IT'S hard to imagine a time when Prince William and Kate Middleton were just two strangers on their own path.
But since they fell in love all those years ago, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been serious couple goals – and are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary today.
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But before they became full-time working royals and parents to three cheeky children, the couple had a very ordinary romance – from flirty encounters, first dates and even a shock break up.
We take a look at how the future king and queen have gone from strength to strength, and what makes their relationship like no other.
Here, body language expert Judi James tells Fabulous why the loved up couple are destined to be together and why Kate and William's marriage will stand the test of time.
Fun and competitive
They don't take themselves, or each other, too seriously
It was Kate's "naughty" sense of humour that won over the prince , and that cheekiness has been apparent throughout their entire relationship.
The pair both share a love for sport and the outdoors, and aren't afraid of a little friendly competition with one another.
The couple have forged quite a good comedy double act over the years, according to Judi, and posing for a playful snap at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is proof.
Judi said: "The pair have always used body language that suggest harmony and like-minded thinking in any one moment."
Meanwhile, the photo of the royal couple participating in some traditional sports in Ireland works to illustrate the fun and competitive side to their relationship.
Friend and companionship
They have fun together and value playfulness
William and Kate seemed to have made a pact to avoid any PDAs when on royal duty, Judi said
But early on in their relationship, we occasionally got a glimpse of "spontaneous togetherness signals" that were "less about Hollywood passion and more about playful attraction values".
Speaking of the playful snap during their 2011 North American Tour, Judi said: "William and Kate have always shown high levels of evenly-based play and highly competitive fun like this. Kate has filled a very important role in William’s life thanks to these rituals.
"Harry was always William’s fun playmate as they grew up together and William and Harry also had a strongly competitive relationship.
"The role we see Kate in here might just have helped William’s emotional fall-out when he and Harry parted company."
They have a shared humour and they're not afraid to laugh in public
Their fun-loving relationship is also a sign of their like-minded thinking, said Judi, which has been a visible trait throughout their relationship, even into marriage.
Proof of this is when they stepped out wearing matching hats when they visited Pakistan in 2019, with Judi saying that their "twinned, mirrored body language here shows shared humour."
But it also "shows a sense of confidence that any laughter will never look too informal, inappropriate or exclusive in public."
Speaking of another occasion in 2011 where they wore matching red jumpers, she added: "Kate and William’s strongest bond signals come from their spontaneous and subliminal mirroring.
"Here they happily wear mirrored outfits and both adopt a semi-serious but also childlike pose as he pins a badge or medal on her hoodie."
A sign of their ongoing attraction for one another
Despite having to adhere to strict royal protocol, the loved-up pair have never been afraid of a little public affection – particularly in the early years of their blossoming romance.
In 2006 the couple were snapped engaging in a sweet embrace as William took a break from his match at Eton College to kiss his future bride.
While there's no doubt William was head over heels at the time, it was Kate's body language that spoke volumes, according to Judi, who said there were clear signs of "intimacy, seclusion and sexual attraction."
Judi said: "They have their hands on one another’s backs in a twinned gesture and the way she is looking at his mouth as she speaks to him suggests strong levels of flattering attraction."
In March 2008, a ski trip to Klosters, Switzerland, confirmed the pair were very much in love after a brief break up the year before.
As they were snapped heading for the slopes, they stopped for brief smooch, and according to Judi, this is "another example of Kate’s determination" to create "an air of romance and intimacy with William."
Both Kate's torso and eye-gaze are fixed on her man and her beautiful beaming smile indicates "flatteringly high levels of attention and flirting."
"She looks besotted here and William looks as though he’s lapping up all the attention," Judi said,
But even after the pair married in 2011 and became full-time working royals, not much changed when it came to public displays of affection.
According to Judi, it took a moment of Olympic glory to reveal some of the true depths of what had been a rather under-played royal romance in terms of their PDAs.
Losing all his reserve in a celebratory ritual, the snap shows William shouting out in joy, and the moment was "so telling that the couple clung together," rather than keeping things more formal.
Confident and proud Kate
There's an even power in the relationship
Even way back in 2005 when the happy couple graduated from the University of St Andrews – despite only being together for a couple of years – – they appeared happy and oozed confidence.
But Kate particularly as her wide grin, suggests "pride in her prince and a degree of victory" having bagged the boy of her dreams.
Judi said: "The couple looked at their most spontaneous here, lacking virtually any signs of the kind of caution and self-awareness signals that royal life was to make them adopt when their relationship became more formal.
"William looks as though he is being inducted into the Middleton clan here. His smile shows pure pleasure but it’s Kate whose signals are a revelation.
"That hand on William’s torso is a firm signal of ownership, as is the way that she leans her own torso into his."
But as their relationship grew stronger, so did the Duchess' level of confidence.
In 2015 at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the royal couple were snapped as Kate whispered something in her husband's ear.
"There are signs of Kate’s increasing levels of confidence and even power in the relationship here as she leans smiling to talk to William while he bends in to listen," Judi explained.
