Catherine's iconic dress caught the attention of a young Prince William

The true story behind Princess Catherine’s catwalk moment

In addition to having one of the most memorable and enduring love stories in royal history, Prince William and Princess Catherine also had one of the most unusual dating stories.

Like many young couples, the couple met in college. However, it is said that their first interaction was when William was seated in the audience and the future Princess of Wales was walking down a catwalk in a sheer dress and bikini.


Kate’s iconic dress caught the attention of a young Prince William
Photo: © Malcolm Clarke/Daily Mail/Shutterstock

Catherine dazzled on the catwalk for a charity event, and the performance the royal walked in was titled ‘The Art of Seduction’. Catherine wore a number of outfits during her time on the catwalk, but this particular dress stood out the most.

The stunning piece, created by fellow student Charlotte Todd, featured a bandeau bikini layered over a sheer black dress.

Years later, his friends disclosed that William was “smitten” with his future wife the moment Catherine walked down the runway in the striking outfit. William had paid £200 for a ticket and was seated in the front row.


William first laid eyes on Kate while studying at St Andrews
Photo: © Pool/Tim Graham Picture Library

One of the Prince’s college pals told Vanity Fair, “It was clear to us that William was smitten with Catherine.” Another coursemate, Ben Duncan, cracked a joke, saying William’s “eyes were on stalks.”

The article disclosed that William found the confidence to approach Catherine during the show’s after-party. William’s former friend remarked about the incident, saying: “She blushed because he told her she was a knockout that night. Catherine had left a lasting impression on William, and they clearly had chemistry.

She maintained her composure, and at one point she moved away when William appeared to be bending in to kiss her. She was careful not to give Will the wrong idea or make things too simple for him.”


After completing their first year at St Andrews, Catherine and William moved in together with a group of friends, creating a moment that would go down in royal history. The couple had begun dating in 2003.


The moment was immortalised in The Crown
Photo: © Netflix

Though William and Catherine have never publicly discussed the fashion show, the then-Duchess of Cambridge made light of it all by joking, “I hope you weren’t involved in the fashion show,” at a celebration honoring the institution’s 600th anniversary. You can never be sure what you’ll be asked to wear!”

And what became of the famous dress? The item cost only £30 to make, but it sold for an incredible £78,000. It was auctioned off in 2011, the year William and Catherine got married.


Charlotte Todd desgined the dress while studying at St Andrews
Photo: © Ian Gavan


“If it is true that my design helped changed the Prince’s interest in Catherine from platonic to romantic as has been reported, then I am pleased to have played a part – however minor,” the dress’ designer joked when questioned by People about the dress that brought William and Catherine together. When I was sitting there knitting this piece, I had no idea that it would become so significant later on.”

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