April 18, 2011 -- Of the millions and millions of single, eligible women in the world -- Kate Middleton won Prince William's heart. Maybe the rest of us can learn something from the princess-to-be and her courtship with Prince William. After extensive research and interviews about their courtship, we compiled these 7 Royal Rules of Romance.
1. Be Friends First: Before the engagement, the exotic trips, the fun nights clubbing, Prince William and Kate Middleton were friends before anything else after they met at St. Andrews University. According to Katie Nicholl, who has long covered the royals for The British newspaper The Daily Mail, William and Kate first met in the dining hall on campus. "He just noticed this gorgeous girl who'd come in, you know, rosy cheeks, and flushed, because she'd go running every morning…And she'd come in later than everyone else." Soon after, "he plucked up the courage to invite her to join his group of friends, for breakfast," Nicholl said, "and that was the early stages of where the friendship grew."
During freshman year, Prince William was enjoying his new life on campus, and Kate was also busy, "she was dating a fourth year student called Rupert Finch," says Nicholl. Maybe this is what enabled Kate and William to become close friends first, before they were romantically linked. "They started going to lectures together. And when William couldn't make lectures, Kate would go and take notes," says Nicholl. Their friendship also grew because they had a lot in common. "I think the lucky thing for Kate is that her idea of fun is the sorts of things she enjoys doing with William," says Simon Perry, chief correspondent People Magazine.
2. Remain Loyal: One of the most important rules of royal romance is to always to be loyal. Throughout the make ups and the breakups, Kate remained loyal to William and never spoke to the press. When Kate and William left the press-free bubble at St. Andrews University in Summer of 2005 and moved to London, as Prince William's girlfriend she quickly became the target of the media, a task she handled well. "She'd smile at them, she'd always have a friendly word," said Nicholl. She remained loyal and discreet through the years. "The British public really like her…Kate Middleton seems to have won people over," said Kiki King, entertainment reporter.
3. Share A Tight-Knit Group of Friends:An important part of any Royal Romance is having a tight knit group of friends. You can't just socialize with anyone who may dish your secrets, or spill the details of your night out with your royal beau to the press. Entertainment reporter Kiki King has reported on Will and Kate's royal romance for years, and has spotted them out at London's hottest clubs: "The times I have seen them out they tended to be surrounded by this gang of friends, so it was very difficult to sort of see them in action. I think that's one thing that they've always been very good at is choosing their friends very carefully and their friends would always protect them."
4. Have Something in "Common": You may have heard the saying…." Couples who play together, stay together." When dating a royal, its best to have things in common with your royal suitor. They both enjoy playing tennis. "She's(Kate) been seen playing tennis with him here at the Arbor Club in London and Chelsea and, and other places. She's very athletic, loves swimming; he loves swimming," says Simon Perry of People Magazine UK .
If you don't share the same interests, then try and learn something new. Kate has reportedly learned to shoot. "I think he's been teaching her how to shoot or having the royal estate workers and so on help her shoot. So there's a — maybe she's throwing herself into that a little bit more, that sort of world," said Perry. Kate and William are both avid skiers, they have been spotted numerous times together at the "Klosters for skiing, which is a very up-market Alpine resort in Switzerland," said Perry.
5. Be Yourself:After College, and in London, Kate Middleton and Prince William were constantly in the limelight. They would jet off to exotic vacations, and head out dancing to the trendy clubs, all the while being photographed and in the public eye. Every outfit, every move was watched and scrutinized. Kate Middleton's own sense of style seemed to blossom after College. "The media really started paying attention to what Kate Middleton was wearing as her style developed and as she became less of a clone of her sort of social background because she used to dress very much like all her friends dressed, all these sort of Chelsea — Kensington-Chelsea girls," noted King. "But slowly as her own image grew and grew, she started making a few statements of her own, especially this Issa, this Brazilian dress brand that she tends to wear. She was really one of the first people to really start wearing this dress label so often, and it really made her stand out," said King.
6. Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder:In a Royal Romance, you can count on the press following your every move—through the good times and the bad--the vacations, and the breakups. Instead of going home and crying Kate went out to popular nightclubs, and other events and appeared confident and cool even just days after the break up. "She got dressed up, she looked phenomenal, she went to all of his favorite clubs. The message was very clear to William: look at what you're missing," said Nicholl.
"At the time I wasn't very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person. You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn't realized. I think you can get quite consumed in a relationship when you are younger and I really valued that time for me, although I didn't think it at the time," Kate Middleton recalled in an interview with ITN after her engagement.
7. Find The Setting for Love: It's much easier to fall in love if you have the perfect backdrop, like St. Andrews University - where Kate and Prince William first met. The sleepy, picturesque seaside town in Scotland is also the birth place of golf. St. Andrews has small student population.
"St. Andrews was so small, so close, so intimate—and so intense—that it, it did lend itself to those sorts of relationships," said Katie Nicholl. It's also known as the matchmaking university. St. Andrews didn't have much nightlife, so students would throw dinner parties for groups of friends.