Beckoning Prince William over to a stall where she’d spotted the jewelry, she asked him to get out his iPhone as she held one up to her left ear. There, with a smile from Kate, William took a shot so she could see how the dark blue dangly trinkets looked. In their own little moment, away from their entourage and security, she pronounced them just right, and snapped them up for 500 rupees (about $7).
During their time as undergrads at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, they were helped by the relaxed nature of student life, where they were able to get to know each other – and make their mistakes – away from intrusion.
At just 20, the then-Kate Middleton – the eldest daughter of entrepreneur parents who was raised in the small town of Bucklebury – first emerged in the spotlight as the "roomie" who joined William in a four-person apartment in an upmarket street of the Scottish town. Together with friends they would attend end-of-term parties, grab pizza (they famously split the bill!) and play tennis.
But it was her now-famous catwalk strut in a 2002 student fashion show – wearing see-through lingerie! – that put her squarely on the public map – and kicked off the Kate mania that has only grown in the 14 years since. (Of course, her style has grown, too.)
It wasn’t long before it became clear that the pair were an item. Kate was by William’s side as he shot pheasants at Sandringham in December 2002, watched him play the Field Game at his old school Eton, and joined him for skiing break at Klosters – the first time they were snapped kissing.
But it was when Kate and her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, joined William’s two closest friends and Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles at his graduation parade from at Sandhurst in 2006 that signified she was the one.
So it was an even bigger shock when only about four months later, in April 2007, they parted ways. They had separated a couple of times before, but this one was openly discussed as the end.
However, they couldnâ€™t bear to be apart and were reunited within about two months – and from there, it was full-steam ahead.
On their November 2010 engagement day, before facing the cameras, she showed reporters her "special" engagement ring – an heirloom from Princess Diana – while he giddily told how he had carried the iconic jewel to Africa and stored it in his backpack nervously.
Then, on April 29, 2011, they exchanged vows in Westminster Abbey before an audience of millions around the world.
Now, two lovely children later ( Princess Charlotte will celebrate her first birthday on May 2!), they are a happy little unit, both parents wanting the quiet country upbringing for Charlotte and 2-year-old Prince George that both William’s mother, Princess Diana, and Kate enjoyed. Their future, due to the unique nature of the position, is something that will pivot on historical moments and responsibilities that lie ahead.