How life has changed for Prince William and Kate since their royal wedding

Five years ago Prince William married the love of his life the Duchess of Cambridge, who was simply known as Miss Catherine Middleton. When Kate arrived at Westminster Abbey with her father Michael on her arm, the bride walked down the aisle taking her first steps towards her Prince Charming – and her new life.

Ever since saying "I do" in front of nearly 2,000 guests, the couple's lives have changed dramatically. William and Kate have welcomed two children, including future heir to the throne Prince George, and have settled into their roles as public figures.

The nation's golden couple have taken on more royal duties as the years have passed, and carried out tours abroad at the request of Her Majesty the Queen. With each step Kate takes, royal watchers have noticed how the Duchess has grown in confidence, not to mention upped the style stakes with every outing.


Family life

Perhaps the biggest change William and Kate have seen in their lives is the arrival of their children George and Charlotte. The little Prince was born in July 2013, two years after his parents married. Royal fans were on tenterhooks, excited to meet the new baby and dubbed the labour the "Great Kate Wait".

George is now two years old, turning three this summer, and is attending nursery at his local Montessori. William and Kate have been adamant that their children enjoy the same private and safe childhood as other youngsters their age, so it's no surprise that the hands-on, modern parents didn't tell the media that George had completed his first day of nursery until it was over.

Similarly, the Cambridges recently enjoyed their first holiday as a family-of-four in the Alps. It was the first time George and Charlotte had experienced a real taste of snow and to mark the family occasion, William and Kate only invited one press photographer on the holiday.

As senior royals, the Duke and Duchess are expected to share certain key moments with the public and William and Kate often delight fans with new photos of their sweet brood. Occasions such as George and Charlotte's christenings were private affairs, but the royals didn't object to well-wishers waiting outside the church to greet the family.

Showing off baby Charlotte to the Queen and other guests, Kate looked like she was on cloud nine. As she pushed Charlotte in her pram to and from church, the mum-of-two had an air of confidence and self-assurance around her, qualities she has developed since her wedding.

In five years time will William and Kate have another son or daughter? Royal watchers are certainly hoping that the couple will add to their brood, and it wouldn't be so much of a surprise given that Kate comes from a family of three siblings.

Royal career

Kate is no longer the shy and reserved girl she was at the start of her royal career. She has transformed from a middle class girl from Berkshire to a fully fledged member of the royal family, confident in her public role as she takes on an increasing number of duties and engagements.

At 94, Prince Philip has entrusted the Duchess with a new patronage – of the RAF Air Cadets – while Kate is also set to become patron of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, a patronage she has scored from the Queen.

William and Kate have also carried out royal tours at the request of Her Majesty. Their first trip abroad was to Canada and the US, which took place just two months after their wedding in 2011.

The future monarchs have since returned Stateside to New York, and have also travelled to Australia and New Zealand. Their most recent tour took them to Bhutan and India, a country where William's parents Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales famously visited.

But not only is Kate following in the footsteps of other royals, she is finding her own way. William's wife has made it clear what causes she wants to champion, such as children's mental health – an issue she cares deeply about. Her first engagement and appearance on the royal circuit after giving birth to Charlotte was at the Anna Freud Centre, a research centre and charity that helps children experiencing mental health problems.

Speaking at an engagement for one of her charities Place2Be, Kate gave an address to a room full of children and head teachers and was noticeably more confident on stage. Five years into her new life, the Duchess has clearly relaxed into her role as a public figure.

William, likewise, saw his career and royal life change following his 2011 wedding. As a newlywed, he worked as an RAF search and rescue pilot based on the Welsh island of Anglesey. The idyllic island served as William and Kate's first home as a married couple, and when they made a brief return there in 2016, Kate admitted: "It was such a special time for us. It was the start of our life together really."

The Duke then had a transitional year where he took on more royal duties and figured out the next step of his career. In the summer of 2015, shortly after welcoming his daughter, he started his new job as a search and rescue pilot for the East Anglia Air Ambulance charity.

Moving home

William's day job is conveniently located close to the Cambridges' country home in Norfolk, Anmer Hall, which is where William and Kate have chosen as the primary base to raise their children. The couple still use their London home – Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace – but William and Kate prefer the privacy and comfort of their countryside mansion.

Five years on, the Duke and Duchess have built a sturdy foundation to raise their son and daughter. It's clear from their approach to their royal engagements and tours abroad that the couple work in tandem, supporting each other at home and in public, developing in confidence and wisdom. It looks like the nation's golden couple are still as golden as ever.