William & Kate: The Movie is Lifetime’s 2011 made for tv movie based on the real-life relationship between a young Prince William and his future bride and best friend, Kate Middleton.
The hour and a half long romance stars Camilla Luddington (Grey’s Anatomy) as Kate Middleton and Nico Evers-Swindell (Grimm) as Prince William. William & Kate spotlights the highs and lows of their relationship and their evolution from classmates to royal romantics.
We know that made for tv movies get a bad rap, but this movie is particularly charming. We especially loved the scenes where they were hiding their romance from their roommates and stealing kisses in the rain. Ahhh, young love!
Here is our minute-by-minute reaction… want to watch along with us? Check Lifetime’s television schedule.
Intro: Diana’s ring in the logo. (I’m already sold.)
“Inspired by true events.” (AUDIBLE SQUEALING.)
Hair. Kate Middleton’s famous locks! She’s getting ready to go for a jog. Camilla Luddington plays our favorite Duchess (and our favorite Doctor on Grey’s Anatomy… well… after Dr. Cristina Yang.)
Cut to a walk and talk between Prince William and his father, Prince Charles. “This is the kind of thing your mother would have wanted for you.” Prince William is super tall and handsome, played by Nico Evers-Swindell. Loving his classic 90s Wills’ wardrobe.
Prince Charles is discussing how brilliant William’s time at school should be without the paparazzi and photographers hounding him. (Backstory: Both the Prince of Wales and the University of St Andrews insisted that the media allow Prince William to have a normal college experience by keeping their distance while he went to school. This resulted in Wills enjoying a great deal of anonymity while at University.)
“I can just be myself and blend in,” William says to his father. (It was rumored that he would sometimes refer to himself as “Steve” just to avoid being recognized.)
Press montage. Girls with signs. Kate is just jogging. She doesn’t care. She’s living her best fitness life.
Prince William opens the door to his very humble new bedroom. He is thrilled. He can smell independence. Or Clorox. It’s either independence or Clorox.
Knock at the door. Guy in top hat. “Welcome, my lord, I see you have received my CV…” (CV means resume.) Top hat guy is applying for Prince William’s wingman position because he knows that Prince William is going to get like… boy band groupies and he wants in. He also has beer. Ian is Will’s next-door neighbor and he’s thirsty for more than an alcoholic beverage.
They peer over a balcony at female classmates and Ian gives the prince the rundown on some of their new schoolmates.
One of Kate’s friends comes rushing into her room to announce that Prince William is on campus. Kate seems uninterested. (Fun Fact: One of the friends in this scene is played by Scottish actress Louise Linton who is married to Steven Mnuchin, the former United States Secretary of the Treasury.)
One of the snobbish girls (we will call her Mean Girl Margaret) goes into how you have to have the proper pedigree to date a royal. (She’s probably super fun at parties.)
In a packed classroom scene, Kate sits a few rows behind her future hubs. When the teacher seems to poke fun at the future king, Kate has a giggle.
Everyone is looking at William in the cafeteria.
When William stands up to get a fork, his friend from Eton College explains an instance where one of their classmates at Eton had sold information about William to the tabloids. He explains to William’s new group of friends at St Andrews that William is very protective of himself because of this. (The only instance that I found referencing this story was from an OG message board that claims a man/”friend” of Prince William named Rob tried to sell 22 photos of Prince William for £100,000 to The Mirror. The worst part? The message board says that Rob snuck in and took the photos while Prince William was at CHAPEL!)
Still in the cafeteria: William returns to the table and top hat Ian over aggressively stresses to Prince William that he can trust their group of friends. William goes on to explain that he typically tests his friendships by sharing a little white lie with someone new to see if and when it shows up in a tabloid. If it never shows up? He can trust them. If it does? He cuts them off. (Strategery.)
Class is over and it seems that Prince William and Kate Middleton have ended up in a group of four to work on a project together. Kate is visibly nervous around the blonde royal as the two take off in the same direction.
