Prince William’s romance with Kate Middleton has captivated Britain and beyond for years. Vanity Fair offers an in-depth look at the couple’s sometimes rocky path from friends to lovers in a lengthy excerpt from Katie Nicholl’s upcoming book William and Harry. Nicholl tracks Wills and Kate from the moment they first laid eyes on each other at St. Andrews university in 2001, through a growing friendship marked by developing feelings—even as William continued to woo other women, including a fellow student, a childhood friend, and the daughter of a conservationist in Africa.
Despite the other girls, by 2003, there was no question that William had fallen for Kate. They were living together with a few other friends, and they carried out the beginnings of their romance in relative privacy. Nicholl continues to chart the couple through 2004, when their romance was finally confirmed during a holiday in the Alps, through the many high-profile events and romantic vacations they enjoyed together, and of course, through their two breakups—during which Wills racked up quite a few more rumored romances and Kate waited patiently. Back together again and apparently for good, Wills and Kate consider themselves engaged and, Nicholl expects, will make it official by next year.