After being proposed to and married to the Prince of Wales, Kate Middleton paved her way in the British aristocracy amidst doubts and concerns about her capability.
Being blue blood with good breeding has many perks, including being sought after by members of the opposite sex. William had his fair share of well-bred young ladies who graced his arm before settling down as a family man.
A great socialite and young lad, he was a heartthrob to Davina Duckworth- Chad. She was one of his earliest love interests dating as far back as 1990. They still remain family friends to date.
Prince William at The Christening Of Konstantine Alexios In London As Godfather Of The Child. | Source: Getty Images
Another one of his relationships was with Olivia Hunt. She was an upcoming writer, and he met her in his first year at St Andrews in Scotland. Rose Farquhar was a childhood friend of William and is also of blue ancestry. Rumour has it that they dated for a short while in college.
The royal prince had a short-term fling with Carly Massy-Birch. It was an affair that quickly ended during the first semester in college. Although Massy-Birch denies ever dating the prince, her parents confirmed it.
Kate Middleton and Prince William at Kur Khan airbase ahead of their royal tour of Pakistan on October 14, 2019 | Source: Getty Images
While on a school holiday in Kenya, William met Jessica Craig and had a crush on her, but it was not confirmed if they dated or not. However, she must have a special place in his heart because he flew to Kenya to attend her marriage ceremony.
Isabella Calthorpe also made the list of people who had a thing or two with the prince. This beautiful, blue-blooded actress met the prince through his cousin, Princess Eugenie. However, it is reported that they never had any serious relationship even though William was besotted with her.
MEETING KATE MIDDLETON
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives at RSS Discovery as part of an away day to the Scottish City on October 23, 2015 in Dundee, Scotland | Source: Getty Images
When Middleton met William for the first time, little did they know they would end up together as husband and wife. The couple first met at nine years old in a prep school hockey match.
The future heirs to the throne met again at the University of St Andrews in Scotland during their fresher year.
Kate Middleton, Prince William's girlfriend, among guests at the society wedding of Hugh Van Cutsem Junior to Rose Astor at Burford Parish Church on June 4, 2005 in Burford, England. | Source: Getty Images
They both offered the same art history course and had their dormitories next to one another in Residence Hall. They did not kick it off romantically. However, William recalled years later that:
"When I first met Kate, I knew there was something very special about her."
Kate Middleton, Prince William's girlfriend, at the Sovereign's Parade at Sandhurst Military Academy to watch the passing-out parade on December 15, 2006 in Surrey, England. | Source: Getty Images
The relationship blossomed from baby steps into significant long strides. William stated that:
"I knew there was possibly something that I wanted to explore there."
A close-up of Kate Middleton at the premiere of "No Time To Die," 2021, London, England. | Source: Getty Images
After school, the couple settled into the real world. With Middleton running her family's party company and the prince off to Sandhurst for officer's training, they still tried to keep things afloat and gradually grow in love.
Middleton became a constant feature in William's life, and their relationship became public when they were seen together at public events.
One of such events was when they attended the wedding of William's step-sister - Laura Parker Bowles. Another major outing where Middleton was noticed was the graduation of William from Sandhurst. This occasion also witnessed the Queen and Prince Charles as guests.
HEAVY IS THE HEAD THAT WEARS THE CROWN
Kate Middleton visits the Baby Basic UK & Baby Basics Sheffield in England on August 4, 2020 | Source: Getty Images
Once Middleton and William's relationship was public, there was no hiding place for her or anyone connected to her. Her family was a victim of the prying eyes of the people, and they made headline bubbles for the press.
Middleton's mother, Carole, was criticized for chewing gum at Sandhurst on William's graduation and for greeting "pleased to meet you" instead of "How do you do?"
Kate Middleton, Prince Williams's girlfriend, and her family attend the Sovereign's Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on December 15, 2006 in Sandhurst, England. | Source: Getty Images
Being a "commoner" involved with the royal cadre came with many public scrutinies, which was a lot for the Middletons. The entrepreneurial and close-knit family has come under severe attack from the public because of their daughter's affinity to the royal house.
Dating a young man who was not ready to settle down and had the whole world at his feet could be quite a struggle, and it was emotionally sapping for young Middleton.
William still had strings attached to his old love Jessica Craig whom he ended things years ago. Craig and William continued to see each other despite Williams' relationship status. He spent summer vacation at her country house in Kenya without bringing Middleton along.
Prince William and his girlfriend, Kate Middleton look on prior to kickoff during the RBS Six Nations Championship match between England and Italy at Twickenham on February 10, 2007 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
This was a lot of humiliation for Middleton and caused whispers to fly about, and it took the intervention of prince Harry and Charles to get him to listen to the voice of reason. They cautioned him to be sensitive to his girlfriend's hurt feelings and put her first.
Later in 2006, five years into their relationship, William got anxious about what the future held out for himself and Middleton and went to his father and grandmother for advice.
Prince William and Kate Middleton on their graduation day from St. Andrew's University on June 23, 2005 in Scotland. | Source: Getty Images
Prince Charles and the Queen, although disappointed about the turn of events, told him to take his time and not rush into committing himself to Middleton.
In light of this, William canceled plans he made to be with Middleton for a holiday at her family house for the new year. Middleton was left in tears on boxing day when she received the news via phone call of his cancellation of plans to spend time together.
BREAK UP TO MAKE UP
Prince William and Duchess Kate at Kensington Palace on December 4, 2018, in London, England | Source: Getty Images
What would eventually end up as a fairy tale love story took a sharp turn in 2007 when the couple split. When asked why he split, the prince said he wanted to be sure she was the one.