"His pose suggests some awkwardness or even shyness, showing his signature barrier rituals like the tie-touch and the partial fig-leaf gesture."
What's more, Judi said Kate’s rounded cheeks and perfect smile suggest a more weatherproof type of elegance and confidence shining though.
They're a good working team and there's no resentment
Judi explained that Kate and William take it in turns to step into the public spotlight but without any signs of resentment when each take a back seat, and that clearly shows.
At their last royal engagement before tying the knot in November of 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared a laugh as William took hold of the conversation.
The couple’s pose here shows a "very confident settling in of complimentary body language," Judi said, and their signals here suggest "a working team."
William cracks a joke and Kate claps her hands in front of her body, and "this signals that it's his turn to shine."
Meanwhile, she becomes his ideal audience, "smiling with a nose-wrinkle of genuine-looking amusement."
On another more formal occasion it was teamwork all the way, as "William and Kate both became the others best audience."
"While William talks animatedly here Kate uses active listening skills to suggest a strong professional relationship in terms of Team Cambridge," Judi added.
They took their roles seriously and supported each other
As Kate stepped into her role as future queen the dynamic shifted slightly thanks to a huge amount of responsibly they'd each taken on.
At the couple's engagement in 2010, their poses became more about "traditional status values."
William moved into a more "alpha mode" while Kate "adopted a compliant, submissive image, posing demurely beside her more relaxed-looking husband."
Judi explained: "William’s face-watching and hand-clasping signals seemed designed to offer Kate reassurance here while her more tentative glance towards the floor and the way her legs are crossed suggest anxieties about her new royal role."
By the wedding there had been another slight but important shift on the power axis for the couple.
William’s social shyness made his body language signals "less assured" and we began to see Kate "moving into the role of quiet support for her husband."
Judi said: "Their tie-signs or non-verbal communication with one another included this wide grin from Kate to ensure William was enjoying the service.
"Unlike Charles and Diana, this was already a mature, familiar relationship with a cautious plot-line, meaning we saw a very happy and ‘in love’ couple but without the passion and anxiety signals of a couple newly in love."
Support and affection
They always back each other up
During the earlier days of their relationship, Judi said there was a feeling that using PDAs and more telling body language rituals might bring in the kind of rabid, obsessive interest that William’s mother, Princes Diana,suffered.
But recently they appear "more confident about their relationship" and "less wary about revealing more" via their gestures together, Judi said.
The couple often show "back-up and support" for one another with subtle back touches while at official engagements, which is "a mutually-exchangeable gesture from the couple."
Judi said: "Kate’s back-touch here is a truncated embrace that reminds William she is there for back-up and support."
During a royal tour of Canada that same year, William was seen supporting his wife in the same way as they walked up a flight of plane steps.
Judi explained: "Despite their love of play, William and Kate have developed a style of front-line royal body language that suggests high status and formality but without the kind of arrogance signals the older royals can sometimes be guilty of.
"This pose shows the kind of straight-backed elegance the pair use on more formal visits although their subtler touches and signs of affection have been increasing over the years and a back-touch, like this one, is a regular gesture from both of them."
Their relationship strengthened as they became parents
Parenthood caused some profound changes in Kate and William’s body language and relationship dynamic, according to Judi.
Becoming parents and raising children appeared to have strengthened their relationship, which is evident when the pair stepped out to introduce their third child Louis, now two, to the world.
"The couple’s mutual eye contact shows a strengthening in the relationship," Judi said.
She also said that fatherhood seemed to "bring out a whole new side to William" and it also seemed to bond William and Kate even closer, thanks to their shared roles and sense of continuity.
The couple really came into their own as "besotted but also experienced and thoughtful parents" once Louis was born.
At Prince Louis' christening in 2018, Judi said Kate’s smile became "genuinely joyful" and William’s "signals of empathy and more laid-back fun are much more on show".
She added: "As a family unit they look balanced and congruent and I would argue this is the Cambridges at the top of their relationship game."
The Cambridge family stepped out during lockdown to show their support for the NHS by clapping.
"This pose puts Kate very much into role as the matriarchal leader of the group," Judi explained, "with William happily standing behind her and the couple surrounded by their children."
They work well together, even in stressful times
Judi explained that her duties during lockdown really brought Kate out into the line-up as a star in her own right.
Her communication skills are "ideal for lockdown" and she seems to have "some of the natural performer gene that William used to lack."
Judi said: "Their competitive behaviours could have meant this would cause a rift but both have discovered skills of filming and videoing for causes they feel passionate about.
"This sense of career and family fulfillment seems to have made them closer and happier together."
We also shared how Prince William fell for Kate Middleton because of her ‘naughty humour’ & the famous see-through dress sealed the deal.
Plus inside the ‘naughty night’ Kate and Wills made up, with a policeman’s helmet, a nurse’s uniform & fishnet tights.
Plus we took a look at what the royal parenting styles say about them, with Meghan Markle beinga ‘Lawnmower Mum’ and Kate Middleton being a ‘Lighthouse’.
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