Back to where it all began: William and Kate in pictures as they return to St Andrews University
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be returning to a happy stamping ground when they revisit St Andrews where a budding royal romance was kindled.
Largely away from the gaze of the cameras, William was able to take part in student life including the social side of university and the future king enjoyed his time at an ancient Scottish town famed for learning, its role in church history and golf.
Catherine Middleton had also opted to move north of the border to pursue her studies and fate conspired to throw them together, with Kate said to have caught the duke’s eye while treading the catwalk during a fashion show.
The courtship continued after graduation but after a break followed by a reunion the two sealed their partnership in a 2011 royal wedding at Westminster Abbey and are now parents to George, Charlotte and Louis.
In their first year in 2001, William and Kate lived a few doors apart at St Salvator’s hall of residence at St Andrews in Fife and became friendly, socialising together and playing tennis.
She captured his attention in March 2002 when the prince forked out £200 for a front-row seat for the fashion show where Kate appeared in a see-through lace dress which revealed her black underwear.
Kate, who is five months older than William, was credited with persuading him to continue his studies when he found it difficult to settle and considered quitting in his first year.
They began sharing a four-bedroom Edwardian townhouse at the start of their second year. At the time Kate was dating another student, Rupert Finch.
The first confirmation that the flatmates were romantically linked came when they were pictured on the slopes of the posh Swiss ski resort Klosters in March 2004.
Kate’s acceptance as William’s girlfriend by “The Firm” was seen as complete a year later when she was pictured again at Klosters alongside William and his father.
In April 2007, it was confirmed the pair had split, but it was said Kate handled it with grace and kept William’s confidence, and soon they were back together again.
In July 2007, she was a VIP guest in the royal box for William and Harry’s Concert for Diana in memory of their mother, and was seen with William at the after-show party.
At a wedding of friends in October 2010, the pair, sporting healthy tans from a break in Kenya, strolled happily side by side.
They were secretly engaged, with William having popped the question with his late mother’s engagement ring as they holidayed at Lake Rutundu.
While the royal wedding and three appearances on the steps of the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital Paddington with their babies have been carried out in a blaze of publicity, Wednesday marks a return to the place where their story began largely away from the cameras.
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