Week, the news was announced that the future heir to the throne, prince william, is to marry his long-time girlfriend kate middleton.
Mindful, perhaps, of the decision his father had made when he was in his twenties and let camilla go, william did not want to make the same mistake.
Every morning, paparazzi would wait for her to exit her central london flat as the hunger for a royal engagement grew (spurred on by the belief that william's marriage would somehow erase the calamity of prince charles and princess diana's tortured union).
Following month, william gave kate a pre-valentines present of a green enamel van cleef & arpels diamond-framed makeup compact, featuring a polo player about to hit a pearl.
Tellingly of all, though, was when william admitted the long wait had been because: i wanted to give her the chance to back out if she needed to before it all got too much.
Last time kate and william went out together before they split was with their friends hugh and rose van cutsem, whose wedding they had attended two years earlier.
The pictures and quotes were in the papers the next day, and kate and william were both embarrassed.
How long has will and kate been dating
Kate was devastated, but instead of just weeping at home in a darkened room, she got busy.
She had been a shoulder to cry on through university, the inquest into his mother's death, and his dad's marriage to camilla parker bowles.
That kate and will are family of four, take a walk down memory lane and revisit how it all began.
By the time kate flew to ireland with her mum on 3 april, the relationship of four years was over.
With permission from kate: a biography by marcia moody, published by michael omara and distributed by trafalgar square publishing/ipg.
They were also still young, and both figuring out what they wanted from life, but kate felt like she had less of a say in their relationship and their future.
William and kate have drafted a formula that should keep them happily married for a very long time to come.
How long has will and kate been together
Kate got involved through her old school friend alicia fox-pitt, and fellow rower emma sayle recalls, kate was very down and i think the training became her therapy.
The day before kates twenty-fifth birthday, william left to join his first regiment, the blues and royals, stationed with the household cavalry at bovington barracks in dorset.
"he could've been any young man, recalling the need for "space" and time to mature.
Berkshire-born kate, who studied art history at the fife university, would often join william for a swim or a run, and took notes for him if he missed a lecture.
Kate stayed at the flat but moved into a separate room, and the pair spent less time together.
He found it hard to get close to new people without questioning their true intentions and his long friendship with kate proved her loyalty.
Outside was a bouncy castle and plunge pool, but william and kate stuck to the dance floor, and that night she stayed over at his barracks.
How long has mattyb and kate been dating
Shows off her engagement ring, which belonged to princess dianawilliam said: shes got a really naughty sense of humour, which really helps me because ive got a really dry sense of humour.
Graduated together in june 2005, with kates parents carole and michael attending along with the queen.
Couple get into the spirit during a visit to tuvalu, solomon islandsthe break-up proved the making of kate.
Newlyweds share a kiss on buckingham palace balconyon april 29, 2011, our wait was over as kate walked down the aisle at westminster abbey in a 250,000 alexander mcqueen gown of intricate lace and silk, designed by sarah burton.
A few days later, william was back in his barracks and went out to nearby elements nightclub in bournemouth.
The relationship may have been strained over the years (the couple briefly split in 2007), but it has stood the test of time, proving that giving a relationship time and space to breathe will only help to strengthen the bond between a man and a woman.
So when william and kate's platonic friendship developed into something deeper, all bets were off as the public's fascination about the ordinary girl who might one day be queen consort reached fever pitch.
How long has hayden and kate been dating
And william graduated together in 2005the pair could live a relatively normal life together at uni, where they shared a flatback home they settled into a domestic routine.
Years of dating a prince had made kate one of the most photographed women in the world, and she wasn't even a member of the royal family yet!
It wasnt a question of, oh, shes kate middleton so she makes the team, emma told the daily telegraph.
William later said, we were both very young we were both finding ourselves and being different characters.
2006 came to an end, william and kates four-year relationship suffered a setback when kates family invited william to come and stay with them for new year.
Were fooled when kate was described as williams flatmate after moving in with him and two friends.
They hadnt seen each other over the festive season, as william always spent christmas with the queen and the rest of his family at sandringham.
There is something special about will and kate's romance, which of course led to a spectacular 2011 wedding, a son named george, and now a brand new baby girl.
Another clubber on the same night, lisa agar, said william was flirty dancing and making suggestive comments.
Had been talking about marriage for a while so it wasnt a massively big surprise, said william.
Throughout it all, royal fans have been absolutely intrigued by the story of how a sporty girl from the small village of bucklebury captured the heart of the heir to the british throne.
She later revealed in the joint interview with william (of course it was conducted side-by-side), "i think at the time i wasn't very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person.
Although she had her job at jigsaw, she wasnt sure it was what she wanted to do long-term.
Growing up, the palace had struck a deal with the press to give william and his younger brother, prince harry, privacy.
A photograph of the prince tenderly kissing kates neck in the queue for a ski lift meant the royal cat was definitely out of the bag.
Although their relationship was strictly platonic initially (she was dating fellow student rupert finch at the time), the pair starting spending more and more time together, eventually flat-sharing before they allegedly started dating at christmas 2003.
He and kate secretly got back together on 9 june, when she attended a party at his barracks to celebrate the end of training.
Over the past five years kate has seamlessly adapted to william's unusual world, without any public mishaps.
Ups and downs of kate middleton and prince william's romance: why they're stronger than ever on their five-year wedding anniversary.
November 16, 2010, they announced the news we had all been waiting for william had proposed weeks earlier, during a holiday in kenya.
Than spend her days moping under the bed covers, kate became determined to show william just what he was giving up.