Spoiler: their path to the altar was a long one.
As the world continues to bask in the afterglow of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials, now seems like an appropriate time to revisit another recent tale of a prince who fell in love with a beautiful commoner.
Prince William and Kate Middleton were married seven years ago, in a televised spectacle that launched a thousand long-sleeved wedding dresses. But their love story began long before they made hearts stop at Westminster Abbey. Though most believe that Middleton and Wills met as students at St. Andrews University in 2001, they were actually introduced by mutual friends while they were still in high school. Gasp! Rumor has it, that after meeting William, Middleton decided not to attend University of Edinburgh like she had planned, and took a gap year instead. She later enrolled in St. Andrews around the same time that her acquaintance Prince William did. Coincidence? That’s up to you to decide.
Regardless of her intentions, Middleton and Prince William ended up living in the same residence hall and sharing a class schedule at St. Andrews. They soon became close friends, though it reportedly took some time for things between them to turn romantic. In fact, both of them dated other people before finally giving in to fate.
From there, their story is a familiar one of young love. They went public with their relationship in 2005 after they were spotted on a ski trip together, and decided to call it quits for a few short months in 2007. They were, after all, still very young, and the royal spotlight can be glaring.
But by the summer of 2010 they were living together in a farmhouse in Wales, and by November they were engaged.
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So, after nearly a decade, when is it that William knew he had found his queen? During the couple’s official engagement interview with BBC's Tom Brady, the Prince offered a refreshingly honest answer.
"When I first met Kate I knew there was something very special about her and then I knew that there was something that I possibly wanted to explore there, but we ended up being friends for a while and that was a good foundation. And over the years I knew things were getting better and better,” William recalled. “It's really easy being with each other."
Eight years and three kids later, and something tells us that not much has changed for Prince William and his beloved wife. After all, theirs is a hard-won love, built on a solid foundation.