It’s fascinating to look at the lives of royal couples. After all, marriage is all about growing and evolving over time. And royalty is about maintaining traditions and customs that have existed for centuries.
And nobody has embraced this contradiction quite as much as Prince William and Kate Middleton. At the same time, William and Kate’s relationship has only deepened over time. They recently celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary on April 21, 2021. Here’s how William and Kate’s relationship has evolved over 10 years of marriage.
The first year of William and Kate’s marriage really set the tone for many years to come. And that is because neither of them wasted time getting back to work.
When they got married on April 29, 2011, it was a magnificent event that was straight out of a fairy tale. But once the honeymoon was over, both of them settled into their royal duties. Kate Middleton was particularly impressive in this regard as she comfortably embraced what it meant to be royalty.
William and Kate met with some very famous faces in that first year of marriage. They welcomed Barack and Michelle Obama to Buckingham Palace. Later, while visiting the United States, they rubbed shoulders with famous faces like Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez.
They never took much of a break from royal responsibilities. But these two really hit the ground running as a world-famous power couple.
William and Kate’s first real test of their relationship came in 2013. That is when Kate give birth to their first child, Prince George, on July 22.
As the firstborn son of William, young Prince George is actually destined to be the future king. But the joy of that thought wasn’t enough to comfort Kate Middleton in the early days of motherhood.
People reports that Kate experienced feelings of real isolation. “It was the first year and I’d just had George — William was still working with search and rescue — and we came up here and I had a tiny, tiny baby in the middle of Anglesey,” she said. “It was so isolated, so cut off. I didn’t have any family around, and he was doing night shifts.”
The two would eventually find the right balance and even expand their family. But Kate’s early honesty really helped to humanize the couple. As it turns out, even royalty struggles with finding the right work/life balance!
Growing the family
Once William and Kate became more comfortable about raising Prince George, it was time to expand their family. They welcomed Princess Charlotte into the world on May 2, 2015 and Prince Louis into the world on April 23, 2018.
And growing the family like this helped them learn an important lesson: despite the titles and future responsibilities of these children, they need time in the here and now to actually be children.
“To Kate, there is nothing more important than allowing them to express themselves,” an insider close to the couple told Closer Weekly. “She doesn’t want her children growing up feeling too entitled.”
It has been a real adjustment for William as well. “Having children is the biggest life-changing moment. It really is,” William said in thee 2020 BBC One documentary Football, Prince William and our Mental Health.
He was also upfront about how much of a team effort parenthood really is for him and Kate. “We support each other and we go through those moments together and we kind of evolve and learn together.” As it turns out, this description of parenthood is a pretty fitting description of their entire marriage!
Honoring Princess Diana
Before her tragic death, Princess Diana had a major influence on her children, William and Harry. And her influence has had a profound effect on how William tries to raise his children.
William expressed some of thoughts on this matter in the 2020 ITV/HBO documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy. “I want to make as much time and effort with [my children] as I can because I realize that these early years particularly are crucial for children, and having seen, you know, what she did for us.”
And he does more than just channel Diana’s influence. He loves to tell his children stories about “Granny Diana.” William and Kate also named their daughter Charlotte Elizabeth Diana and made sure she was christened in the same church Princess Diana was christened in.
Weathering some family drama
Arguably, the biggest challenge to William and Kate’s marriage happened as they neared their 10th anniversary.
In January 2020, William’s younger brother Prince Harry stepped down as a senior royal with his wife Meghan Markle. The couple left the U.K. and eventually settled in Montecito, California.
Then, in March 2021, Harry and Meghan gave Oprah Winfrey a tell-all interview that painted the Royal Family in a negative light, including allegations that someone in the family expressed “concerns” over how dark their son Archie’s skin color would be.
The fallout in the press from the interview was grave. However, this proved to be another challenge that William and Kate overcame together. A source close to the couple told Us Weekly that Kate has “been her husband’s pillar of strength throughout this whole ordeal.” And Kate appeared to play peacekeeper between the brothers when Harry returned to England to attend their grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral in April.
Celebrating 10 magical years together
On April 29, 2021, William and Kate celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary. And they did so through a few understated measures that really showcased their love for one another.
For example, the two of them released a couple of cute photos to celebrate the occasion. Look closely at one of the photos and you will see that it is a visual homage to their iconic engagement photo!
The two also released a special anniversary video with montages of themselves and their children. We see cute events like a family beach outing and even some glimpses of the adorable family dog.
William and Kate also wrote a special message to go along with the video. It reads, “Thank you to everyone for the kind messages on our wedding anniversary. We are enormously grateful for the 10 years of support we have received in our lives as a family.”
The message doesn’t really say that much. But looking back on an amazing decade of love and friendship, it might just say everything that it needs to.