Prince William And Kate: Details About Their Marriage Only The Biggest Royal Watchers Know

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While studying at St. Andrews University, Prince William was introduced to the woman who would become his wife and future queen. "When I first met Kate, I knew there was something very special about her, and then I knew there was possibly something I wanted to explore there, but we ended up being friends for a while," William once told reporters. Their platonic friendship however did not last for too long as the pair soon began dating. In 2004, their relationship went public. "She is his girlfriend," a source confirmed to People after William and Middleton were spotted looking rather cozy at a ski resort in Switzerland.

And then in October 2010, after about seven years together, Prince William popped the big question during a trip to Kenya. "We'd been talking about marriage for a while, so it wasn't a massively big surprise, but I took her up somewhere nice in Kenya, and I proposed," William explained during their famous engagement interview. Despite their prior conversations, however, the proposal was still very much a surprise to Middleton. "It was a total shock when it came," Kate admitted. "There's a true romantic in there."

Since getting married in April 2011, William and Middleton have remained a spectacle for royal fans around the world and most notably, the media. But while the public has been privy to their romance through the years, there are still a number of lesser-known details about the Prince and Princess of Wales. Take a look.

The dress that roped Kate Middleton a royal

Though they had met once before through mutual friends, it was Kate Middleton's catwalk during a charity fashion show in 2002 that had Prince William scrambling to win a date with his future wife. In fact, according to ABC News, William was so taken with Kate in the above dress, he asked her out that night at a party and even kissed her, despite the fact that she was allegedly in a relationship with a boy named Rupert Finch at the time.

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, according to the BBC. The buyer, known only as "Nick from Jersey," said it was an "iconic piece" and that he was "happy with the purchase." Prior to being put on the auction block, the dress sat "in a box at the bottom of [Todd's] mother's wardrobe for eight years." Of the small fortune her risqué design earned her, Todd said, "I'm completely shocked, I need to sit down and get my head round it."

Kate Middleton and Prince William's royal split

You think your breakup was bad? Try being in a long-term relationship with the future King of England. According to Marcia Moody's biography (via Parade), Kate Middleton and Prince 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, Kate and Will reflected on their breakup in a high-profile interview with The Telegraph. "I, at the time, wasn't very happy about it but actually it made me a stronger person," Kate said, adding, "You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn't realized." 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."

Duchess done right

In an interview with the BBC right after their engagement, Prince William spoke of how important it was for him to give Kate Middleton enough time to acclimate to public life. "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 explained how she drew inspiration from William's mother, Princess Diana. Kate's top goal in joining the royal family was to hopefully "make a difference, even in the smallest way."

Of course, Kate took to royal life in a way that exceeded expectations. Part of that may have had to do with the "two-year grace period from public life" that they were granted from the queen after their wedding, so they could have a little breathing room and enjoy married life for a while. According to Vanity Fair, this two-year period was an idyllic portrait of matrimony, spent "on the Welsh island of Anglesey a rented five-bedroom farmhouse." But more on that in a moment.

Kate Middleton's not just a pretty face

Kate and William met at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, where she was pursuing a degree in art history, and he majored in geography. 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.

Kate now shares this distinction with Prince Harry's wife, Meghan Markle. Kate's sister-in-law attended Northwestern University in Chicago, where she was a self-proclaimed "theater nerd," who majored in theater and international relations, according to The Chicago Tribune.

At her sister Pippa Middleton'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.Given the emphasis Princess Diana placed on her sons' education — William and Harry were the first Royals to go to public schools —  it's no surprise that both men ended up with well-educated ladies.

The Middleton Family got an upgrade

Because the Duchess of Cambridge hails from a "commoner" family — in other words, her parents are just regular, non-royal folks (who happened to make a mint in the party supply business) — her father, Michael Middleton, saw it fit to commission an honorary coat of arms upon her marriage to William in 2011.

According to the BBC, Michael paid 4,400 pounds for the design of the new Middleton family crest, which was overseen by Thomas Woodcock, Garter Principal King of Arms, from the College of Arms in the City of London. 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, as well. However, in order for Kate to "place her father's Arms beside those of her husband," she had to first receive a royal warrant from the queen.

