Hollywood couples take note: When it comes to love in the spotlight, no one executes the PPDA (perfect public display of affection) quite like Prince William
and Princess Kate
. Embracing on Aug. 2 in celebration of Team Great Britain's Olympic cycling gold, the royal couple managed to look regal, real and romantic all in one magical moment-and it wasn't just for the cameras. "They are [touchy] like that in private-completely," says a friend of the couple's. "There is nothing contrived about it."
And so, for the first time in, oh, the 1,000-plus-year history of the monarchy, Kate and William are making royal marriage look truly fun. Whether doing the wave at the Olympics, strolling the beach with their dog Lupo or bonding with each other's families, the young royals, both 30, "project a real image that the public can connect with," says Katie Nicholl, author of The Making of a Royal Romance
. "They are comfortable being spontaneous."
More than a year into their union, the couple have struck a balance between the cozy domestic routine they so prize and the public life that comes with the crown. "They have a deep understanding of each other," says former royal press secretary Colleen Harris. In Anglesey, Wales, where William is a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue pilot-he helped save a drowning girl on Aug. 16-Kate enjoys her role as an officer's wife, while in London she takes meetings and walks in Kensington Gardens. And then there are the dates they steal for themselves-as they did earlier this summer to catch The Avengers
. "When you have to be in the spotlight so much, you do need to be able to disappear and just be normal," says a royal source. "That's very important to them."
- Simon Perry/London,
- Monique Jessen/London,
- Dimi Gaidatzi/Anglesey.