Back in 2011, Prince William and Duchess Kate got married and drove off into the sunset (or, actually, William drove his bride to Clarence House in a decorated vintage Aston Martin convertible following their wedding reception at Buckingham Palace). And now they're the proud parents of three! In honor of their ninth wedding anniversary on April 29, 2020, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at how their love has blossomed over the years! Keep reading for a timeline of their romance… starting with how they met: Kate Middleton, a native of Berkshire, England, met the second in line to the British throne in the fall of 2001 while attending the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The duo, who were both majoring in art history during their first year of school, became fast friends.
RELATED: Royal wedding dresses
A sultry student
Duchess Kate first caught the media's attention in March 2002 when she walked the runway in a student-produced charity fashion show wearing a sheer black sheath over a bandeau top and matching black bikini bottoms — while Prince William cheered her on from the front row.
RELATED: Duchess Kate's best fashion re-wears
After a year of friendship, Prince William and Duchess Kate made the jump to platonic cohabitation — or so they claimed! In the fall of 2002, the duo moved into a four-bedroom apartment with Will's friend Fergus Boyd and a female pal. Despite their roommate status, the "friends" maintained that their relationship was strictly platonic.
The duo finally fessed up to Britain's worst-kept secret — that they were more than just friends — in April 2004 after they were snapped cozying up during a Swiss ski trip. Prince William shot down the media's rampant speculation that the couple would soon tie the knot when he told the Sun, "I don't want to get married until I'm at least 28 or 29." And thus Duchess Kate's longtime nickname, Waity Katie, was born.
Prince William and Duchess Kate graduated from the University of St. Andrews in June 2005. They were hit with a second wave of engagement rumors after they hosted Kate's parents, as well as Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, for a private lunch in celebration of their graduations. But Waity Katie would have to, well, wait.
Royal stamp of approval
In December 2006, Duchess Kate made her first appearance at an official royal event when she attended Prince William's graduation from the Royal Military Academy. Will's private secretary and two of his best friends accompanied Kate and her parents to the ceremony — which was also attended by his grandmother, the queen.
Did Waity Katie finally get fed up? Prince William and Duchess Kate split in April 2007 after reportedly struggling with the media attention surrounding their relationship. Fortunately, the brief hiccup wasn't destined to be the end of their romance.
Just a few months later, Prince William and Duchess Kate reconciled. In July 2007, Kate accompanied her on-again beau to the Concert for Diana, a charity event planned by Will and Prince Harry to mark the 10th anniversary of their mother's death. Shortly after, the couple vacationed together on a private island in the Indian Ocean.
In October 2010, during a 10-day safari in Kenya, Prince William finally popped the question to Duchess Kate with his late mother's oval sapphire engagement ring. The couple of eight years announced their engagement on Nov. 16, 2010. "The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton," read the official statement.
Wedding of the century
Prince William and Duchess Kate officially became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they tied the knot on April 29, 2011. Almost 2,000 guests including Elton John and David Beckham and Victoria Beckham attended the hour-long ceremony at London's Westminster Abbey — though millions of people worldwide tuned in to watch the nuptials. (Kate donned a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown for her fairy tale wedding.)
Prince William and Duchess Kate welcomed a new addition — a 4-month-old black cocker spaniel pup — over Christmas 2011. The royal canine, Lupo, became a constant companion to the duchess at polo matches and other official engagements throughout 2012.
PDA of Olympic proportions
The summer of 2012 was filled with official royal business for Prince William and Duchess Kate. In June, they helped Queen Elizabeth II celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, which marked the 60th anniversary of her reign. In July, they served as official ambassadors of the London Olympic Games.
Nude photo scandal
The royal couple were rocked by scandal in September 2012 when French magazine Closer published photos of Duchess Kate sunbathing topless during a private vacation with Prince William. The palace took legal action to have publication of the photos blocked, but they were unable to prosecute the photographer, whose identity was protected by French law as a journalistic source.
Baby on the way
On Dec. 3, 2012, Prince William and Duchess Kate announced that they were expecting their first child, a future his-or-her royal highness of Cambridge. Shortly after the announcement, Kate was admitted to London's King Edward VII Hospital for acute morning sickness. The royal couple celebrated their babymoon on Mustique, a small private island in the West Indies, in February 2013, and after that, Kate's impeccably fashionable pregnancy was smooth sailing!
With Prince William by her side, Duchess Kate checked into the lavish Lindo Wing at St. Mary's hospital in London on July 22, 2013. It featured individual birthing rooms, which — according to Us Weekly — came equipped with a birthing pool, satellite TV, radio, Internet access, daily newspaper deliveries and a safe. The wing also featured consultant-led care starting at nearly $8,000 a night! At the time a palace spokesman said Kate's labor was "progressing as normal."
It's a boy!
At 4:24 p.m. on July 22, 2013, Duchess Kate gave birth to a baby boy with Prince William by her side. A day later, the royal couple introduced their son to the world outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital. But they had yet to reveal his name.
On July 24, 2013, Prince William and Duchess Kate announced the newborn prince's name. Although his official title would be His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, he would be known simply as Prince George. During their first night out as new parents in mid-September, Kate had this to say of her baby boy's looks: "He's got a mix of both of us."
Just what do Prince William and Duchess Kate call each other in private? Well, the now-defunct British tabloid News of the World found out when it apparently hacked Kate's phone years before she and the Duke tied the knot. The outlet became tangled in a major lawsuit as a result. In December 2013, private messages that William sent Kate in 2006 were played in a court room: "Babykins, just tried ringing you, hope you're alright," William was heard saying in one recording.