She flirtatiously stops him from stepping on a remembrance stone for a martyr named Patrick Hamilton. The superstition is that whoever steps on the stone fails their degree.
Enter Kate’s boyfriend to ruin it all with a smooch.
In 2011, we had not heard much from Kate Middleton. Her voice was very much a mystery, but while I feel like Camilla’s accent isn’t 100% on the ball, I do know that the cast members worked closely with dialect coaches.
Kate’s boyfriend tells her that William’s whole family is bonkers. Later, he makes fun of William and Kate is clearly defensive.
Kate hasn’t seen William in a few days, so she visits him in his dorm room. (It’s the low-rise jeans for me.)
She asks if he’s been sick and he explains that he was just visiting his grandmother… AKA THE QUEEN. She’s caught off-guard and exits. See, Kate just looks at William as a regular boy!
Cut to a pub scene where William is dancing and kissing a blonde named Emily. William’s friends are discussing how William simply can’t bring “a commoner” home to meet the Queen. Kate asks her boyfriend if he would take her home to meet the Queen, he agrees, there’s some mouth-to-mouth and audible groaning from the single friends in the group.
Now William is falling asleep as his professor discusses Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers.’ (I recreated Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ at a Paint ‘N Pour party once. Gave the painting to my Mom who hung it in… the guest bathroom. No respect.)
Cut to a snowy St Andrews courtyard where Prince William and Kate are wrapping up their group project. Kate has the gall to pull out a copy of the Daily Mail and recite some of the stories that the tabloid has recently published.
Prince William explains that the majority of stories that the tabloids publish are not true. (Historically, this could be the first documented example of “fake news.” Kidding. Kind of.)
William admits to Kate that he is anxious to go home. He is lonely at St Andrews and misses his friends and family. Kate suggests that he transfer but he is worried that people will misinterpret that as failing.
William says goodbye to Kate for the holidays but is seriously considering not coming home for the next semester. We are all still just friends at this point. No kissy or smoochy.
Kate is home for the holidays and her family is thrilled about her arrival! Serena Scott Thomas plays Carole Middleton and is every bit the gorgeous character that Kate’s Mom is in real life! Pippa immediately goes in on her sister about her friendship with Prince William and the conversation erupts once Kate calls him “Wills.” Kate’s house is lively and warm. Full of laughter and love.
..cut to Prince William at home for the holiday. It is quiet and empty within Prince Charles’ large dining room. Only Charles, William, and Prince Harry sit at the large dinner table. (I won’t mention the actor that plays Prince Harry by name here but the casting department was quite questionable in this instance, honestly.)
Harry is debating a career in the military. William insists that the royal family will never let him fight but Harry reminds William that he is “not the heir. I’m just the spare.” Charles laughs.
Attitudes change when William brings up wanting to transfer out of St Andrews. Charles tells his oldest son, “There are always repercussions when one changes one’s mind.” (LIKE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT YOUR FIRST WIFE, PRINCE CHARLES?)
Charles explains to William that St Andrews has gone out of its way to accommodate their family. (Such a Dad sentence.)
William storms off and Harry jokes, “I don’t look so bad now, do I?” (We’re just waiting for that Oprah interview Harry but ok.)
Kate is eating a banana in her PJs when her phone rings. It’s William. Pippa is wide-eyed and nosy. Kate asks William if he’s coming back to school. He says that it’s likely due to his family “comparing changing schools to abdicating the throne.” “That’s a bit dramatic!” Kate laughs. Kate suggests that he change majors and he agrees. I think they’re flirting!
“My life was planned for me before I was even born,” laments Prince William on his private plane with a fruity drink in hand. Kate challenges William to think about what he really wants to do in life.
Cut to the notorious charity fashion show!
Both William and Kate are back on campus and Kate is walking the catwalk at a fashion show. William politely claps in the audience as he awaits the debut of his “friend” Kate Middleton. Tonight everything changes!
