Former royal butler gives rare insight into Kate Middleton and Prince William's relationship in the early years

The Prince and Princess of Wales have been married for 11 years

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The Prince and Princess of Wales have been married for 11 years

The Prince and Princess of Wales have been married for 11 years, and have three beautiful children together, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

But their romance goes back even further, to when they first met at the University of St Andrews, in Scotland, back in 2001.

The couple were together for 10 years, on and off, until they got engaged in 2010 and married the next year, although some naysayers didn't think they would last. 

Former royal butler, Grant Harrold, worked closely with Prince William - now the Prince of Wales - and his brother Prince Harry in the royal household, and has revealed it was a "fun" being around the royal family, and seeing William's love for Kate blossom.

Speaking to Slingo, he said: "I had the opportunity to look after William and Kate and Prince Harry and that was fun because not only did I get to know them on duty, but I got to know them off duty too.

"We went to the same pubs, we ended up having a lot of the same friends - I always knew who they were and respected who they were, but I got on really well with them. It’s quite strange now, when you see them as a family and as senior Royals, to think that the days I was with them they’d only just left university."

When asked about Kate and William's early years of dating, Grant said they were like any other young couple.

He shared: "I was there when the boys went to university, when William first met Kate and they were dating - and then they stopped dating for a little while which was horrifying to me because I adored both of them, luckily they got back together.

"[They were] like any boyfriend and girlfriend. Not any different to anyone else, it’s mad saying that when you think about who they are, but there wasn’t anything different."

However, Duchess Catherine has always been held in high esteem as she was always friendly with royal staff.

Grant continued: "What I liked was that Kate, being a girlfriend and obviously not a member of the family, would be with me and the other staff and she was so polite, friendly, and fun and making jokes. I remember there were days I had off where I’d be running an errand or I’d left something up at Highgrove [House] and they were around, so you’d just catch up with them."

Grant had such a strong rapport with the royal family he was invited on holidays, and would received direct calls from William - much to others surprise.

Reminiscing on his days at the palace, he said: "It was always fun and it was always nice that I got on so well with them because they’d then ask me to travel the country with them.

"When my phone used to go off and it was William, all my friends would be like that’s so cool, but to me it was normal. That was the relationship I had with them. I think it was really special and not unusual, actually, because in a private home you’re expected to get on with the family. As for the younger members of the family, you’re not employed by them, but you end up having a relationship with them as well. There’s very few people that the Royals actually get to know, so you do feel lucky that you were trusted with that.

Maisie Bovingdon

Maisie is a writer and editor, covering Royal News, Showbiz, Lifestyle content, as well as Shopping Writing and E-Commerce, for print and digital publications, including Marie Claire, Hello!, Fabulous, Mail Online and Yahoo!.