Kate Middleton captured Prince William’s attention on the catwalk—and who could forget her see-through dress?

Kate Middleton walked the runway at University and Prince William had a front row seat

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, in her role as patron, visits the 'Urban Nature Project'
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Kate Middleton instantly caught her future husband Prince William’s attention with a stunning see-through dress at a charity fashion show during their time at University. 

Kate Middleton has long been known for her effortlessly elegant looks, delighting royal fans with her stylish attire whenever she and Prince William carry out their royal engagements. Many of Kate Middleton’s dresses have gained an immense following, whilst her hair transformations and favorite make-up and skin products have always attracted attention. And as New York Fashion Week 2021 kicks off on September 8, wowing the world with its array of colorful and unique pieces, it’s hard to forget the Duchess of Cambridge’s own foray into catwalk modeling almost twenty years ago. 

Whilst her recent royal looks are a constant source of inspiration, perhaps her most eye-catching look of all is this one that very few people got to see in person. It was during her time at St Andrews University in Scotland that Kate Middleton took to the runway in a daring dress designed by Charlotte Todd. 

Designer Charlotte Todd attends a pre- auction photo call with the dress Kate Middleton wore on the catwalk at St. Andrew's University Charity Show

(Image credit: Photo by rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)

Kate and Prince William’s love story started at St Andrews and he reminisced about meeting Kate there earlier this year in a sweet speech during their Royal Tour of Scotland. Yet the couple, who celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary this year, were not actually together at the time of Kate’s catwalk debut. 

This was soon set to change, however, as Prince William’s attention was captured by his beautiful friend when she took part in the St Andrews Charity Fashion Show wearing Charlotte's gorgeous design.

Pre- auction photo call with the Charlotte Todd designed dress Kate Middleton wore on the catwalk at St. Andrew's University Charity Show in 2002

(Image credit: Photo by rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)

Prince William reportedly paid $275 (£200) for a front-row seat at the event back in 2002. And he certainly had one of the best vantage points in the house to watch Kate walk down the catwalk in a sheer lace dress, her black underwear showing through.  

This astonishing fashion moment has gone down in royal history and according to The Mirror, the iconic dress was later sold at auction in March 2011 for a staggering (£78,000) just months before their wedding.

The publication reports that Kate’s see-through dress was initially only expected to sell for around $11,010-$13,763 (£8,000-£10,000), after spending many years at the home of the designer’s mother. But it seems the romantic story behind the dress’ university appearance might have made all the difference.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leaving the wedding of their friends Harry Mead and Rosie Bradford in the village of Northleach

(Image credit: Chris Ison/PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

Kate Middleton is thought to have gone from close friend to royal girlfriend, in part due to her catwalk appearance, where Prince William, who is second in the royal line of succession, reportedly exclaimed, “Wow, Kate’s hot!”

This pivotal moment came just two years before their romance went public and from here Prince William and Kate Middleton’s relationship went from strength to strength. Aside from a brief breakup in 2007, they have been together ever since.

Prince William went on to propose with a magnificent piece of Princess Diana’s jewelry—her sapphire ring—in November 2010.

Prince William and Kate Middleton pose for photographs in the State Apartments of St James Palace

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Speaking during their engagement interview about how their romance developed, the Duke declared, “We were friends for over a year first, and it just sort of blossomed from then on. We just spent more time with each other and had a good giggle."

Kate admitted she had been "shy" and went "bright red" upon meeting the Queen's grandson for the first time, whilst Prince William also praised his then-fiancée's "naughty sense of humor". 

Now all these years after first meeting, they have become one of the most iconic royal couples. And though Kate Middleton’s catwalk days might be behind her, but her iconic fashion show walk continues to capture the attention of many to this day. 

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.

Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.

In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 

After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!