Here she comes… Kate removes her coat to reveal a see-through dress. You can see her undies! As Kate’s coat drops, so does William’s jaw. “She’s hot!” he proclaims. “When did THAT happen?” William asks Ian.
At the after-party, Trevor plants a big kiss on Kate before William swoops in. “You look beautiful tonight,” he tells Ms. Middleton. They briefly discuss William’s career aspirations, and I mean briefly before William tries to kiss Kate in the middle of the party! “What are you doing,” asks Kate. “We’re just friends,” she insists. “It was a friendly kiss,” replies William. Kate is left confused but chalks his actions up to alcohol consumption.
Abruptly cut to Trevor. He wants Kate to transfer schools with him but she refuses. They break up.
The group congregates at the pub where Kate is semi-moping until Prince William invites the four friends to Highgrove with him for the weekend.
At Highgrove, Prince Charles is enjoying a meal with William and his entire crew. William boasts about his father’s organic genius.
Now they’re off to shoot! (Camilla is giving off major Kate vibes in her beanie!)
The shoot gives Kate some special time with Prince Charles.
After killing things, it’s time for church. (Obviously.)
Kate comments about how often they’ve had to change their clothes in the day. Breakfast, shooting, dinner, etc. (This comment is even funnier later.)
On the way home from the gang’s Highgrove trip, they all decide to move in together. (I would watch this Royal Real-World.)
Apparently, William is an absolute garbage cook. (Which would make sense because so was Princess Diana!)
Now that they’re spending so much time together as roommates, it seems that Kate might be developing romantic feelings for Prince William. The crew throws a party and Kate asks William why she hasn’t seen his girlfriend lately. He tells her they broke up. Kate says she’s sorry… but is she really? (I wouldn’t be. YOLO.)
There’s a romantic moment over a trash bag.
Outside of a rainy pub, fueled by a little liquid courage, Prince William holds Kate’s hand before sneaking her into a corner and kissing her. (I would be lying if I told you that my heart did not fall into my butt just now.)
Cute montage of William and Kate sneaking around behind their roommates’ backs and into each other’s rooms at all hours. Plus, casual ‘Hi’s around campus. (I hate myself for loving this movie so much.)
Even cuter scene where William wakes Kate up for class before there’s a knock on the door. It’s Ian. He needs to borrow a book from William. Kate is hiding stealthily under the sheets. Upon exiting Ian says, “Morning Kate.” LOLOLOLOL. This transitions into Kate admitting that her family knows about them and wants to meet Prince William.
William seems really flattered. (I love this movie. I love this couple.)
Cut to the Middleton household. Kate’s family is obviously nervous with random bows and curtsies and titles. William asks them to just call him William. He is clearly smitten by their sweet family.
William sleeps in the guest room like the gentleman that he is.
Audible laugh! The next morning the Middleton family is watching sports around the television in their pajamas. Prince William walks in dressed in a nice sweater and slacks. “Where are you going?” asks Pippa. “I believe William is dressed for breakfast,” Kate says with a mouth full of cereal. LOLOLOLOLOLOL
(That is a throwback to how they change 500 times at Highgrove.)
Kate’s mother is mortified. She insists that everyone gets dressed but William says, “No. This is great! Much better.” (The casting is so well done. I love Nico Evers-Swindell as a young Prince William.)
Now we’re in a nightclub with William and his roommates. They are thriving! Until the paparazzi ruin it all. Kate strategizes a plan to get William out without photos of the two.
Kate is trying on dresses for William’s birthday party. She explains to her family and friends that William still wants to keep their relationship under wraps for her privacy. Her mother agrees, referring to Princess Diana’s media attention.
Mean girl Margaret is at William’s birthday party, making poor Kate feel insecure about her upbringing and class. William is preoccupied with his royal life and friends and Kate feels ignored. She leaves his birthday party a bit jealous of the rumors surrounding him and a woman named Jecca Craig. (This instance really happened and really hurt poor Kate’s heart.)
William calls Kate while she’s at home with her family recovering from a broken heart. She ignores him.
