TIMELINE: Prince William’s 9-year courtship of Kate Middleton

From their university days to their engagement
Josh Dehaas

September 2001: Prince William and Kate Middleton meet at St. Andrew’s University, where they’re both studying art history. William learns art isn’t his strength. Kate convinces him to stay in school after he “wobbles,” but he switches to geography.

February 2002: William reportedly pays £200 for a front row seat to a cheeky charity fashion show at which Kate walks the runway wearing little more than underwear.

September 2002: The pair moves into student housing together, along with two friends. Rumours of their relationship emerge, though Kate is still dating someone else.

June 2003: Rumours swirl that William is dating the heiress of wealthy family in Kenya, but it’s Kate who attends his 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle. Prince Charles tells the media that, to his knowledge, his son is single.

December 2003: Kate splits from her boyfriend.

March 2004: Pictures emerge of the couple skiing in Klosters, Switzerland. Close friends are no longer denying William and Kate are an item. Engagement rumours have started already, but the prince says he won’t marry until he’s “28, or maybe 30.”

April 2005: In what the media agrees is a royal snub, Kate isn’t invited to Prince Charles’s wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles.

June 2005: Kate and William graduate from St. Andrew’s and head to Kenya for a romantic break.

October 2005: Kate’s lawyers complain to magazine editors after pictures emerge of her doing everyday things, like riding a city bus.

January 2006: A photo emerges of the couple kissing in Klosters, their first public snog.

February 2006: Speculation of an engagement reaches its highest pitch yet. Woolworth’s unveils Kate-and-Will engagement thimbles, china ware and even mouse pads. The plates read: “Married 200?” Woolworth’s eventually goes out of business.

April 2006: The pair holiday on the private Caribbean island of Mustique, where the paparazzi snatches photos of the couple in a speedboat.

August 2006: The couple holiday in the European rave-capital of Ibiza, Spain.

December 2006: William graduates as an army officer from Sandhurst. He can’t help but grin when he is inspected by his grandmother. Kate is invited, along with her mother, a sign she is being accepted into the royal family.

January 2007: The media takes up residence outside Middleton’s Chelsea home, expecting an engagement any day.

April 2007: Kate and William split up.

June 2007: Kate and William get back together.

April 2008: Kate is invited to watch William receive his RAF wings, the first royal event she has attended since 2006.

May 2008: Kate attends the wedding of Peter Philips—without William—suggesting she’s taking a role in the royal family.

February 2009: Will moves into a house in Shropshire with Harry—and not Kate—to the disappointment of the tabloid press.

October 2009: Kate’s uncle Gary Goldsmith is quoted in the tabloids talking about MDMA (ecstasy) and partying with Will and Kate in Ibiza.

October 2010: William proposes during a 10-day safari in Kenya.

November 2010: Kate’s parents join a royal hunting party at Balmoral Estate, the Queen’s castle in Scotland. William asks Kate’s father for permission to marry his daughter.

November 16, 2010: Kate proudly shows off her engagement ring. The ring, featuring a sapphire laced with diamonds, belonged to William’s mother, Princess Diana. The wedding is set for spring or summer 2011.