Kate Middleton ‘never expected to become royal but fell in love with William’

The Prince and Princess of Wales met while studying at St Andrews University in 2001

Kate Ng
Wednesday 17 May 2023 05:34 BST
William and Kate release behind-the-scenes footage from coronation weekend

The Princess of Wales has said she never expected to become a member of the royal family – but then she met and “fell in love” with Prince William.

Kate Middleton made the admission when she joined a Dame Kelly Holmes Trust event in Bath on Tuesday (16 May) and took on the double Olympic champion at a game of bean-bag noughts and crosses – but came out second best.

When the princess sat down for a chat with a group of schoolgirls from St Katherine’s School in Bristol supported by the charity, she opened up the floor to questions about herself.

One pupil asked if Kate had wanted to become a royal, to which the princess replied she did not expect it but she “fell in love” with the Prince of Wales.

Commenting afterwards about the pupils’ chat with the princess, Dame Kelly said she posed a question about Kate’s three children asking if she saw different “traits” in them, and the future queen replied “Oh yes, definitely”.

The double Olympic champion said when the schoolgirls quizzed Kate about being a “royal”, she said it was something “she had to learn”.

Speaking for herself, Dame Kelly said: “A struggle to kind of know that you can be accepted and fit in, and still learning every day.”

The double Olympic champion said public speaking was not a “natural thing” to many people and, commenting on Kate, added “she said she’s still working that out”.

Kate, Princess of Wales, is all smiles as she visits the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and meets with some of the young people that the charity supports in Bath (AP)

Kate and William met while they were both studying at St Andrews University in 2001. Their engagement was announced in 2010 and the couple married in April 2011 at Westminster Abbey.

Dame Kelly founded her national youth development organisation on the belief that every young person needs a champion.

It pairs world-class athletes with youngsters who may have lack confidence or have other issues, so the sportsmen or women can pass on their winning mindset and help the children develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed in life.

The Princess of Wales (right) and Dame Kelly Holmes (centre) during a visit to the Percy Community Centre in Bath, to meet some of the young people supported by the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust youth development charity (PA)

The eight pupils from St Katherine’s School in Bristol were taking part in the On Track To Achieve programme, delivered by their athlete mentor, Paralympic gold medallist Liz Johnson.

When she first arrived, Kate, who is known for her competitive streak, took part in an outdoor game to relax everyone, joining some of the eight students aged 11-14 being supported by the trust, while the former sports star joined the remaining pupils on an opposing team.

In bright summer sunshine, each team member ran forward and threw a bean-bag onto a grid on the ground.

Kate’s team did their best but Dame Kelly’s players twice won and, after their first victory, the track and field star held her arms aloft and admitted she was “slightly competitive”, and the princess joked “You would never have guessed”.

Reporting by PA

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