Kate Middleton & Prince William Waited Nearly 10 Years Before Getting Engaged—Here’s Why

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William & Kate
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We all know that fairytales don’t exist in real life. Prince William and Kate Middleton’s proposal timeline proves that even royals have second thoughts. Since their wedding in 2011–royal fans believed William and Kate had a super stable relationship. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were college sweethearts who finally tied the knot in a sweeping affair after a decade together. However, those ten years were a lot rockier than we initially thought.

In Spring 2019–Prince William found himself in the center of a media storm. A tabloid fabrication that he’d been carrying on an affair with Kate’s close friend, Rose Hanbury, spiraled out of control. Though there was absolutely no proof of infidelity, the media was relentless, digging up everything they could about Hanbury and putting Will and Kate’s relationship under the microscope.

There were allegations that the Duke and Duchess’ romance was orchestrated from the very beginning, and there were whispers about the future king’s past unsavory behavior with other women. Additionally, the royal couple’s past breakups became a topic of discussion. As it turns out, during their dating years, fans of the royal couple never even though they’d make it down the aisle. Things were up in the air for a minute there.

Here’s the real reason William and Kate waited almost a decade before getting married.


Prince William and Kate Middleton met during their first semester at St. Andrews University in Scotland. They were just friends initially. However, during the second semester, William watched his future wife model a skimpy dress in a runway show–and his perspective on her changed immediately. They kissed for the first time that night, and have been together on and off since.

However, the real tea is that, some fans believe that the Middleton family pushed Kate to attend St. Andrews so that she would cross paths with the prince. Her former boarding school roommate Jessica Hay later told  royal biographer Katie Nicholl, “[Kate] would joke, ‘There’s no one quite like William.’”


Though they’d been dating for several months–William and Kate were adamant about keeping their relationship under wraps–mostly for the Duchess’ privacy. However, the prince wasn’t exactly mature about the whole thing. He invited Kate to his 21st birthday party in June and then ignored her the whole time. Nicoll wrote that the prince hung out with Jecca Craig –his old friend and rumored ex who had flown in from Kenya for the party.

Luckily, the couple moved past that. Later that year, Hello Magazine reported that the prince moved into a flat with several college friends including, “a pretty 20-year-old brunette.” The brunette was Kate.


In 2004 things began to get real for the couple. After flying under the radar for a couple of years, The Sun published photos of them during a ski trip at the Klosters. Prince Charles was incensed and had to threaten the newspaper. This year also marked the royal couple’s first breakup.

In her book, William and Harry, Nicholl wrote, “Kate was beginning to question William’s commitment to their relationship, and she also had her own creeping doubts about their future after St Andrews. A number of things had caused her to question William’s commitment, although she had not raised them with him yet.” In the end, they would only be apart briefly.


Prince William and Kate Middleton graduated from St. Andrew’s University. The prince headed to the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, England while Middleton moved to London for her job. Their relationship was about to become seriously strained.


William and Kate attended Duchess Camilla Parker Bowles’ daughter–Laura’s wedding together, it was their first public event together and it created a sheer frenzy around the couple. However, the early 20-somethings were already experiencing the strain of a long distance relationship and that wasn’t all.

In his book, William and Catherine royal biographer Andrew Morton claims that William treated his then-girlfriend, “like a servant.” Michael Choong, a university friend of the couple’s, told The Express that Prince William “could be flip and curt” with Kate. “He expected Kate to run after him, and the longer they knew each other, the more he seemed to keep her on a tight leash,” Choong said.


We guess things all came bubbling to the surface because, in the spring of 2007, William and Kate went their separate ways. In late 2006, the prince had flubbed Christmas–pulling out of plans he’d made with the Duchess at the last minute. Then, in Jan., he ruined her 25th birthday. In her 2010 biography Kate–Marcia Moody wrote, “rot had set into their relationship.”