In late March 2014, Duchess Kate and Prince William gave the public a rare glimpse of their home life when they released a family photo of themselves with Prince George and their dog, Lupo, in a window at their home, Apartment 1A at London's Kensington Palace.
In April 2014, Prince George joined Duchess Kate and Prince William on their royal tour of Australia and New Zealand. Stops on the tour included a visit to Sydney's Taronga Zoo and a meeting with the Governor-General of Australia.
Just like mom and pop
During their three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, Prince William and Duchess Kate visited the Aussie landmark Ayers Rock — and recreated a photo that Princess Diana and Prince Charles took back in 1983 while visiting the same monolith.
July 2014 was a big month for the royals! Prince George celebrated his first birthday, and to mark the occasion, Duchess Kate and Prince William released this adorable photo, plus a few more of their son during a visit to the Natural History Museum in London.
Baby No. 2
In early September 2014, the news broke that Duchess Kate was pregnant with her second child — and that she was suffering from severe morning sickness once again the second time around. "She is feeling okay, thanks," Prince William told reporters during those early days. "It has been a tricky few days, week or so, but obviously we are immensely thrilled."
New York state of mind
With her morning sickness well behind her, Duchess Kate visited New York City with Prince William in early December 2014. They stayed at the lavish Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan and even attended a Brooklyn Nets basketball game at Barclays Center, where they caught up with the closest thing America has to royalty: power couple Beyonce and Jay Z.
In February 2015, Duchess Kate and Prince William jetted off to Mustique for a two-week babymoon. They reportedly stayed in a five-bedroom hilltop estate that goes for $26,000 a week during their vacay. Prince George tagged along and reportedly had a blast playing in the estate's private children's pool.
Stylish swan song
On March 27, 2015, with Prince William by her side, Duchess Kate made her final official royal appearance before delivering their second child. The expectant mom donned a fabulous bright pink Mulberry coat as she visited a community center in southeast London.
Sugar and spice
On May 2, 2015, after two and a half hours of labor, Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge was born. Duchess Kate and Prince William introduced Princess Charlotte to the world later that day as they left the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London.
Family of four
In love in India
Prince William and Duchess Kate appeared smitten with one another during an official trip to India and Bhutan in April 2016. The duo visited animals at a national park, hiked a mountain and rubbed shoulders with local royalty during the trip.
The Obamas meet the royals
Prince William and Duchess Kate (along with Prince Harry) hosted President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for a private dinner at their home at London's Kensington Palace on April 22, 2016. The highlight of the evening came when President Obama was photographed squatting to shake hands with a bathrobe-clad Prince George, who reportedly stayed up late to greet his esteemed guests.
In May 2016, Prince William, Duchess Kate and Prince Harry launched the Heads Together campaign, which, according to its mission statement, aims "to end the stigma and change the conversation on mental health once and for all."
In September 2016, Prince George and Princess Charlotte joined their folks, Prince William and Duchess Kate, on their royal tour of Canada. The eight-day trip included a day of fun at a children's party for military families, a visit to Great Bear Rainforest and one-on-one time with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Ski trip scandal
Prince William made headlines when he went on a boys-only Swiss ski trip in March 2017 that allegedly doubled as a marathon binge-drinking session for the married father of two and his friends. In addition to being photographed drinking and high-fiving a female lunch guest who used to be a topless model, the second in line to the British throne was also caught on camera showing off some less than impressive dance moves and putting his hand on the waist of a mystery woman. To make matters worse, the vacay coincided with Commonwealth Day, which Queen Elizabeth reportedly considers one of the most important days on the royal calendar. According to Vanity Fair, Duchess Kate was "less than pleased" with her husband's behavior.
In April 2017, Prince William and Duchess Kate joined Prince Harry in cheering on runners participating in the Virgin Money London Marathon, which benefitted their Heads Together mental health advocacy campaign. The duo were photographed having a blast at the event, during which one runner managed to splash some water in the future king of England's face!
Royal Tour in Poland and Germany
Prince William and Duchess Kate decided to bring their children Prince George, 3, and Princess Charlotte, 2, on a whirlwind five-day trip to Poland and Germany. The family of four looked stylish and enjoyed great photo ops in helicopters and on their private plane.
Baby No. 3
Fall 2017 brought a special announcement from Prince William and Duchess Kate: Their family was growing again! The royal couple released a statement in early September confirming Kate was pregnant with their third child. Though the duchess was forced to stay home for weeks because she once again suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness, she returned to her duties — and debuted the royal baby bump — at an event at Buckingham Palace with William by her side on Oct. 10.
Prince William and Duchess Kate welcome third child
On April 23, 2018, Prince William and Duchess Kate welcomed their third child — a son. Just hours after their baby boy arrived, the proud parents debuted their little one on the steps of the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London. Four days after his birth, they revealed his name: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to announce that they have named their son Louis Arthur Charles. The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge," the Kensington Royal Twitter feed proclaimed.
Family of five
When it came time for Prince Louis' christening in London in July 2018, Prince William and Duchess Kate made sure the whole family was there to celebrate. The darling family of five appeared all together for the first time, with Princess Charlotte and Prince George holding hands with their dad while Kate clutched their newest arrival.
Less than a week before their ninth wedding anniversary, Prince William, Duchess Kate and their three beautiful children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — stepped outside of their country home, Anmer Hall in Norfolk, England, to clap for NHS carers as part of the BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief "Big Night In" special that aired on April 23, 2020. During this time in their relationship, the couple publicly worked together to support of healthcare workers and promote mental health initiatives to help people forced to stay home amid the global coronavirus pandemic.