Teenage photo of Kate Middleton and Prince William has royal fans fawning

Kate Middleton and Prince William were just 19 when they first met at university

Kate Middleton and Prince William were just 19 when they first met at university
(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty)

A rare photo of Prince William and Kate Middleton from their university days has resurfaced, much to the excitement of royal fans. 

Royal fans, brace yourself—a vintage photo of one of the most iconic couples of all time has been dug up from the archives after nearly twenty years in hiding. 

The exciting snap, which dates back to the fall of 2001, shows a teenage Kate Middleton and Prince William hanging out at St. Andrew's University with nine of their close friends—some of whom were reportedly their roommates. 

At the time, the youthful royal and his future wife had just enrolled in their first year of a degree in Art History at the Scottish college. (Will would later swap the subject for Geography after realizing he had more of an interest in environmental studies.) 

Posing against what looks to be a fireplace, the freshman gang can be seen embracing one another as they smile for the camera. William, who stands at the center of the group, is separated from Kate by one person, suggesting the pair have yet to become an official couple. Fans' nostalgia for the couple's college-era seems to be at an all-time high with the sweet photo going viral just a few months after this unearthed video of a young Kate Middleton shows her graduating from St. Andrew's University in 2005.

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While it's no secret that Prince William and Kate Middleton's relationship began when they met at the Scottish university, it's surprisingly difficult to find photos of the pair in the early stages of their romance. 

With security on high alert for the young royal, the paparazzi had little hope of capturing pictures of him with his guard down. Smartphones and social media had also yet to sweep the world, meaning it was a lot easier for William to maintain his privacy on campus. 

He also began his studies at St. Andrew's with strict instructions from the Royal Family to keep a low profile, especially when it came to socializing and dating. It's even been said that the Queen told Prince William not to kiss in public during his time at uni, in an effort to deter media attention from his relationship status. 

ST ANDREW'S, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 23: Prince William, Dressed Casually In Jeans, Blue Jumper And Trainers, Arriving At St Andrews University In Scotland. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Prince William arriving at St. Andrew's University in 2001 

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Luckily for Her Majesty, William knew how to play it cool up North. He managed to pursue a careful courtship with Kate whilst keeping the tabloids at bay, avoiding PDAs and spending quality time together behind closed doors instead. Their connection didn't go unnoticed by their college peers, who couldn't help but pick up on the chemistry. 

"Whenever Kate was in the room, Will was obviously paying attention to her," Laura Warshauer, who lived in the same door as the pair, told People magazine. "When we'd be sitting at lunch in the dining hall and the two of them would be talking, it was amazing to see how natural it was, how they had so much to say to each other. Looking back, there were all these small moments—certainly moments where I was like, 'Wow, this could really be something.'"


Kate Middleton at her graduation from St. Andrew's University in 2005 

(Image credit: Tim Graham/Getty)

Kate and Will grew even closer in their sophomore year of college when they moved into an apartment together with two friends. The cozy accommodation, whilst undeniably nowhere near as fancy as their current residence at Kensington Palace, gave them a glimpse into what their life could one day be like in the future. 

"It just sort of blossomed from there, really. We just saw more of each other, and you know, hung out a bit more and did stuff," William said in 2010. 

The relationship became public knowledge after the couple was photographed on a ski trip in 2004, one year after they officially started dating. They announced their engagement in November 2010 and went on to marry in a lavish wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey the following April. The rest, as you know, is history. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.