10 things William and Catherine fans should know

Prince William and Catherine are the world’s most famous couple. We hunt down 10 facts you may not know about the young royals.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in California - Day Two

1. Family tree

Catherine is distantly related to Prince William – they are 12th cousins once removed through Sir Thomas Leighton, an Elizabethan soldier, diplomat and, for 40 years, the Governor of Guernsey.

2. Scottish romance

The couple met when they both lived in St Salvator’s Hall at St Andrew’s University, which has something of a mythical reputation for matchmaking. William graduated with a 2:1 in Geography, and Catherine with a 2:1 in History of Art.

3. Making an impression

The see-through dress that sparked William’s interest in Catherine when she wore it at a university fashion show in 2002 was auctioned in 2011 for £78,000.

4. William’s wild side

William and Catherine became engaged in October 2010 in Kenya during a 10-day trip to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to celebrate William passing his RAF helicopter search and rescue course. William has often expressed his love for the continent and is deeply involved in Tusk Trust, a charity set up in 1990 to help to protect African wildlife.

5. Sapphire statement

Prince William revealed he’d been carrying his mother Princess Diana’s £28,500 engagement ring around in a rucksack for the duration of their African holiday, trying to decide the best time and place to propose to Catherine.

6. Meeting the family

During their engagement interview Prince William stated that it was at Peter Phillips’ wedding reception that Catherine officially met with The Queen and had an extended conversation with her.

7.  Something blue

Wedding tradition taken from an old English rhyme (‘Something olde, something new, something borrowed, something blue’) dictating the four objects that a bride should add to her wedding outfit or might carry with her on her big day for luck was followed by Catherine on her wedding day. For ‘something blue’ she had a blue ribbon sewn into the interior of her Sarah Burton-designed dress.

8. What’s in a name?

Due to titled members of the Royal Family officially having no surname, neither does Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. If a surname is needed, Catherine will either use Cambridge or Mountbatten-Windsor. Prince William is known as Flight Lieutenant William Wales in his military life.

9. Heir apparent

The couple’s son, Prince George of Cambridge, born in July 2013, is third in line to the throne, and this would have been the case, regardless of whether he’d been born a girl. In October 2011 the government announced that the 16 Commonwealth countries where The Queen is head of state had accepted changes to the rights of succession, ending centuries of male primogeniture.

10. Generation gap

The last time a still-serving monarch met their great-grandchild born in direct succession to the crown was 120 years ago when Queen Victoria met Edward VIII.

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