No prenup for these princes

Despite advice from royal advisors, Prince William reportedly refused a prenuptial agreement on his wedding to Kate Middleton. One of William's friends told The Telegraph that William "trusts [Kate] implicitly, and was adamant that no agreement was necessary." While that may seem kind of remarkable, considering the royal family's rough history with sorting out the financials of past divorces, prenups are actually not really a royal family thing. 

And yet, just considering Charles and Diana's epic split alone should have been enough for William to consider some financial protection. After all, when the dust cleared, Charles ended up forfeiting "his entire personal fortune," which at the time was just over 23 million U.S. dollars, according to ABC News. Incidentally, Harry followed in his big brother's footsteps by also leaving his reported 30 million pound fortune to the whims of Cupid, according to Business Insider. "He's determined that his marriage will be a lasting one, so there's no need for him to sign anything," an unnamed friend of Harry's told the Daily Mail.

Prince William's not into bling

Fans of the royal couple may have noticed over the years that the Duke of Cambridge does not wear a wedding band. William got out in front of the issue early in the marriage by dispatching a palace aide to issue a statement. "It was something the couple discussed but Prince William isn't one for jewelry," the statement read, per Time. "He doesn't even wear a signet ring — and decided he didn't want to."

William may have picked up the quirk from his grandfather, Prince Philip, who never wore a ring. Kate Middleton, 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.

And in case anyone feels like William's "dislike of jewelry" excuse is a way to explain his lack of romanticism, he covered that area in spades when he remarked of giving Diana's ring to Kate that it was "my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today and the excitement." Prince Charming, indeed.

Their wedding was officially a big deal

Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding was one of the most highly anticipated events in royal family history. Complete with a celebrity guest list, lavish trappings, and most of the family traditions upheld, the live-televised nuptials were a spectacle to behold. And behold it the world did, to the tune of approximately two billion viewers

The day, April 29, 2011, was officially added to the calendar by then-Prime Minister David Cameron. Per Reuters, he said, "We want to mark the day as one of national celebration — a public holiday will ensure the most people possible will have a chance to celebrate on the day."

According to "royals expert" Katie Nicholl, the idea for the national holiday was all Will and Kate. "They wanted a Friday. They wanted a spring wedding and they wanted to give the country a day off," she explained on "Good Morning America." Seriously, is there anything in the world more regal than having the power to grind a nation's economy to a halt so people can watch you get married on TV? That's some serious power right there.

Seriously, how did they arrange this?

Speaking of the power of the royal family, there was a very "blue blood" reason that Prince William and Kate Middleton's college courtship wasn't daily tabloid fodder. According Julian Knight, a schoolmate who spoke with CNN, the way Will and Kate avoided the glare of the spotlight was through a "media blackout" arranged between the press and the crown. The fledgling lovers were able to go out on dates without a trail of paparazzi following them. In fact, Knight chalks up the lack of press scrutiny as one of the reasons Will and Kate's romance could blossom in the first place. "They were able to get to know each other as friends without anyone going, 'Ooh, what's going on there?'" he said.

That's not to say that the press wasn't ravenous for details of Will's college life. According to Knight, they invaded campus on graduation day, when the so-called gentlemen's agreement ended, at which point they were allegedly "coming up to students offering to clear their student debt for stories about Prince William." Oh well, all good things must end, right?

What happens in the Alps apparently doesn't stay there

There haven't been many waves on the pleasure cruise that is Prince William and Kate Middleton's marriage. However, during a Spring 2017 ski trip in Verbier, Switzerland, William seemed intent on testing those waters. 

According to Vanity Fair, William ditched the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey to hit the Swiss slopes with some guy friends. While there, someone recorded him "dad dancing" and "putting his hand on the waist of a mystery woman" while partying at Farinet nightclub. Kate was said to be "less than pleased" that while she was home tending to the kids, William was allegedly getting day-wasted with Australian model Sophie Taylor and "a 30-year-old British former beautician from Blackpool named Rosie Peate." A source close to Kate told Vanity Fair, "She thought his partying days and larking around with the boys was a thing of the past. I imagine she'll find this humiliating and William will have come in for a pasting."

