Kate Middleton pretended to be Prince William’s girlfriend before they started dating

The Prince and Princess of Wales are well-known for their dedication to the roles, as well as their loveable and supportive behaviour toward one another in public.

Very few of us need reminding that the royal couple met when they were both students at the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 2001. While they both started out as just friends, their closeness quickly blossomed into a relationship.

As you may imagine, when Prince William enrolled at the university he found himself quite the centre of attention when it came to advances from young women. This allegedly made William quite nervous as he was "too polite" and didn't know how to reject their favour

But it would appear that his close friend, Catherine Middleton, had a clever tactic to help William out before they started dating. According to a mutual friend of the couple, Kate taught Prince William a genius tactic to get him out of uncomfortable situations.

The couple met during their first year when they were both living at St Salvator's Halls of Residence and would later go on to live with one another. While the couple have now been married for 12 years and share three children, their first years together as students sound idyllic.

It is well-known that the pair were very close friends before they became romantically involved. So much so, that they even had a clever trick to get out of awkward social situations.

Speaking to royal expert Katie Nicholl for her book Kate: The Future Queen, their mutual friend Laura Warshauer said: "Will was getting really hit on by this girl at a party and it was getting quite uncomfortable because he couldn't shake her off.

"He was being really polite, but this girl just didn't get the hint. All of a sudden Kate came up behind him and put her arms around him. He said 'Oh, sorry, but I've got a girlfriend', and he and Kate went off giggling." William was very grateful for her help, and according to Laura, he mouthed "thanks so much" to her afterwards. She said: "Kate was the only girl in the room who could have done that. And that was just a month after we started university."

After their first year, the couple moved in with two other housemates, Fergus Boyd and Olivia Bleasdale, to 13A Hope Street which reportedly cost the four students £100 per week each.

In their third and fourth years, however, Prince William and Kate made a home together in a private house situated off-campus that belonged to one of William's distant cousins.

The couple chose to move to Balgove House at Strathtyrum for their third and fourth years at university. It was a sprawling private estate located just outside of St Andrews. The estate is owned by wealthy landowner Henry Cheape, a ­distant cousin of Prince William and a close friend of the Royal Family.

The rural home was made safe for the young couple to live in as unmarked police cars patrolled the estate and the house itself was set behind a large wall and had bomb-proof doors and windows.

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