Rob Pattinson’s girlfriend is no ordinary lady. She’s arguably the most famous woman in the world right now, and for good reason. After all, she is the woman who became Queen Elizabeth’s closest companion and adviser during her lifetime. She helped raise a future queen, and even now, as Queen Elizabeth II draws closer to her death, she spends more time with her than ever before. But how did this romance begin? How did Kate Middleton and Prince William meet? How long has their relationship already been going on?

We’ve compiled a comprehensive timeline that details the fascinating events that led to Kate Middleton’s becoming the Duchess of Cambridge.

Early History

Born in New York City on September 15, 1957, Kate Middleton grew up in an upper-class English family. Her father, Michael, was a chartered accountant, and her mother, Carole, was a lawyer. Her grandparents were Marjorie Merriweather Post and Walter Bedell Jr., both of whom served as U.S. ambassadors in the United Kingdom. She has one older brother, Alexander. As a child, Kate enjoyed playing with her dolls and wearing pretty dresses. She also had a love for animals, which inspired her nickname, the “Winnie the Pooh.”

As a little girl, Kate was a frequent visitor to the United Kingdom. She grew up admiring Queen Elizabeth II and learning to speak English. At the age of 11, she traveled to London with her family and spent a week learning how to shop in a department store. After completing her education in New York City, Kate returned to the United Kingdom to prepare for her future role as Duchess of Cambridge.

The Princess of Wales

While still in her teens, Kate met Prince Charles, the future King Charles III, at a garden party in 1980. They were just teens at the time, and though they had known each other for some time, it wasn’t until this occasion that their feelings for each other blossomed. The next year, Kate accompanied her older brother, Alexander, to Perth, Australia, where he was appointed Governor. While there, she met and fell in love with Prince William.

Although Kate’s family was against the idea of her dating a commoner, she ignored their objections, and the couple were married at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 1982. The ceremony was attended by more than 300 guests, including Elizabeth II and the Princess of Wales, who was serving as maid of honor. The couple proceeded to spend their wedding night at Windsor Castle. After the ceremony, the newlyweds were driven in a grand procession to the castle’s Blue Velvet Room for dinner. The reception was followed by fireworks and a spectacular ball.

Maid of Honor

As the couple had to wait a few years before having children, Kate continued to play an active role in public life. In 1983, she was named Maid of Honor at Elizabeth’s coronation, and three years later, she gave birth to Prince George. After spending a season in Zambia with her husband, Kate returned to the UK and continued to act as the couple’s guardian. In 1998, the couple’s first daughter, Princess Charlotte, was born, and in 2001, their second daughter, Princess Amelia, was born. In addition to her royal duties, Kate has held various other titles, including U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Princess of Wales.

Queen’s Doctor

In 2003, Kate was appointed Queen Elizabeth’s personal doctor. It was an unexpected choice, as the physician to the queen is traditionally a man. However, Kate’s appointment was met with approval from members of the royal family and the British public. The following year, the couple’s first son, Prince William, was born. The next year, the couple’s second son, Prince George, was born. In 2009, Kate’s brother, Alexander, the Marquess of Linlithgow, was appointed as the queen’s Lord Lieutenant of Scotland, and Kate became the queen’s principal nurse. After Prince Alexander’s untimely death in a car accident in 2010, Kate assumed the role of chief nurse at the queen’s side.

Pregnancy And Post-Pregnancy

As the couple’s third child, Prince Louis, was on the way in 2011, it was revealed that Kate was expecting again. The baby’s father, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, informed the world that he and Kate were happy to be parents. Their daughter, Princess Charlotte, was born the following year. After spending a few days with her new daughter, Kate headed back to her royal duties. She continued to carry out her duties as the queen’s personal doctor for the next five years. In 2016, the couple’s youngest son, Prince George, was born and named in honor of Prince Charles’s father, King George.

Along with her role as the queen’s doctor, Kate’s other responsibilities include being a patron of more than 150 organizations and attending more than 30 events each week. In her spare time, Kate enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, traveling, and attending public events.

The Queen’s Last Years

In 2016, Elizabeth II celebrated her diamond jubilee, which means she is now legally obligated to celebrate her 70th birthday. While there were public events and lavish dinners to mark the occasion, the queen mostly stayed at home with her family and a few close friends. In fact, in her later years, the queen became less keen on socializing and more focused on spending time with her grandchildren. The last year of her life was relatively uneventful, and Kate was by her side at the end.

As the queen drew closer to her death, Kate’s workload increased. In addition to her duties as the queen’s doctor, she was charged with keeping the queen’s spirits up and looking after her health in her waning years. In the months leading up to the queen’s death, Kate had to make several trips across England to ensure the public had enough of an opportunity to get to know their new queen. The trips were well-received and helped build public support for Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

The Present

Since her husband’s ascent to the throne, Kate has been a regular fixture at the couple’s royal residences. In 2017, the Duchess gave birth to her and Prince William’s fourth child, Princess Charlotte. The couple are also the proud parents of Prince George, who was born in 2018, and Princess Amelia, who was born in 2021. As the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate’s duties vary from attending church and social events to working and traveling abroad. She regularly promotes and speaks on behalf of charitable causes and organizations, including International Women’s Day, which she supports as a patron of Imeko, an anti-female-genital mutilation charity. The Duchess is also an advocate for animal welfare, and in 2019 alone, she and Prince William attended animal welfare events and met with key animal welfare figures. They also launched a new program, Heads Together, to raise awareness of wildlife crime and illegal fishing. The program pairs government officials with scientists to better understand wildlife trafficking and illegal fishing. This is just a small selection of Kate’s work for various charities, which include Stand Up for Kids, World Vision, and UNICEF. With so much going on in her life, it is easy to see how a person could have a busy schedule. However, that is what makes Kate so exceptional—she still finds the time to spend with her family and friends, go on walks, and do all of the things that she enjoys.