The 29th April will see The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. 10 years is a long time and many things have happened in that period – not least three children! To celebrate their anniversary, we have taken a look back at the important moments for the couple over the last decade.
The Cambridges in Canada
From June 30th to July 8th 2011, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried their first overseas tour. The location? Canada for nine days, followed by a whirlwind two day visit to Los Angeles.
The couple made visits to Quebec, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Prince Edwards Island and Ottawa. The couple took part in Canada Day celebrations, canoeing on Eagle Island and had a hoedown at the rodeo in Calgary, as well as carrying out the normal tour events of meeting dignitaries, planting trees, laying wreaths, making speeches and greeting the adoring crowds.
Catherine showed that she was the new Queen of diplomatic dressing, wearing clothes from Canadian based designers, the national colours and also emblems, including The Queen’s maple leaf brooch.
After Canada, it was off for a whistle-stop visit to LA, where the new ‘it’ couple showed that they were the real stars of the show at a BAFTA event; we saw A-listers doing their best to get a look and even a word with the couple.
Catherine’s first engagement with The Queen
July 2011 also saw The Duchess of Cambridge and The Queen’s first engagement together. Buckingham Palace was to display Kate’s now-iconic McQueen wedding dress, along with other exhibits connected to the Royal Wedding. The day before it opened to the public, Catherine joined her grandmother-in-law for a tour of the exhibition.
It didn’t all go to plan however, with The Queen turning to the newest member of her family and saying “It’s horrid, isn’t it?” when she saw how the dress was being displayed. The Queen thought the 3D effect was ‘made to look very creepy’.
Catherine’s first solo engagement
Six months after her wedding, The Duchess of Cambridge carried out her very first solo engagement – unexpectedly!
A champagne reception and dinner was held at Clarence House for the 30 donors and sponsors of Prince Charles’ charities, In Kind Direct.
Prince Charles was originally meant to carry out the engagement but became unavailable, when he had to fly to Saudi Arabia following the death of the kingdom’s Crown Prince Sultan; Prince William was unable to attend due to work commitments with the RAF (the couple lived in Anglesey). Charles asked his daughter-in-law to take his place at the last minute and it was a roaring success! Guests were very impressed as Catherine spoke individually to each one and seemed genuinely interested in learning more about the organisation and each person present.
The Duchess’ first speech
In March 2012, during a visit to an East Anglia Children’s Hospice in Ipswich, The Duchess of Cambridge gave her first public speech.
The Duchess is patron of EACH and thanked them for having her as patron, and for inviting her on the day, in which she opened a new Treehouse centre for them. Catherine spoke about the importance of the work of EACH and their various centres around East Anglia.
She coyly remarked she wished her husband was with her to see the centre, before giving a grin and the crowd laughing.
Looking back, you can see some nerves of her part, but she’s gotten more confident in the years since.
2012 – the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee
2012 was a major year for the British Royal Family and the UK as a whole, as Queen Elizabeth II celebrated 60 years on the throne and the Olympics came to London. William and Kate were front and centre for both events.
The couple carried out many engagements throughout the year, with Catherine joining The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh for a visit to Leicester. Later on in the year, the couple joined The Queen on a visit to Nottingham.
It was the first major royal event that Catherine would take part in, and the week of the Diamond Jubilee itself saw the couple take part in the Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames and attend a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. It was all topped off with an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
The couple also represented The Queen during a nine-day tour of the South East Asia, which took place from 11th-19th September 2012. The tour saw for The Diamond Jubilee saw Catherine give her first speech on foreign soil – and some gloriously embarrassing dancing from the couple!
In between the Jubilee events and the tour saw the Olympics come to London! The couple greeted the Olympic flame at Buckingham Palace and were regulars in the stands during the event, wearing their Team GB gear and cheering on the athletes – which included cousin, Zara Tindall!
Closer Magazine photo furore
In September 2012, during William and Catherine’s Diamond Jubilee tour, French Closer magazine published photographs of Catherine sunbathing topless while on holiday.
The Duke quickly set about protecting his wife and filed a criminal complaint for invasion of privacy and also took out an injunction to prevent the photos to be published anywhere else. The couple ultimately won their case, donating the damage money to charities.
The Duchess did not let any strain show however, carrying on their tour as normal, but William was clearly irate and holding it in for his hosts.
The birth of Prince George
His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born at 4:24pm on 22nd July 2013 at the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington – the same place his father had been born. The Duchess had gone into labour in the early hours of the morning, ending what had come to be dubbed the ‘Great Kate Wait’.
The announcement of the birth came four hours later, allowing the new family time to get to know each other and for family members to be informed. It was a far cry from the announcement of Catherine’s pregnancy, which had to be announced after she was taken to King Edward VI hospital suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
The newborn Prince had visits from both sets of grandparents the day after his birth, before he was officially shown to the world’s media on the steps of the hospital.
Prince George’s christening took place on 23rd October 2013 in the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace.
Goodbye RAF and Anglesey
In September 2013, Prince William gave up his role as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot. The Duke had spent seven years flying Sea Kings, spending more than 1,300 hours flying in that time, saving lives. He also took part in over 150 missions.
George the Republican slayer
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went on their first family tour in April 2014, following a tradition set by William’s parents of taking the baby with them!
