Date nights

From ‘wobbles’ to wedding plans: William and Kate meet, break up and make up
Josh Dehaas
Date nights
Johnny Green/PA; M Neilson/Getty Images; Davidson/O'Neill/Rex Features

Sept. 2001: Prince William and Kate Middleton enrol at the University of St. Andrews where they both study art history. William learns art isn’t his calling. Later that year, when he “wobbles” academically, Kate convinces him to stay in school, but in geography instead.

March 2002: William reportedly pays $450 for a front-row seat to a cheeky charity fashion show where Kate walks the runway wearing little more than her underwear. Reports say he leaned in to kiss her, but she pulled away.

Sept. 2002: The pair move into a four-bedroom house together, along with two friends. Rumours of their relationship emerge, but Kate is still dating someone else.

June 2003: Rumours swirl that William is dating the heiress of a wealthy family in Kenya, but his friend Kate attends his 21st birthday at Windsor Castle. Prince Charles tells the media that, to his knowledge, his son is single.

Sept. 2003: The couple, along with two friends, move into a country cottage near St. Andrews “on two acres of wild grassland hidden behind a six-foot stone wall,” according to author Katie Nicholl.

Dec. 2003: Middleton splits from her then-boyfriend.

March 2004: Pictures emerge of Kate and William skiing in Klosters, Switzerland; friends no longer deny they’re together. Engagement rumours have started, but the prince says he won’t marry until he’s “28 or maybe 30.”

April 2005: The media calls it a royal snub when Kate is not invited to the wedding of Prince Charles to Camilla Parker Bowles.

June 2005: Both graduate from St. Andrews and head to Kenya for a romantic break.

Oct. 2005: Kate’s lawyers write to magazine editors and ask them to respect her privacy after pictures emerge of her doing everyday things like riding a city bus.

Jan. 2006: A photo emerges of the couple kissing in Klosters. It’s the first public snog.

Feb. 2006: Speculation of an engagement reaches its highest pitch yet. Woolworths unveils Kate-and-Will engagement thimbles, chinaware and even mouse pads. The mugs read, “Kate and William Month Date 200?”

April 2006: The pair holiday on the private Caribbean island of Mustique, where the paparazzi snatches photos of the couple in a speedboat.

Aug. 2006: The couple holiday in European rave capital Ibiza, off Spain.

Dec. 2006: William graduates as an officer from Sandhurst and can’t help but grin when inspected by his grandmother. Kate Middleton is invited—and so is her mother, a sign that she is being accepted into the family.

Jan. 2007: The media takes up residence outside Middleton’s Chelsea home, expecting an engagement any day.

April 2007: The couple confirm they have split.

June 2007: The couple are back together.

April 2008: Prince William stirs controversy when he lands his RAF Chinook helicopter in the garden of Kate’s parents’ home.

April 2008: Kate watches William receive his RAF wings. This is the first royal event she has attended since 2006.

May 2008: Kate attends the wedding of Peter Phillips—without William—suggesting she’s taking on a role in the royal family.

July 2008: Rumours abound that the Queen has expressed concern that Kate needs a job before she can marry.

Jan. 2009: William buys Kate a Swarovski stalking scope for her birthday and the couple announce they plan to go deer hunting.

Feb. 2009: William moves into a house in Shropshire with Harry—not Kate, to the disappointment of the tabloid press.

Oct. 2009: Kate’s uncle Gary Goldsmith is quoted in the tabloids talking about MDMA (ecstasy) and his previous parties with Will and Kate in Ibiza.

Oct. 2010: William proposes during a 10-day safari in Kenya.

Nov. 2010: Middleton’s parents join a royal hunting party at Balmoral in Scotland. William asks Kate’s father for his permission.

Nov. 16, 2010: Kate Middleton proudly shows off her engagement ring—a Sapphire surrounded with diamonds, which belonged to William’s mother Diana. The wedding is planned for spring or summer 2011.