According to royal correspondent Camilla Tominey.  William “confided to his grandparents that he was not sure if he loved Kate enough.” Luckily, he quickly came to his senses. Within months, he was begging for another chance. The two would make up at a costume party in the summer of that same year. During their engagement interview, Kate got candid about the heartbreaking breakup saying,

I think I at the time wasn’t very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person…You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realized. Or I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you’re younger. I really valued that time for me as well although I didn’t think it at the time, looking back on it.


By 2008, the pair very much a couple once again– and they seemed to both have their heads in the game this time around. The paparazzi snapped photos of the couple on yet another ski-vacation, confirming that they were back on. In April, the prince graduated from the Royal Airforce and Kate was by his side to support him.


By now, the pair had been together for about eight years–and there was no engagement or wedding date in sight. Nicholl told Vanity Fair, “I know that it was the Christmas of 2009 when [Kate’s mother] Carole was getting quite concerned. Kate was nearing 30, there was still no ring on her finger.”

The press has also dubbed the Duchess “Waity Katy” for allowing the prince to string her along. However, what no one knew was that the Duke and Duchess had a secret pact. When they got together again in 2007, they promised it would be forever, but they were also determined to be 100% sure before they took a leap towards marriage.


Nearly a decade after he and Kate began dating–Prince William finally popped the question. During a romantic getaway in Kenya, the prince asks Kate to be his wife, using his late mother’s stunning sapphire engagement ring. “We had a little private time away together with some friends, and I just decided it was the right time really,” he explained in their engagement interview. “We’d been talking about marriage or a while, so it wasn’t a massively big surprise, but I took her up somewhere nice in Kenya.”

Waity Kaity was officially no more.


Just six months after their engagement–the Duke and Duchess wed April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey. It was a glorious day mirroring, Princess Diana and Prince Charles wedding 30 years prior. 72 million people across the globe watched the festivities and Kate Middleton became, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Countess of Strathearn, and Lady Carrickfergus.

Fancy AF basically.


Though Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle are getting a ton of flack for moving away from London to the country–William and Kate did the same thing. After their wedding, they moved to Wales and adopted a cocker spaniel named Luno.

In Dec. 2012–the pair announced they were expecting their first child. Unfortunately, the Duchess was hospitalized for hyperemesis gravidarum–or severe morning sickness. It’s a condition that Kate would have for each additional pregnancy.


On July 22, 2013–our beloved tiny bathrobe wearing, Prince George Alexander Louis was born becoming third-in-line for the crown after his grandfather, Prince Charles, and his dad.


In Sept. after Kate had been MIA from several royal events, the Palace announced that she was in the very early stages of her second pregnancy. Since the Duchess suffers from extreme morning sickness, the decision was made to announce the pregnancy early before the press figured it out.


On May 2, 2015, the spunky and iconic, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana was born. Not only did her bold personality give her parents a run for their money, but she became the highest-ranking female in line for the throne. She is the first “Princess” in the British Royal Family in 25 years.


In September 2017- exactly three years since Kate announced her pregnancy with Princess Charlotte, the Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess were expecting their third child. Because women always get the short end of the stick–the Duchess suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum again.


On April 23, 2018–Duchess Kate gave birth to Prince Louis Arthur Charles. The adorable tot is now fifth in line for the throne after his big sis,  Princess Charlotte. It wasn’t always like this for female heirs. In 2013, just before her great-granddaughter was born, Queen Elizabeth signed the Succession to Crown Act 2013 saying that girls could not be skipped over in line for the throne over their male siblings.


In April, instead of celebrating their 8th wedding anniversary, the Duke and Duchess were staying silent as the Rose Hanbury rumors were heating. As it turns out, all of the scrutiny was a good thing for them.

The entire ordeal elevated Kate Middleton’s royal status–making her more confident and able to handle her fish-bowl existence. Also, the Duchess and Prince William, went on a secret getaway to reportedly work on their marriage. Sometimes all you need is a bit of drama to get your life on track.