Chubby George was not quite one, but packed quite the punch when it came to giving the Royals a ratings boost in the Antipodes, stealing the show as the Cambridges landed in New Zealand with his grumpy faces.
It happened again at a Plunkett playdate in the country, and then at the Zoo in Australia.
Princess Charlotte arrives
Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana was born at 8:34am on the 2nd May 2015, also at the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.
Charlotte’s christening took place at the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk on the 5th July 2015.
William’s new job
In the spring of 2015, William began a new job as a search and rescue helicopter pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. The Duke announced he would be giving his yearly salary of £40,000 a year to charity.
The family moved into Anmer Hall on the Sandringham Estate to be close to William’s base of Cambridge Airport.
In October 2015, William and Cather attended their very first State Banquet. The banquet was held at Buckingham Palace for Chinese President Xi Jinping. Catherine wore the Lotus Flower Tiara for her debut and looked flawless at the top table.
In June 2016, Catherine graced the cover of British Vogue’s centenary issue. The issue featured a photoshoot taken by British photographer Josh Olins in January 2015 in Norfolk.
The photoshoot was a collaboration between British Vogue and The Duchess’ patronage the National Portrait Gallery, who displayed two of the portraits in its exhibition ‘Vogue 100: A Century of Style’
The Queen’s 90th birthday
The Duke and Duchess played central roles in celebrating The Queen’s 90th birthday, and were front of stage for a lot of the events – even joining the monarch on stage during her street party on The Mall!
As part of the birthday celebration, the Duchess gave her first interview as a member of the Royal Family in a documentary celebrating The Queen’s 90 years.
In 2016, The Royal Foundation launched Heads Together – a campaign spearheaded by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The idea to focus on mental health and trying to get more people talking about how they’re feeling and to de-stigmatise dealing with mental health problems was credited to Catherine noticing an overlap in the trio’s work.
Each of them focused on different sectors: Catherine on children and maternal mental health; William on men’s mental health; and Harry on servicemen and women. The trio traveled the country promotion the campaign and even opened up with their own battles with mental health, especially Harry.
The campaign culminated in the London Marathon, which chose the campaign as their main charity in 2017. Since then, the couple and Harry have gone on to do more work on the area of mental health.
In July 2017, Prince William carried out his final shift as an air ambulance pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance after two years. The couple and their family rebased themselves at Kensington Palace, keeping Anmer Hall as their country getaway, and became full-time working Royals.
In August 2017, the world remembered Diana, Princess of Wales on the 20th anniversary of her death. To mark the anniversary, William joined brother Harry in candidly opening up about their mother and her death for the first and only time.
The brothers took part in two documentaries, ‘Diana: Our Mother’ for ITV and ‘Diana: Seven Days’ for BBC. In the documentaries they spoke about Diana as a mother and the impact of her death on their lives as well as what the seven days between her death and her funeral were like for them.
All grown up
In September 2017, Prince George began school at Thomas’s in Battersea. George arrived for his first day of school with his father, his mother being ill with Hyperemesis Gravidarum – her third pregnancy had been announced just a few days before.
A third baby
Prince Louis Arthur Charles was born at 11:01am at the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington on 23rd April 2018.
He was christened, like his brother, at the Chapel Royal at St James’ Palace in London on the 9th July.
Kate’s first honour
In December 2018, Catherine showed off a new honour at the Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace. The Royal Family Order of Elizabeth II is an honour bestowed on female members of the British Royal Family and was the first major honour bestowed on Catherine.
For service to The Queen
In April 2019, The Queen bestowed the Royal Victorian Order on The Duchess of Cambridge. The honour is a form of chivalry personally given by The Queen for services to the Sovereign, and came on the eighth anniversary of her wedding to Prince William.
Off to School
In September 2019, Princess Charlotte joined her brother at Thomas’s. She was taken to school on her first day by both her proud parents and her big brother George.
In 2019, Prince William launched Heads Up, a legacy campaign for Heads Together.
Heads Up saw Heads Together join with the FA (of which William is president) to promote men’s mental health through football.
It was to culminate in the Heads Up FA Cup in May 2020 but COVID-19 postponed it to August. William promoted the campaign through a BBC documentary, The Peter Crouch Podcast and with numerous interviews with the great and the good of football.
In early 2020, Catherine launched head first into her Early Years work. She launched the 5 Big Questions survey, traveled all over the UK and joined Giovanna Fletcher on her ‘Happy Mum Happy Baby’ podcast to talk about how she adapted to parenthood.
In March 2020, the world went into lockdown – but the Royals stayed busy behind the scenes.
Despite suffering from COVID-19 at the same time as his father, William still managed to push forward with his work on conservation through the Earthshot Prize: ‘a decade of action to convene the environmental world with funders, businesses and individuals to maximise impact and take solutions to scale, to celebrate the people and places driving change; and to inspire people all over the world to work together to repair the planet’.
Catherine, meanwhile, teamed up with her patronage The National Portrait Gallery, to launch the Hold Still campaign. She asked people from all over the UK to send in their photos which sum up life during lockdown for them. There was a huge response with thousands of entries – but only 100 could be chosen for a virtual gallery.
Those 100 portraits went on to be put up on billboards across the UK and be put together into a book which will be available to buy soon