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Timeline of William and Kate’s marriage as couple celebrate 13th wedding anniversary – The Independent

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The Prince and Princess of Wales are celebrating their 13th anniversary and have marked the occasion by releasing an unseen wedding photo.

The future king and queen tied the knot in a memorable ceremony at Westminster Abbey in 2011 after meeting at St Andrew’s University in Scotland as students.

Royal experts say the pair will be celebrating “very differently” this year after Kate’s cancer diagnosis, which she revealed to the public in March.

“They will undoubtedly be celebrating their 13th wedding anniversary privately,” royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told The Sun.

“This year will be very different from previous years as Catherine is undergoing preventative chemotherapy after recovering from abdominal surgery.”

The couple marked the occasion by sharing an unseen picture on social media from their nuptials 13 years ago.

As William and Kate celebrate their wedding anniversary, here we take a look at the timeline of their 20-year-long-union:

Prince William and his wife Kate wave to the crowds from the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their wedding at Westminster Abbey (PA Archive)

The couple met while studying history of art at Scotland’s historic St Andrew’s University in 2001, but it would be some time before their relationship turned romantic.

The prince’s arrival at university was subject to intense media speculation, with many hoping that he would find his future princess while living a relatively normal student life.

Reflecting on their first meeting, Kate said she went “bright red” when she first met Prince William in a dorm hallway.

“I went bright red when I met you and sort of scuttled off, feeling very shy about meeting you,” she later admitted to him after their paths crossed.

But this embarrassment did not stop Kate from starting a friendship with the prince, bonding over a reported preference for muesli and fruit at breakfast.

By 2002, the pair were on such good terms that they moved into a shared house with friends.

“It just sort of blossomed from there, really. We just saw more of each other and, you know, hung out a bit more,” William said.

The pair’s connection at university was recently dramatised in Netflix’s The Crown (Justin Downing/Netflix)

In 2004, the news the world had seemingly been waiting for broke when the pair went public with their relationship.

This happened during a ski trip in Switzerland when they were first photographed together.

The tabloids delighted in the news, with one headline reading: “Finally… Wills gets a girl”.

Early 2007

After a successful few years together, Kate and William briefly split in April 2007, citing the pressures of growing up.

“We were both very young, it was at university, and we were both sort of defining ourselves as such and being different characters,” Prince William said of their break.

“It was very much trying to find our own way and we were growing up.”

The pair briefly split in 2007 as they grappled with the pressures of growing up (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Summer 2007

The pair’s breakup did not last long and by the summer of 2007 they had reconciled, with Kate later admitting that she was grateful to have time apart because it taught her a lot about herself.

“I at the time wasn’t very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person,” she said.

“You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realised. I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you’re younger, and I really valued that time for me, as well.”

In October 2010, Prince William proposed to Kate at a lodge in Kenya and the pair announced the news in a televised interview that November.

This had personal significance for the family as it was in Kenya that Queen Elizabeth II first discovered that she was queen at the age of just 25, following the death of her father George VI.

“So I was planning it, and then it just felt really right out in Africa. It was beautiful,” William admitted.

The couple had their seemingly fairytale wedding just months after going public with their engagement in November 2010. At the time, Prince William was second in line to the throne.

Kate married her now husband in a lace Alexander McQueen dress that remained a guarded secret until the day itself.

In one memorable moment from the ceremony, Prince Harry was captured on camera telling his brother, “Wait till you see her.”

The event was watched by an estimated 163 million viewers around the world.

Kate Middleton waves as she arrives at Westminster Abbey where she is helped with her dress by her sister Pippa ahead of her wedding with Prince William (PA Archive)

The couple welcomed their first child and future king Prince George, on 22 July 2013.

This resulted in mass celebrations throughout the UK and the Commonwealth.

Upon the death of his paternal grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, in September 2022, Prince George took his father’s place in the line of succession as second in line to the throne.

He is reportedly shaping up to be a leader already and is allegedly “very protective” of his younger siblings.

The couple welcomed their first girl and only daughter Princess Charlotte on 2 May 2015.

She has since become a favourite with fans of the royal family for keeping her younger sibling, Prince Louis, in check.

2018

Prince Louis was welcomed into the Wales family on 23 April 2018.

He has become beloved for his cheeky antics, which for many royal commentators have proven that the Wales family really are just like any other.

When planes passed over Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, he couldn’t help but relatably cover his ears and appear to scream.

Most recently, he was snapped taking a hilariously big breath to blow out his Christmas candle.

Prince Louis has pulled many memorable faces in his short life so far (PA)

In 2022, following the Queen’s death, Kate and William were officially made the Prince and Princess of Wales by King Charles.

The bestowing of the title Princess of Wales on Kate was particularly significant, as it had previously belonged to William’s late mother, Princess Diana.

The King said: “With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given.”

This year has seen Kate and William face what’s been described as the “greatest challenge” in their married life so far – Kate’s cancer diagnosis.

On the Wales’s 13th wedding anniversary, royal expert Christopher Andersen acknowledged the challenge they are facing while asserting that they are “stronger than ever”.

“This is obviously the most bittersweet anniversary William and Kate have ever experienced,” Andersen told Fox News Digital.

“Their marriage is stronger than ever, they have three beautiful children – and now they are facing the greatest challenge of their married lives.”

The couple are strong enough to get through their “greatest challenge” so far, according to one royal expert (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Archive)

The royal expert added: “It’s hard to think of any marriage stronger than theirs or built on a more solid foundation.

“William and Kate are certainly more equipped emotionally and in every other way to handle whatever life throws at them – and with the dual diagnoses of Kate and the king, life has thrown them a lot.”

The couple have championed many causes in their work as senior royals, including the environment, poverty alleviation and mental health.

Most recently, they have helped to raise awareness of cancer, with the Princess of Wales extending her sympathy to anyone else affected by the disease and their families.

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