Prince William and Kate Middleton: Experts weigh in on their relationship dynamic

The Prince and Princess of Wales’ relationship has been keeping the world on its toes since the beginning of the millennium. Now, over twenty years later, experts are weighing in on how the dynamics have shifted over time.

Kate Middleton Prince William relationship
© Samir Hussein / GETTY IMAGES
Kate Middleton Prince William relationship

The Prince and Princess of Wales reportedly met in 2001 while they were both studying at St Andrew’s University in Scotland. Kate Middleton was introduced as the girlfriend and she attended her first event alongside the Royal Family in 2006 at Prince William’s graduation from the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.

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Though they seemed quite steady, the couple briefly broke up in 2007. After that, it all seemed quite smooth sailing. They got married, welcomed babies and continued to navigate being royals together.

However, one must remember that Middleton didn’t come from a noble family, unlike her husband. As such, she had to learn the ropes and is now considered a pro at respecting royal protocol.

A strong shift in the dynamics of their relationship

Judi James, a body language expert, has shared her observations with the Mirror. According to her, the couple has undergone a ‘quiet revolution’ in the past 20 years. She explains:

There's been a powerful shift in their signals of status and control as a loving couple as well as a professional double act.

However, though she argues that the couple's dynamics shifted, she emphasises that it ‘was not a battle for power’. James describes how, in the beginning, the now Princess’ behaviour suggested ‘a rather quiet and compliant nature’.

James highlights that in the early years, Middleton tended to walk behind Prince William whereas now she is more frequently seen as the lead. For instance, when Prince William, Prince George and Princess Charlotte joined Middleton at Wimbledon in 2023, she was at the forefront.

She was the one introducing her son and daughter to people. She walked ahead. She fully embraced her role as patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. And Prince William seemed to be quite happy being behind her.

On that, James says:

When Kate isn’t smiling her lips suggest a pursing gesture that will suggest firmness. And all of this has led to a more relaxed and confident William who has looked increasingly happy to stand back and watch his wife step further forward as well as delightedly enjoying their more tactile and romantic PDAs.

She also added that, unlike King Charles when Princess Diana was getting attention, Prince William ‘looks happy to see Kate glowing in the spotlight.’

Public Displays of Affection - how the Prince and Princess do it

Members of the Royal Family are endlessly scrutinised and this can lead to some disastrous events. For instance, in the 1980s and 1990s, the media scrutiny on Princess Diana is believed to have led to her untimely death.

Acutely aware of this, Prince William seems to be careful not to create the same craze around his wife. That being said, as Judi James points out, the couple still sometimes enjoy some endearing moments while attending functions together.

A different body language expert, Darren Stanton, spoke to the Mirror and advanced that the Prince and Princess show their affection through ‘humour’ and ‘mischievousness’. Speaking on behalf of Betfair Bingo he developed:

We have never seen senior members of the Royal family be so affectionate with one another in the public eye.

The expert continues his explanation by comparing the Waleses to Zara and Mike Tindall.

Mike and Zara are very similar to William and Kate. I can tell there is a lot of humour, banter and sarcasm.

Stanton also credits Prince William and Middleton’s growth which has seen their ‘levels of confidence and independence - in public and private’ develop. He also stated that:

They’re also not afraid to be open and honest through their body gestures about how they feel. They've really broken the mould, and there's a level of humour, playfulness and mischievousness to them when they want to be - which is really refreshing to see.

Read more:

Princess Kate and King Charles have developed a sweet relationship over the years

Kate Middleton: A look back at her style evolution in 37 images

Kate Middleton and Prince William's best quotes about what parenthood is like for them


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