It’s hard to believe that the 2010s are coming to an end and harder still to believe that, at the start of the decade, Kate Middleton wasn’t even officially part of the royal family yet. Sure, she’d been around for awhile — but she and Prince William weren’t yet married, meaning she hadn’t assumed her title as Duchess of Cambridge (and Queen-consort-to-be). So, suffice it to say, a lot has happened in the last decade where Kate is concerned.
When the world first met Kate, she was one of William’s classmates at St. Andrews University in Scotland. Rumor had it he was devoting just as much time to wooing her that he was to his studies, so no one was that surprised when the press began linking the Duke of Cambridge to the “pretty young brunette” from his university.
By 2006, they were a bona fide couple, attending the wedding of Camilla Parker-Bowles’ daughter, Laura. And while at that point it was still too early in their relationship to know for sure, fans of the royal family couldn’t help but assume William had also met the person he’d marry. A brief breakup in the spring of 2007 threatened to derail that future but, much to fans’ delight, the two reconciled and were back on track (and by track, we mean the ski slopes) by spring of the following year.
And all of that happened prior to Kate even being a proverbial card-carrying member of the monarchy. So, let’s take a look at the now-Duchess of Cambridge’s biggest moments in the last 10 years — aka her rise in the royal family.
October 2010: William proposes to Kate
Following months of speculation, Buckingham Palace confirmed in November 2010 that Prince William had popped the question. “Prince William and Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya,” a statement from the royal family revealed. “Prince William has informed The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince William has also sought the permission of Miss Middleton’s father.” Making the moment even more special, of course, was the fact that William gave Kate the iconic sapphire ring that belonged to his late mother, Princess Diana.
April 2011: William and Kate get married!
‘Twas the wedding watched ’round the world! On Friday, April 29, 2011, Prince William married Kate Middleton married in Westminster Abbey. Much like their courtship, the nuptials proved to be something straight out of a fairytale. Lining the aisle were eight 20 feet-high trees. Kate carried a bouquet of myrtle, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William, ivy, myrtle and hyacinth. And after, the newlyweds traveled via horse-drawn carriage procession to Buckingham Palace and were heralded along the streets by members of the public as they went.
January 2012: The Cambridges get a dog
When royal newlyweds get a dog, a baby can’t be far behind. So, when Kate and William got their spaniel, Lupo, the public celebrated the pup for both his cuteness and for what he could mean. As Kate would later reveal, the couple decided to get the canine to help her cope when William had to travel to the Falkland Islands for six weeks in their early marriage.
July 2013: Prince George is born
First comes dog; then comes firstborn! On July 22, 2013, Kate and William became first-time parents as they welcomed into the world their son, George Alexander Louis. The child’s official title was announced to be His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.
April 2014: The Cambridges tour Australia
Kate’s first official royal visit to Australia would come in 2014. And, even more exciting, she and William took baby George along for the royal tour. Young Prince George proved to be a natural, charming photographers and locals wherever he went. The family of three even squeezed in some sweet memories at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney.
May 2015: Princess Charlotte is born
On May 2, 2015, Kate gave birth to the couple’s only daughter (so far!): Princess Charlotte. The little girl was born at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, weighing in at 8lb 3oz. She is fourth in line to the throne.
April 2018: Prince Louis is born
The baby of the Cambridge family, Prince Louis, was born on April 23, 2018, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, like his siblings. Not surprisingly, Kate wowed when mere hours after the birth she assumed her place on the steps for the traditional press photo. Shortly after the prince’s birth, the Queen helicoptered over to see him.
July 2019: She attends Wimbledon with Meghan Markle
Despite near-constant rumors of a feud, Kate and her royal sister-in-law Meghan Markle enjoyed what appeared to be a lovely day out together at Wimbledon. Also in attendance? Kate’s sister, Pippa Middleton. The girls-day-out helped (at the time) to combat speculation of a growing rift in the royal family.
2019: Princess Charlotte’s first day of school
Yes, obviously Princess Charlotte’s first day was about the precocious grade-schooler. Having said that, no one could stop talking about Charlotte’s chic royal mum! That dress, that hair — the Duchess of Cambridge looked poised and put-together as she dropped her daughter off.
2019: She assists the Queen at a diplomatic dinner
In the latest confirmation that Kate is preparing for her eventual role as queen, she attended an evening reception for members of the Diplomatic Corps at Buckingham Palace. Looking truly regal as she mingled with guests, Kate stole headlines the following day for her confident presence by the Queen’s side.