William and Kate used a clever decoy at university to keep their relationship a secret

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Prince William and Kate Middleton are one of the most famous couples in the world, but in the early days of their relationship they used a number of decoys in order to distract paparazzi from finding out that they were dating. They used a codename to keep their names out of newspapers and William set up a support hotline for Kate to help her adjust to life as a royal in the spotlight.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met at the St Andrews University and were placed in the same dormitory during their first year of studies. They quickly became good friends, but nothing romantic happened between them as they were both seeing other people.

When William and Kate later started dating, they had a very clever way of keeping their relationship a secret. To appear as just friends during their second year at university, the moved in together - but with mutual friends.

Royal biographer Katie Nicholl told Vanity Fair: 'Their bedrooms were on separate landings, but by this stage, it was nothing more than pretence.

'William and Kate had fallen in love and were enjoying a conventional university romance, albeit one involving elaborate cover-ups and decoys.

'In a bid to keep their relationship below the radar for as long as possible, they would leave the house at different times and arrive at dinner parties separately, and made a pact never to hold hands in public.'

Although they were able to keep things secret, in 2004 their relationship became public when they were spotted kissing during a ski trip.

They split briefly but rekindled their relationship shortly afterwards and went on to get married in 2011.

And the rest, as they say, is history!

Jadie Troy-Pryde
News Editor

Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.