In 2001, Middleton met Prince William while they were students at the University of St. Andrews. The couple began dating as early as 2002, although their relationship remained unconfirmed. On 17 October 2005, Middleton complained through her lawyer about harassment from the media, stating that she had done nothing significant to warrant publicity. In February 2006, it was announced that Middleton would receive her own 24-hour security detail supplied by the Royalty Protection branch (SO14). Many speculated that she and Prince William would soon be engaged, since she would not otherwise be entitled to this service.
No engagement was forthcoming and Middleton was not granted an allowance to fund this security. Media attention increased around the time of her 25th birthday in January 2007, prompting warnings from both The Prince of Wales and Prince William and from Middleton’s lawyers, who threatened legal action. Two newspaper groups, News International, which publishes The Times and The Sun; and the Guardian Media Group, publishers of The Guardian, decided to refrain from publishing paparazzi photographs of her. Middleton attended at least one event as an official royal guest: Prince William’s Passing Out Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 15 December 2006.
On 17 May 2008, Middleton attended the wedding of Prince William’s cousin Peter Phillips to Autumn Kelly, which the prince did not attend. On 19 July 2008, she was a guest at the wedding of Lady Rose Windsor and George Gilman. Prince William was away on military operations in the Caribbean, serving aboard HMS Iron Duke. In 2010, Middleton pursued an invasion of privacy claim against two agencies and photographer Niraj Tanna, who took pictures of her over Christmas 2009. She obtained a public apology, £5,000 in damages, and legal costs.
Breakup and reconciliation
On 14 April 2007, The Sun newspaper broke a “world exclusive” suggesting that Prince William and Middleton had split up. Other media outlets, such as the BBC, confirmed the story as the day progressed. The couple decided to break up during a holiday in the Swiss resort of Zermatt. Clarence House made only one comment about the relationship’s end, according to The Times, stating, “We don’t comment on Prince William’s private life”. Newspapers speculated about the reasons for the split, although these reports relied on anonymous sources.
The original report in The Sun quoted a “close friend of the couple” as saying that Middleton felt Prince William had not been giving her enough attention. The paper highlighted reports that Prince William had been spending time with other young women and said the Prince, aged 24 at the time of the split, felt he was too young to marry. A report in the Daily Mail blamed a desire by royal courtiers not to “hurry along” a marriage announcement, and Prince William’s desire to enjoy his bachelor status within his Army career. The Mail also suggested that a friend of Prince William’s encouraged the Prince to take a “careless approach” to relationships. The same article suggested that Middleton had “expected too much” in wanting Prince William to demonstrate his commitment to her.
In June 2007, Middleton and Prince William insisted they were “just good friends” following reports of a reconciliation. Middleton and her family attended the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium, where she and Prince William sat two rows apart. The couple were subsequently seen together in public on a number of occasions and several news sources, including the BBC and the Daily Mail, stated that they had “rekindled their relationship”. She also joined Prince William and the Prince of Wales on a deerstalking expedition at Balmoral and attended the wedding of Prince William’s cousin, Peter Phillips, even though Prince William, due to a prior commitment, did not. In April 2008, Middleton accompanied Prince William when he was awarded his RAF wings at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell. On 16 June 2008, she attended Prince William’s investiture into the Order of the Garter, along with the Royal Family.
Engagement and marriage
Further information: Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton and Wedding dress of Kate Middleton
The newly married Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Prince William and Catherine Middleton became engaged in October 2010, in Kenya, during a 10-day trip to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to celebrate Prince William’s passing his RAF helicopter search and rescue course. Clarence House announced the engagement on 16 November 2010. Prince William gave Middleton the engagement ring that had belonged to his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. He said about his decision to give his fiancée his mother’s ring, “It’s very special to me. As Kate’s very special to me now, it was right to put the two (Catherine and Diana) together.
It was my way of making sure my mother didn’t miss out on today and the excitement, and the fact that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together.”The couple married in Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011, (St. Catherine’s Day) with the day declared a bank holiday in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Estimates of the global audience for the wedding ranged around 300 million or more, whilst 26 million watched the event live in Britain alone.
In October, several months after the wedding, Commonwealth leaders pledged that they would implement changes in British royal succession law to adopt absolute primogeniture
On 3 December 2012, St James’s Palace announced that the Duchess was pregnant with her first child. The announcement was made earlier in the pregnancy than is traditional as she had been admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital Sister Agnes suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum and stayed there for three days. On 14 January 2013, St James’s Palace announced that the child is due to be born in July 2013, and that the Duchess’s condition is improving.
In January 2013, the Queen issued new letters patent enabling all children of the eldest son, as opposed to only the eldest son, of the Prince of Wales to enjoy the princely title and style of Royal Highness.