Now he’s chasing her around campus. He says that when he’s at home with his family he is expected to behave a certain way, “This is my life!” he says, “I thought I was part of your life,” cries Kate. “You are a part of my life. You’re part of my private life!”
William insists that he wants to keep their relationship private and safe from the media.
William sends a plane to pick up all of his roommates to take a ski trip. Kate reluctantly agrees to go.
Oh no, there’s a karaoke scene.
I can’t unsee this. I need bleach.
Apparently, the singing worked and William and Kate are back on!
Funny photography/paparazzi scene where Prince Charles is pained at having to take the agreed-upon photos for media. (This was a strategy developed by royal protection officers so that the royals could have some privacy when on vacation. The family would agree to specific photo times and the photographers were supposed to leave them alone otherwise.)
After the trip, William confirms to media that Kate is his girlfriend.
Mean girl Margaret sees Kate on campus and swoops in acting like they are BFF. “You’re so lucky to be going out with Prince William!” says MGM. “He’s so lucky to be going out with me,” says Kate. (Mic drop.)
Kate is taken aback by how much media attention she is receiving. (Hi, I’m the ghost of William from 10 minutes ago warning you about this.)
William calls her on the phone and warns her that it’s only going to get worse.
The two decide to move in with each other away from campus to escape the paparazzi.
They are enjoying cuddles on the couch with a fireplace in the background. Now campus cuddles. Now bed cuddles.
Over bed cuddles, Prince William briefly mentions Princess Diana before discussing the monarchy’s outdated ways. Kate encourages William to modernize the monarchy when it’s his time to shine.
Specifically instructing him not to try to change the Queen’s mind, Kate says that one day he will be in a position to make those decisions. Wise woman.
Media speculates that William will ask Kate to marry him now that school is over but the two appear to be going their separate ways. Kate is moving into an apartment while William volunteers in Kenya.
Now it’s a back and forth of William at Sandhurst and Kate at a retail job styling mannequins.
Cue paparazzi montage of Kate being absolutely hounded by the press. Crotch shots and all. Kate is crying on William’s shoulder. It’s hard to protect her while they are living such separate lives.
William begs Prince Charles for security for Kate and Charles refuses.
Now Kate is taking royal protocol etiquette classes. Her snooty teacher accuses her of going commando. Kate reassures her that she wears underwear.
They clash about the rule that requires Kate to walk behind Prince William.
Prince William is out at a bar with an old friend. The friend plants a seed inside William’s head that his royal life is a prison sentence and he should be taking advantage of his freedom while it lasts.
There’s a series of shots of William blowing Kate off. (It made me sad.)
Kate’s friends confront her about his disrespectful behavior. Kate defends him saying that training is stressful and he needs the weekends to blow off steam with the boys.
William tells Kate he’s thinking about extending training and needs space. Kate breaks up with him.
Kate is home with her mom, sobbing. She says she feels like she’s wasted years of her life. Her mom talks her into participating in a charity rowing event and going out and having her photo taken so Prince William will see what he’s missing! (MOM IS ALWAYS RIGHT.)
On a ski trip with the boys, William admits that he misses Kate. (As he should.)
Cut to Prince William flipping through a magazine and looking at happy photos of Kate dancing and smiling. William starts to call her but he stops himself.
William breaks down and calls Kate and she says she can’t hear him and will call him back. She doesn’t. Then he calls her mother. She says she will let Kate know that William called. William is being ghosted. (Kind of deserved it.)
William and Prince Charles get into an argument about Princess Diana’s life and death. (I think Prince Charles and Diana’s relationship is really why it took William forever to ask Kate to marry him. NOT because a friend told him to enjoy his freedom!)
Prince William finds out where Kate is training for her charity event and shows up on the water looking for her. She tries to blow him off from her boat so he begins to undress to jump in but Kate jumps in first. William apologizes and says that he misses her, loves her, and wants her back. They kiss. (My neighbors can hear me screaming.)
Cut to super cheesy engagement green scene.
My God. I loved this movie.