated with honors in 2005, which would eventually make her the first royal wife in the history of the United Kingdom to hold a college degree. William, for his part, majored in geography. Recently, at her sister's Pippa's wedding, it was revealed that the Duchess of Cambridge is also a talented artist—she sketched the illustration of the church where Pippa was married on the couple's wedding programs.

Upon her marriage, Kate's commoner family was given a coat of arms

Because the Duchess of Cambridge hails from a "commoner" family—in other words, her parents are just regular, non-royal folks—the Queen awarded her family with an honorary coat of arms upon her marriage to William in 2011. The coat of arms bears three acorns, representing the three Middleton children (Kate, James, and Pippa) and the area in England where the family hails from, West Berkshire. Thanks to Kate's royal marriage, both her siblings are entitled to the family's new coat of arms.

Kate was also the oldest royal bride in British history

On top of being the first "commoner" to marry a future English king, Kate was also the oldest British royal bride at the time of their wedding in 2011—at the ripe, old age of 29. In the long tradition of royal marriage, royal brides were usually teenagers. There were some exceptions, though. Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII, was 30. Historians estimate Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife, to have been about 32 when she married Henry, but unlike William, he was already a reigning king. In more modern comparisons, Princess Diana was just 20 when she married Prince Charles, and the Queen Elizabeth just 21 when she married Prince Philip.

William refused a prenuptial agreement

Despite advice from royal advisors, the Duke of Cambridge reportedly refused a prenuptial agreement on his wedding to Kate. According to one of his friends, "William was advised that some sort of legal agreement might be a good idea. But he loves Kate and trusts her implicitly, and was adamant that no agreement was necessary." No small feat for the British royal family, whose recent divorces, most notably, that of William's parents, Charles and Diana, have left the monarchy scrambling with how to deal with royal divorce.

William does not wear a wedding ring

Fans of the royal couple may have noticed over the years that the Duke of Cambridge does not wear a wedding band. Early on in the marriage, William addressed the issue, with his aides claiming it was simply a matter of "personal preference," as the Duke doesn't like to wear jewelry. He may have picked up the quirk from his grandfather, Prince Philip, who has never worn a ring. Kate, on the other hand (pun intended), does wear a simple gold Welsh band, a longstanding tradition of the English royal family, in addition to her engagement ring, which belonged to Princess Diana.

Kate suffered from severe morning sickness—with both pregnancies

As if giving birth to the future heir to the throne wasn't pressure enough, Kate suffered from hyperemesis gravidarium with both her pregnancies. Hyperemesis gravidarium is a very serious, severe form of morning sickness that basically lasts all day, 24/7. The lucky expectant mum (the condition effects less than 3 percent of pregnant women) suffers through intense bouts of vomiting and usually—as Kate did—requires hospitalization to receive IV fluids to avoid dehydration. As the condition usually occurs during the first trimester it's especially dangerous for both mother and child. Kate was in the hospital for three days during her pregnancy with Prince George and had to cancel most of her public engagements during the early days of her pregnancy with Princess Charlotte.

There's a popular novel based on their relationship

In April 2015, Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, the women behind the fashion website Go Fug Yourself, published a novel inspired by the Duke and Duchess's relationship and their journey to the altar called The Royal We. The book became a bestseller and has recently been optioned by Mae Whitman and Lauren Graham for CBS Films. "It truly isn't Wills and Kate," Cocks told People. "Yes, it was an idea borne of watching their seemingly courtship in the media, but through Bex's eyes we had the freedom we needed to imagine all the potential behind-the-scenes emotions and conflicts of that love story."

They have a substantial royal allowance

Prince Charles is in charge of allocating royal funds to cover the expenses of public life for his two sons, daughter-in-law, and wife Camilla. The dependents get a portion of about five million dollars to cover travel expenses, wardrobe costs, and more. (Prince Charles total allowance is around 31 million dollars.) Though the specific cut that Will and Kate receive is not public knowledge, the palace relays that Will and Kate pay for their own country home and personal staff, including nannies and assistants.

Will and Kate are actually quite normal

Despite their royal status, and intense public scrutiny of their marriage the strangest thing about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge seems to be that they are actually quite normal. The long courtship, their break-up, and overall responsibility for themselves and two their children, George and Charlotte, make Will and Kate fairly relatable as far as celebrity couples go. It's easy to see that theirs is a true marriage for love, with all the challenges that go with it, from William's partying a bit too hard on a ski weekend to Kate managing Prince George's bad behavior at Pippa's wedding. Who knew? Royals—they're just like us.