William and Kate: Path to parenthood

As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrate the birth of their son, we look back at their royal romance in pictures and archive video.

  • St Andrews, September 2001

    Prince William chose to attend St Andrews university, where he initially studied art history - later switching to geography. Located on the east coast of Scotland, the university is popular with privately-educated students. The prince steered clear of freshers' week - fearing he might "end up in a gutter completely wrecked".

    He arrived a few days later with his father in tow. At the time he said he wanted to lead an ordinary life, meet the locals and not spend his time with other ex-public school students.

  • Royal romance, September 2002

    In March 2002, student Kate Middleton took part in a charity fashion show and Prince William paid for a front row seat. The prince rented a house with three friends later that year, one of whom was Kate. The housemates took turns to cook, though the prince confessed to being "absolutely useless".

    When Kate turned 21, Prince William was the guest of honour. In an interview for his own 21st, the prince said: "I don't have a steady girlfriend. If I fancy a girl and I really like her and she fancies me back, which is rare, I ask her out."

  • Graduates, July 2005

    Prince William graduated with a 2:1 in geography. He is only the second heir to the British throne to take a degree. His father, Prince Charles, was the first, gaining a 2:2 from Cambridge. Kate graduated at the same time as William.

    With the agreement of the media, the prince had been left to lead a relatively private life at university. But after graduation media interest in the prince and Kate increased and a picture of the couple sharing a private moment during a ski-ing holiday in Klosters, Switzerland, was splashed all over the papers.

  • Sandhurst, 2006

    Prince William was commissioned as an officer in the British Army after graduating from Sandhurst in December 2006. Kate was among his invited guests. It was the first time she had appeared as William's guest at a high-profile public event that was also attended by the Queen and other senior royals.

    But just a few months later, in April 2007, it was revealed that the couple had split up. It was reported that the prince's move to an army camp in Dorset, while Kate continued to live in London, had contributed to their separation.

  • Back together, 2008

    By the time Prince William received his RAF pilot's wings from his father at an award ceremony in April 2008, there was evidence the couple were back together again. Kate was an official guest and the pair were spotted together arm-in-arm.

    After two years training, the prince, known as Flight Lieutenant William Wales, was posted to RAF Valley to join Number 22 Squadron, to work as a front-line search and rescue pilot. Kate began spending more time at the prince's rented accommodation on Anglesey.

  • Engagement, December 2010

    After their five-year romance, it was announced on 16 November by Clarence House that Prince William was to marry Kate Middleton. The Prince proposed during a holiday in Kenya, after carrying the engagement ring, which had belonged to his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, in his rucksack.

    The prince said using his mother's sapphire and diamond ring was "my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today and the excitement". His future wife said joining the Royal Family was a "daunting prospect", but she hoped to take it in her stride.
  • Royal wedding, April 2011

    Prince William and Kate were married on 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey in London. The ceremony was attended by 1,900 guests and watched by a UK audience of 24.5m. The couple were given the titles Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

    The day was declared a public holiday and police estimated a million people lined the route from the abbey to the palace. Around the country, there were thousands of street parties. Celebrations at the palace continued into the night.

  • Pregnant, December 2012

    On 3 December 2012, it was announced that the Duchess was pregnant with the couple's first child. The announcement was made after the Duchess was admitted to hospital suffering from an extreme form of morning sickness. The Duchess was released from hospital after a few days.

    The baby, when it was born, would become third in line to the throne, ahead of Prince Harry.

    Royal historian Kate Williams on the news that the Duchess is pregnant

  • Royal baby, July 2013

    The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a boy at 16:24 BST on Monday 22 July at St Mary's hospital, London. Prince William was present for the birth of his son, who weighed 8lb 6oz. According to tradition, news of the birth was posted on an easel outside Buckingham Palace.

    The couple left hospital the following day after visits from the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, and Kate's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton. The prince said they had not yet chosen a name.

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