The couple’s relationship became public with a joint photo on a Swiss skiing holiday in 2004. Middleton then became a media darling _ especially after both graduated, which ended a British media agreement to leave William alone while he was at university.
Middleton was there when William was commissioned as a British Army officer after graduating from Sandhurst military college in 2006. She was photographed attending public events, going to work, even getting a parking ticket _ a level of attention that evoked the romance of William’s parents.
But William was determined that Middleton would not suffer the same media hounding endured by his mother, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997. He appealed through his office for the media to leave her alone.
In 2007, Middleton filed a harassment complaint against a British newspaper. She accepted an apology and admission of error from the Daily Mirror.
At the time, an engagement was so expected that the retail chain Woolworths even commissioned mugs, plates and other Wills-and-Kate memorabilia. The chain has since gone out of business.
Yet only weeks later in 2007, media reported _ and Clarence House did not deny _ that the couple had broken up. Newspapers pored over the apparent end of the relationship in long stories sourced to anonymous “friends.”
William’s army training kept them apart, said some. The media pressure was too much for her, said others. Still others murmured that senior courtiers felt Middleton’s middle-class background wasn’t royal material.
Soon, however, the same newspapers were reporting that the pair had rekindled their romance. They were photographed leaving a London nightclub together, and Middleton was snapped on a stag hunting expedition at the royal family’s Balmoral estate in Scotland alongside Charles.
When William graduated from his first flying course in spring 2008, Middleton applauded from the sidelines _ although his training was not without incident. The Ministry of Defense confirmed that William had landed a helicopter on Middleton’s parents’ lawn during a training flight and flew a Chinook to a friend’s stag party on the Isle of Wight _ earning him a drubbing in the press for his perceived sense of entitlement.
William later served a two-month deployment with the Royal Navy before training to become a Sea King search-and-rescue pilot with the Royal Air Force. He recently completed that training.
The pair have recently seen each other mostly on weekends, with William a frequent visitor to the Middleton family house in the affluent village of Bucklebury, 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of London.
Earlier this month, Middleton’s parents were invited to join members of the royal family for a shooting holiday at Balmoral, another milestone on her road to acceptance into the royal family’s inner circle.
Clarence House said after the wedding, the couple will live in north Wales, where William is based with the RAF.
The couple were to give their first joint interview later Tuesday.View Entire Story
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