A kiss, an arm around her back, a ruffle of his hair: For a moment, they could have been any young couple in love, but it was Prince William who had jogged across a muddy Eton College playing field on March 18 into the arms of girlfriend Kate Middleton. This was a much-savored reunion for a pair whose relationship of more than three years has had to adapt to weekend-only get-togethers since William began his rigorous training at Sandhurst military academy in January. "When he came off the field, he was all smiles," a bystander said. "They had a little kiss and a bit of touchy-touchy as he put his arm around her back and she did the same. It was all very sweet."

Of course, Will, 23, and Kate, 24, have always made the most of their time together—skiing at Klosters, partying at London clubs and relaxing at a cottage on the Queen's Balmoral estate in Scotland. But the weekend was also about family, as Kate—who is setting up her own children's clothing business in Reading, England—joined Charles and Camilla in the royal box at the Cheltenham horse races on March 17. The outing was the latest and most public seal of approval for Kate from the Windsor clan. "When [Charles] saw her, he had a big smile on his face," a witness says. A greeting for a future daughter-in-law, perhaps? Only time will tell. "The prince likes Kate very much," says a family friend. "But he would not push William towards her. He knows William can make up his own mind."