For the first time, the couple’s closest friends reveal the steps Wills and Kate are taking to ensure their storybook romance stands the test of time.
They say the first year of marriage is the hardest. And that’s without being the world’s most high-profile newlyweds and enduring enforced separation.
Since their wedding 12 months ago, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have coped with a chaotic calendar, attending more than 100 royal engagements between them, with Wills also carrying out military duties.
Yet the couple are as in love as they were the day they married – if not more so.
Now Woman’s Day can reveal the steps they take to keep the spark alive.
Painfully aware that other high-profile royal marriages, including that of William’s own parents, have crumbled under the pressure, the couple have set ground rules to avoid going down the same sad path. Their closest confidants have described how they keep their love on track – and it all starts with blocking out the rest of the world and retreating to their cosy Anglesey home.
“A housekeeper helps out, but otherwise there is no staff,” says a close friend. “William even insists their round-the-clock protection officers sleep in outhouses rather than the main house, such is their desire for privacy.”
Only when the doors are closed can Wills, 29, and Kate, 30, truly be themselves. Inside their farmhouse, Kate has taken on the role of homemaker – but her search-and-rescue helicopter pilot husband is no slouch on the home front.
“Kate likes to cook. Salmon with a creamy leek sauce is her specialty,” says a friend of the duchess. “Wills was a lousy cook at uni but he’s working on it. Kate bought him a ‘man’s cookbook’ and he’s been trying to perfect the perfect home-made chilli.” Date nights at home are high on the agenda. “They love having bangers and mash and watching box set DVDs. They’re working their way through The Killing on [William’s stepmother] Camilla’s recommendation,” reports the friend.
Read more about William and Kate's life together in this week’s Woman’s Day on sale Monday April 16, 2012.
Related video: Kate and Will’s new home.