Royal #TBT: When Prince William and Kate's Smiles Hid a Big Secret

By Royal #TBT: When Prince William and Kate's Smiles Hid a Big Secret
Updated November 05, 2015 10:20 AM

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On a golden autumn afternoon five years ago, Prince William and the then-Kate Middleton emerged from a country church at the wedding of friend Harry Meade to Rosie Bradford.

Tanned from their recent trip to Kenya, there was a glow about them, and they wore contented smiles that would prove to hide a huge secret.

The iconic shot of them, taken by veteran royals photographer Mark Stewart, would lead to a PEOPLE cover – and talk that an engagement couldn’t be far off.

“They radiated happiness that day,” Stewart recalls. “It was kind of evident that something was happening behind the scenes.

“They were among their close set of friends who had helped them, and been loyal through their relationship.”

In PEOPLE’s 2010 story, royals author Judy Wade observed, “They were both so relaxed, and she looked incredibly demure by his side. She was very much his fair lady in her big picture hat. You get the impression it’s the sort of wedding they would wish they could have – in Gloucestershire with friends, rather than a big formal wedding in central London.”

Of course, we all know they didn’t exactly get their wish!