He did not want to make mistakes and wanted his marriage to last forever, so he had to be sure she was the right woman for him. With William stationed in a calvary outside London and the press breathing down their neck, splitting was made easy.
Prince William looks puzzled as Kate Middleton walks past during a charity polo match at Cirencester Park Polo Club on June 7, 2009 in Cirencester, England. | Source: Getty Images
Middleton was spotted during that period looking all independent and confident. She went out more, dressed to the nines. Middleton learned the art of hiding her pain behind her smile.
William professed that they were young at the time and did not know all that love entailed, and the split was just a break to discover one another. Lovely Middleton had as many fans as enemies, and one person from the royal home who disapproved of her was Camilla.
Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton arrive at the Central Flying School at RAF Cranwell where Prince William received his RAF wings in a graduation ceremony, Sleaford on April 11, 2008 in Lincolnshire, England. | Source: Getty Images
It is believed she tried to persuade Charles to talk with William to discontinue the relationship. The now Duchess of Cambridge said this period made her a stronger person, and she realized there was more to her she did not know. These were her words :
"I think I at the time wasn't very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person".
Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton on March 9, 2020, in London, England |Source: Getty Images
After their painful breakup, the couple was spotted kissing at a party in the army barracks while celebrating the tenth anniversary of the prince's mother's death and his cousin's wedding.
By 2008 the couple had fully reconciled and were back together again, and she moved into his flat at Clarance House with him.
Prince William with his girlfriend Kate Middleton after his graduation ceremony at RAF Cranwell on April 11, 2008, in Cranwell, England | Source: Getty Images
The royal couple made a secret pact to be wed to each other. This was when they got back together after they split in 2006. The prince said he knew he had to finish his military training as a pilot. They made this pact private and kept it away from public ears.
During their trip to Seychelles, where they made this pact, the prince pledged his loyalty to her and made it known that he was in for the long ride, and they talked about marriage.
Kate Middleton pulls a face at Prince William as they attend day 1 of the Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival on March 13, 2007 in Cheltenham, England. | Source: Getty Images
Because Middleton and the prince dated for a long time without a proposal of marriage in sight, Middleton was cruelly named "Waity Katey."
Eight years of dating and almost turning thirty got many people worried, and one of such was Middleton's mom. She was concerned for her daughter's welfare.
Carole Middleton was worried sick and had to inquire of the prince about where the relationship was heading and why he had not put a ring on it. William dispelled all rumors and put her mind to rest.
Prince William and Kate Middleton officially announce their engagement at St James's Palace on November 16, 2010 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
The Duchess of Cambridge had other fears asides from turning thirty and being single. One of her fears was to do the wrong thing beside her lover in the glare of the public.
She affirmed that she is very cautious and loves to learn all the unspoken rules of the royal household, and would not like to be caught unaware by any situation.
Middleton mentioned that she would not mind being called "Waitey Katey" all over again rather than make blunders in social circles.
Prince William and Duchess of Kate during their visit to Keech Hospice Care on August 24, 2016, in Luton, England | Source: Getty Images
After waiting eight years, William was eventually ready to ask the woman of his dreams to marry him. His brother, Harry, gave up his mother's precious emerald ring, which was now his property, to William to propose to Middleton.
This selfless sacrifice was an extension of who his mother, Diana, was. The royal house butler, Burrel, mentioned that:
"Then one day that ring will be sat on the throne of England. Harry gave up his precious treasure. His one thing he kept from his mother, he gave to his brother. That's selfless, kind and exactly who Diana was."
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smile after their royal wedding at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
The proposal, although long due, was a surprise to the now Duchess, who was out with friends and did not expect it and the public. She said:
"He's a true romantic and we had a wonderful holiday in Africa and it was out there in a very quiet lodge and it was very romantic and it was very personal time for both of us,"
WEDDING FIT FOR A DUCHESS
Prince William, his wife Kate Middleton and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Victoria Airport on September 24, 2016 in Victoria, Canada | Source: Getty Images
On the 29th of April 2011, Prince William and Middleton were wed at the Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
They tied the knot in the presence of loved ones and well-wishers in a beautiful and historic setting. The new Duke and Duchess looked stunning and were the envy of all eyes.
The Queen hosted the reception for the couple and well-wishers at the Buckingham Palace, and there was another private dinner hosted by the Duke later in the evening. However, the highlight of the day was the royal kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Royal Wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey in London. | Source: Getty Images
A few years into their marriage, the couple welcomed three adorable children - Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. The couple juggles their royal duties and parenting quite well and hopes to give their children a normal childhood.
Middleton, who assumed the role of a duchess and took on the royal house duties like it's a second skin, gets more impressive by the day.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince Louis of Cambridge clap for NHS carers as part of the BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief 'Big Night In at London on April 23, 2020 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Amidst all the family drama in the blue family, speculations abound that the Queen has a shoulder to lean on in Middleton.
The Duchess has repeatedly proved herself and earned her the privilege of being trusted by the Queen and will soon assume more significant roles as leader of the family.
Middleton has always put her family (the royal house) first in all her dealings and, in current situations, has helped it save face in public by not quitting like her counterpart, Meghan Markle.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Queen Elizabeth II watch part of a children's sports event while visiting Vernon Park during a Diamond Jubilee visit to Nottingham on June 13, 2012 in Nottingham, England. | Source: Getty Images
Being the only modern, sophisticated, and educated woman in the family, for now, the family will crash like a pack of cards if she decides she can do so much better for herself out there than staying in the confines of the British aristocracy.
Eleven years after becoming one with the royal household, Middleton has held her head up and become her own woman, defying the belief that a "commoner" would never fit in.