Oh boy. Neither Will nor Kate ever publicly addressed the rumored scandal, but we imagine there was plenty spoken about it within the walls of Kensington Palace.

Morning sickness is a royal pain

As if giving birth to the future heir to the throne wasn't pressure enough, Kate suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum with all three of her pregnancies. Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe form of morning sickness that basically lasts 24/7. The lucky expectant mum (the condition affects 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. The condition usually occurs during the first trimester when it's especially dangerous for both mother and child. As such, 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.

Unfortunately, history repeated itself in September 2017 when the royal couple announced Kate was pregnant with their third child, but was again suffering from the dangerous and debilitating condition. However, Kate and baby were just fine in the end. She delivered the couple's second son, Louis Arthur Charles, on her due date of April 23, 2018.

They literally had a storybook romance

In April 2015, co-authors Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan published a novel inspired by the Duke and Duchess' relationship and their journey to the altar called "The Royal We." The book became a bestseller and was optioned by Mae Whitman and Lauren Graham for CBS Films. "It truly isn't Wills and Kate," Cocks told People, although see if any of this sounds familiar: The novel follows Bex Porter, an American student at a prestigious British university, who falls in love with a fellow student, Nick, who just so happens to be the heir to the British throne. Nick just so happens to have a red-headed brother, Freddie, as well as a "a once hounded-by-the-paparazzi mother."

"Yes, it was an idea borne of watching their seemingly courtship in the media," Cox said, "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." 

Does Freddie have a chapter where he gets busted partying naked at a penthouse in Vegas? Nah, that would be too on-the-nose.

The Duke and Duchess are doing quite well

While much has been said about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's finances in the wake of their decision to part ways with the royal family, King Charles III's firstborn's money matters are a different story. Prince William and Kate Middleton sure seem to be sitting comfortably. For starters, after Queen Elizabeth II died, King Charles III passed the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall titles to William and Kate... and said titles came with the Duchy of Cornwall. Per The Guardian, the estate is worth about $1.5 billion and brought in about $28 million between 2020 and 2021.

Kate, of course, was not a royal before she linked up with Prince William, but she does come from an incredibly well-off family. In 2023, the Mirror reported that Carole Middleton's party supply company, Party Pieces, is worth somewhere around $40 million. Various outlets estimate that Kate's own net worth sits somewhere around $10 million. Not too shabby.

God save the relatively boring average couple

Despite their royal status and the 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 breakup, and an overall responsibility for themselves and their three children make Prince William and Kate Middleton fairly relatable as far as celebrity couples go.

In fact, in September 2012, a Vanity Fair profile of the then-newlyweds painted a particularly humdrum portrait of the world's most famous couple. According to royal expert Katie Nicholl, Will and Kate spent their aforementioned "two year grace period from public life" doing things like walking the dog multiple times a day, "pottering around making tea and toast," as well as mastering the art of homemade sausage and jams.

Of course, now that Will and Kate have fully embraced their roles within the royal dynamic — jet-setting around the world on goodwill visits and participating in various philanthropic efforts — we're not sure how much time they still have for canning strawberries. It's easy to see, however, 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 antics at Pippa Middleton's wedding. Who knew? Royals — they're just like us.

Prince William and the cheating rumors

It is nothing compared to his parents Princess Diana and Prince Charles' multiple cheating scandals. Still, in the last few years, Prince William has also found himself stuck in the middle of the infidelity gossip mill. In 2019, rumors started swirling that Prince William was having an illicit affair with Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley, and longtime friend of the Cambridges. That same year, Daily Mail also reported that Kate Middleton had a falling out with Hanbury, further hinting that it stemmed from the alleged affair

Though rumors suggest that William's relationship with Hanbury began when Middleton was pregnant with the couple's third child, Prince Louis, there is little to no evidence to substantiate the claims. So much so that in 2019 when the rumors persisted, Prince William reportedly threatened legal action against British publications that were circulating the story. This, however, was not enough to make it go away.

