Once Upon A Time (aka exactly four years ago), Kate (aka Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge) skipped down the aisle to marry Prince William (aka the tall balding one). But while their love story has been one of royal babies, high street maternity wear and one EPIC handshake with Beyonce, there have been a few moments along the way that are so darn cute they make our tiny hearts ache. And so, without further ado, allow us to present a royally unapproved guide to making your relationship as successful as theirs…
ROYAL RULE #1: ANNOUNCE YOUR ENGAGEMENT IN STYLE
Navy blue style, preferably. Yep, when Kate and Wills first confirmed that he’d put a ring on it back in November 2010, nobody actually paid much attention to the ring. Or to the Prince. Instead, all eyes (including Wills’) were on Kate’s Issa dress. Long sleeved, cinched at the waist and with a flattering v neckline, it sold out online within 24 hours of Kate’s announcement. Four and a half years on, and we’re still spotting look-alikes on the high street.
ROYAL RULE #2: INVITE ALL YOUR ELDERLY RELATIVES TO YOUR WEDDING…
…But make sure that they’re so worn out by all the hand-waving, photo-taking and crown-waving that they slink off early. While Queen Elizabeth I herself was of course at her grandson’s wedding, she and the more, ahem, Grown Up members of the wedding party retired after dinner – leaving the newlyweds to dance the night away with a private gig by Ellie Goulding. After all, the couple that sways together, stays together.
ROYAL RULE #3: WHEN IN DOUBT, MATCH YOUR HATS
In 2011, Kate and Wills popped over to North America and Canada for a grand tour that saw them shake hands with the Obamas and play a game of polo (what else?) in Santa Barbara. But the best thing about it wasn’t the constant stream of paparazzi photos – it was this moment, when the pair coordinated their cowboy hats and attempted to look like there was nothing awkward about the situation at all.
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ROYAL RULE #4: SUPPORT THE SAME TEAM
Which is easy, when the team you’re cheering on represents your entire country. The 2012 London Olympics saw Kate jump up and down in the audience like a true sports fan, while William looked like he couldn’t decide what he was more excited about – the athletes on the track in front of him, or the woman in his arms who’d promised to love him forever. (Basically the whole thing was very cute.)
ROYAL RULE #5: NEVER, EVER, LEAVE ANYONE OUT
After nine months of speculation about whether they were having a baby boy, a baby girl, or baby octuplets, Kate and William debuted their son, Prince George, to the world (/a crowd of slightly bored journalists) on 22 July. But that wasn’t the main event – the highlight was the official family portrait, with the couple’s first baby, puppy Lupo, taking centre stage. Awww.
ROYAL RULE #6: KEEP EVERYBODY HANGING
Fast forward a couple of years, and the crowd outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s hospital has regrouped to await the arrival of baby number two (or three – depending on your stance on Lupo). This year they’re a little older and a little wiser. More members of the crowd have brought portable iPhone chargers, for one thing. But Kate and Wills have kept more schtum than ever about her due date – leaving us (and that group of eager fans) out in the cold.