A Nostalgic Look at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s University Days


Prince William and Kate Middleton first locked eyes in a dorm hallway at the University of St. Andrews on a late September day in 2001. It was not a long interaction. (“I went bright red when I met you and sort of scuttled off, feeling very shy about meeting you,” Middleton confessed to William during an interview nine years later.) But it was a memorable one: Within weeks, the young prince was inviting his dorm mate to join him and his friends for breakfast at the dining hall. According to Vanity Fair, the two gravitated to the same meal: muesli and fruit.

She studied art history, he geography. He played water polo, she modeled in the student fashion show (in a memorable sheer dress that caught the young prince’s eye). By the fall of 2002, they’d moved into a shared house with friends off campus. Their rooms were just a floor apart. Sometimes, in a bid to impress his pretty housemate, William would attempt to cook for Kate: “I would have to wander in and save something that was going,” she recalled.

It was at that house in St. Andrews where the two became something more: “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.

On his 21st birthday in June 2003, Prince William opened up about his love life: “If I fancy a girl and I really like her and she fancies me back, which is rare, I ask her out,” he told reporters. “But at the same time, I don’t want to put them in an awkward situation because a lot of people don’t quite understand what comes with knowing me.”

Middleton, however, increasingly showed that she did know. In March 2004, the two were captured skiing together in Switzerland—and their relationship was blown open by the British tabloids. ((“Finally…Wills gets a girl,” read one headline. “Prince and Kate so close in Klosters.”) Come their graduation in 2005, both William and Kate were the subjects of photographers’ lenses.

Below, a nostalgic look back at pictures from their university days—from William’s studious portraits to Kate in her ceremonious graduation robe. Go forth and revel in the aughts academia.



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