In "Harry and Meghan," his eponymous Netflix documentary with his wife, Prince Harry took a shot at the royal family, accusing them of telling lies against him and Meghan Markle to keep attention off William. "They were happy to lie to protect my brother," he alleged.  Given the preexisting speculation, Harry's comment yet again re-awakened the cheating scandal. Despite all of this though, Middleton and the future king seem to be hanging on just fine. "Regardless of their ups and downs, they love each other dearly and their kids are the most important thing in their lives," a source once told Us Weekly.

Before Megxit, Kate and Harry were besties

Hard to believe but once upon a time, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry were as thick as thieves. "Kate has quite a different relationship with Harry than she has with William. Harry appeals to her sillier side because he is carefree, footloose, and loves banter," a royal source revealed to the Daily Mail in 2016, adding that she had always welcomed the younger royal with open arms. Harry also famously once described the Duchess of Cambridge as the sister he never had. In recent years, however, Harry's relationship with his sister-in-law has apparently gone from great to non-existent.

Following years-long allegations that his wife Meghan Markle made Middleton cry in the days leading up to their 2018 royal wedding, Harry felt the need to defend his wife and tell the truth in his 2023 memoir "Spare." In the book, Harry shared a text message exchange between his wife and Middleton who was apparently not pleased with her daughter Princess Charlotte's bridesmaid dress.  But while Harry might have only attempted to vindicate his wife of the lingering false rumors, Middleton was reportedly very disappointed in his decision to throw her under the bus. "Kate doesn't even recognize this person Harry's become," a royal insider told Radar. "He's betrayed his own family and broken confidences by speaking out." Speaking on the matter, another source also confirmed to Us Weekly that Middleton was particularly hurt by Harry's fallout with his family, particularly because of the bond they once shared.

William and Kate are hands-on parents

The future king wants to be as involved as possible in his kids' lives. Over the years, the Cambridges have proven themselves different from the older royal generation, often engaging in parenting activities like school drop-offs and spending quality time with their brood. Prince William and Kate Middleton are said to enjoy hanging out with Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis in the kitchen — a habit the late Queen Elizabeth did not exactly approve of. "When the Queen visited the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Anmer Hall for the first time, she couldn't get her head around the fact that the kitchen is the main base for them," a source told Express in November 2021.

The couple's noteworthy parenting skill was yet again in full display at the late queen's funeral in September 2022. With Middleton guiding George and Charlotte through the ceremony, parenting expert Stephanie Wallis commended the duchess. "There were no forced interactions with their children and they gracefully took everything in their stride," Wallis told the Daily Mail. And even though William was busy with other royal roles at the event, his dedication to George, Charlotte, and Louis has not gone unnoticed. "They are definitely hands-on, something that they both will have been very keen to do. They take great interest in their children's upbringing, showing they are a real hands-on family with 'family' being at the very heart of their values as a married couple," she explained.

The Prince and Princess of Wales argue too

Your favorite celebrity couples argue, and the royals are not any different. In "Gilded Youth: An Intimate History of Growing in the Royal Family," royal biographer Tom Quinn, examined Prince William and Kate Middleton's marriage, revealing that despite their perfect public demeanor, things are not always rosy between the two. "Someone at the palace told me about the nicknames they have for each other," Quinn later told Fox News. "But it's not all sweetness. They have terrible rows where they throw things at each other."

No matter how intense their fights may get though, the Prince and Princess of Wales reportedly always circle back to each other. In his interview with Fox, Quinn suggests that Middleton will more often than not seek a resolution after an argument. "William is the one who's a bit hotheaded ... But Kate is very level-headed. She's the one who will pour oil on troubled waters and go, 'Let's not stir things up.'"

If it is not regular marital arguments, however, Prince William and Middleton apparently also get into a lot of arguments over their children. Back in 2021, Express reported that the royal couple found themselves unable to agree on their son Prince George's outfit for the European Football Championships finals. Similarly, in the days leading up to King Charles's coronation, Quinn yet again revealed to Express that the Duke and Duchess of Wales had disagreements over Prince George's role at the royal event.