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Real reason Prince William and Princess Kate stood apart in unearthed wedding photo

The Prince and Princess of Wales began quietly dating in 2002

william kate wedding guests
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
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Royal fans are not short of pictures of the Prince and Princess of Wales, but they were not always as easy to come by – especially at the start of their relationship.

William and Kate met at the University of St Andrews in 2001 when they both lived at St Salvator's Hall residence, and they began quietly dating in 2002. But even four years later, they were spotted standing on opposite sides of the crowd at Queen Consort Camilla and her ex husband Andrew Parker Bowles' daughter Laura Lopes' wedding.

WATCH: All the best moments from Prince William and Princess Kate's royal wedding

Art curator Laura married chartered accountant Harry Lopes at St Cyriac's Church in Wiltshire on 6 May 2006. In one unearthed photo, mother-of-the-bride Camilla stood in the centre of the frame in a pleated dress and a floral hat next to King Charles who looked dapper in a grey suit.

Meanwhile, his son Prince William could be seen on the steps to the left in a morning suit and a pink silk tie as he looked across the crowd in the direction of his girlfriend Kate.

LOOK: Queen Consort Camilla steps out in luxe gown from wedding dress designer – did you notice?

camilla daughter laura wedding pic

The couple stood apart in a photo from Laura Lopes' wedding on display at St Cyriac's Church

Barely visible in the photo, her feathered hat was nestled in a group of wedding guests to the right of the image  – so why did the couple stand so far apart?

It could have been orchestrated by the wedding photographer, or a deliberate move by William and Kate in order to prevent too much interest in their relationship. In the same year as Laura's wedding, the Princess-to-be's lawyers were considering legal action over paparazzi photographers tracking her every move, so they clearly valued their privacy at the time.

laura lopes wedding day© Photo: Getty Images

Laura and Harry got married in 2006, four years after the Prince and Princess of Wales began dating

However, as their relationship progressed, Kate joined William at several more high-profile events, including at the Cheltenham races in 2007 and Peter and Autumn Phillips' royal wedding in 2008.

Prince William went on to propose during a holiday in Kenya, and they announced their engagement in November 2010 with Kate showing off her sapphire ring from his late mother Princess Diana.

When they got married at Westminster Abbey in April 2011, Kate ensured Laura's daughter Eliza, who was born in January 2008, had a very special role as one of her young bridesmaids.

NOW SEE: 17 memorable wedding guest outfits from Prince William and Princess Kate's royal wedding

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