Prince William reminisces about meeting Kate Middleton at St Andrews as the couple prepare to return to where their love story began

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met at the University of St Andrews 20 years ago

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive to officially open V&A Dundee
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Prince William has reflected on the “special place” St Andrews will always hold in his heart after meeting Kate Middleton there 20 years ago as the couple prepare to return to where their love story started.

Prince William and Kate Middleton first met 20 years ago at the University of St Andrews and soon they'll return to where their love story began for a very special reason. Over the past few days, the Duke of Cambridge has been busy carrying out a mini Royal Tour of Scotland. 

It was during his visit to Grassmarket Community Project's workshop that one eagle-eyed fan spotted something unusual about the photographs of Prince William as he sawed wood. Though it was the Duke of Cambridge’s heartfelt words about his time at St Andrews that has perhaps delighted royal fans the most. 

Prince William gave an emotional address in his new capacity as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, reflecting on his time there.

Prince William and Kate Middleton visit the University of St Andrews as part of it's 600th anniversary celebrations at University of St Andrews on February 25, 2011 in Glenrothes, Scotland

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

“[It was here in Scotland 20 years ago this year that I first met Catherine,” he said. "Needless to say, the town where you meet your future wife holds a very special place in your heart.”

Though Prince William has so far been attending his Scottish engagements alone, he will reunite with Kate for an especially heart-warming part of the royal tour.

When is the Duchess of Cambridge arriving in Scotland?

Prince William’s Scottish visit officially began on Friday May 21 and he has been conducting several solo engagements over the past few days, though he will be joined by Kate Middleton on Monday May 24.

A spokesperson for Kensington Palace stated: ‘Both he and The Duchess are very much looking forward to spending time in Scotland, hearing from a wide range of people on the issues they care about, and celebrating individuals who have gone above and beyond to support their communities over the past year’.

The couple will be carrying out multiple engagements across Scotland, traveling to Edinburgh and Fife, as well as Orkney. And it is in Fife that Prince William and Kate will undertake a very special visit as they return to the University of St Andrews. 

What do Prince William and Kate Middleton have planned in St Andrews?

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s visit to the University of St Andrews will see them meet today’s undergraduates. The couple will learn more about the students’ experiences during this challenging past year and how friendship and mutual support has helped them throughout the pandemic. 

According to Tatler, they will also be attending a land yachting session with young carers from the surrounding area at a nearby beach. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are known for their love of the outdoors, with the garden of their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall, believed to have been featured in their tenth wedding anniversary video. Whilst Prince William also discussed his love of the Scottish countryside in his speech to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. 

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales , Prince William and Prince Harry relax together on the banks of the river Dee in the Balmoral Estate on August 16, 1997 in Balmoral, Scotland

(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Here he recalled the “dark days” of grief following Princess Diana’s death. Just 15 years old at the time, Prince William heard the tragic news at Balmoral Castle and found the surrounding countryside a source of “comfort”. 

“I was in Balmoral when I was told that my mother had died,” he declared. “Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning and in the dark days of grief that followed I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors.

“As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep."

This deep connection was strengthened by his university experience in St Andrews, where a close friendship with Kate soon blossomed into their fairytale romance. Their relationship became public knowledge in 2004 and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!