The William Kate Love Story
Prince William and Kate Middleton have set a royal wedding date for Friday, April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey in London. When they get married, they will have known each other for about nine years. But what has brought this famous couple to the big day? Here's a rundown of key dates in their relationship.
September 2001: William and Kate meet during university studies
Friends the couple knew in college recalled Prince William and Middleton started as friends when the two met at St. Andrews University in Scotland. ABC News reports Prince William was smitten by Middleton from the beginning and grew closer when the couple shared an apartment together while going to the third oldest university in the English-speaking world.
June 23, 2005: The couple graduate from college
Both Middleton and Prince William, the older of Princess Diana's two sons, graduated from St. Andrews. USA Today reports the royal family made a deal with media outlets to stay away from the young princes as they focused on their studies in exchange for regular and formal interviews. Despite the media blackout, some pictures did surface of Prince William and Middleton together, including one from a vacation in Switzerland.
December 15, 2006: Prince William graduates from military academy.
Prince William graduated from Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Middleton was in attendance in what was seen as her first time coming out as a possible royal.CBS News reports Queen Elizabeth II was also in attendance and had personally invited Middleton to the occasion and to the family's subsequent Christmas dinner.
April 2007: William and Kate reportedly split.
After Prince William's graduation, according to Britain's Telegraph, the couple had come under more intense media scrutiny. Even Middleton's birthday in January 2007 saw the media taking photos around her as she left her home, according to People magazine. Despite having two months apart from each other, Middleton is rumored to have moved into the royal residence at Clarence House by the end of the year, sparking rumors of a pending engagement.
June 21, 2008: Kate celebrates William's birthday with him.
Prince William spent his 26th birthday at a charity polo event with Middleton, according to People. This was considered another confirmation of the couple's relationship.
Nov. 16, 2010: William and Kate announce their engagement.
Clarence House announced Prince William and Middleton are engaged. The announcement was followed by media interviews and a showing of the ring, which had belonged to Princess Diana. Prince William proposed to Middleton during an October vacation to Kenya.
Dates in a Romance
September 2001: Prince William and Kate Middleton meet at St Andrews University where they are studying art history. Kate persuades William to stay at university after he admits finding it difficult to settle. He later switches to a geography course.
March 2002: Kate models a sheer black lace dress in a university charity catwalk show watched by Prince William.
September 2002: They move into a student house with two other friends including former Etonian Fergus Boyd.
June 2003: Clarence House denies that William is romantically involved with close friend Jecca Craig, the daughter of wealthy conservationists based in Kenya.
June 2003: Kate attends William's 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle. The Prince insists in an interview to mark his birthday that he does not have a steady girlfriend.
September 2003: William, Kate and their two flatmates move into a cottage in the third year.
Christmas 2003: William and Kate are believed to have become an item after she splits from her previous boyfriend, a former St Andrews student.
March 2004: William and Kate's relationship is revelaed after they are pictured skiing in Klosters together. Clarence House do not deny they are dating. On the same holiday, William is reported to have said: "I don't want to get married until I'm at least 28 or maybe 30."
April 9, 2005: Kate is not invited to the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles in Windsor.
October 2005: Kate's lawyers - the same used by the Prince of Wales - ask newspaper editors to leave her alone, claiming she is being hounded by photographers.
January 2006: William is photographed kissing Kate in public for the first time during a skiing break in Klosters.
March 2006: *Kate, without William, is invited into the Royal Box at the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Also there is the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
April 2006: The pair holiday in the Caribbean hideaway island Mustique.
May 2006: William and Kate attend the wedding of the Prince's stepsister Laura Parker Bowles together.
August 2006: They holiday in Ibiza ahead of William's final term at Sandhurst.
November 2006: Kate gets a job as an accessories buyer with Jigsaw, the fashion chain owned by friends of her family.
December 2006: Kate makes her most significant appearance to date as she turns up to watch William graduate as an Army officer at Sandhurst.
March 2007: William starts Army training at Camp Bovington, Dorset. The pair are pictured at the Cheltenham Gold Cup together.
April 14, 2007: William and Kate are confirmed to have split.
June 2007: The couple are reported to be dating again.
11 April 2008: Kate watches as William receives his wings as a qualified RAF pilot from the Prince of Wales - this was her first appearance at a formal event with Prince William since December 2006.
October 2009: Kate's uncle Gary Goldsmith, whom the couple stayed with in Ibiza 2006, caught in tabloid drug sting.
June 2010: The couple move in together into a cottage in North Wales close to Prince William's RAF Valley in Angelsey.
October 2010: The couple become engaged after William proposes while on holiday in Kenya.
16 November 2010: Clarence House confirms the engagement.
23 November 2010: The Prince and Miss Middleton announce their wedding will take place on APril 29, 2011.
12 December 2010: Official engagement phots, taken by Mario Testino, are released.
20 February 2011: First invitations to the *Royal wedding* sent out.
11 April 2011: Royal couple visit Lancashire on their last official trip before the wedding.
Timeline courtesy: guardian.co.uk
Lots of time and lots of money has gone into the Royal Wedding. And a lot of it is from the tax-payer's money. With the security, the decor, menu, and tons of other wedding preparations. How much do you think the wedding would have cost? Tell us.
The Big Fat Royal Wedding