William and Kate enjoy quiet romantic meal on return to St Andrews

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sealed their return to their former university town by enjoying a quiet romantic meal – until word got out.

William and Kate stayed overnight in St Andrews before a day of royal events – 20 years after the couple first met there when students.

When boyfriend and girlfriend, they were known to enjoy the fare at Pizza Express but on Tuesday night they ventured to a fashionable spot, Forgan’s, a contemporary restaurant with a Scottish twist.

The couple asked for a private seating area at the back of the eatery that has welcomed famous golfing celebrities such as Rory McIlroy.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge land yachting on the beach at St Andrews
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge land yachting on the beach at St Andrews (Phil Noble/PA)

“There was a crowd outside once they left but as far as inside goes it was quiet,” said manager Marc, who declined to give his last name.

“There was no pomp and ceremony or fanfare, they were very nice and when they left they were very complimentary.”

The manager, who was off duty when the couple arrived, was called by staff at home, and said: “Word certainly reached me we had guests come in.”

He believed his restaurant was recommended to Kate by a society she was a member of when a student at St Andrews.

In their first year in 2001, William and Kate lived a few doors apart at St Salvator’s hall of residence and became friendly, socialising together and playing tennis.

She captured his attention when the prince forked out £200 for a front row seat at a charity student fashion show where Kate strode confidently down the catwalk in a see-through lace dress which revealed her black underwear.

Kate, who is five months older than William, is also credited with persuading him to continue his studies when he considered quitting in his first year.

The Duchess of Cambridge after land yachting on the beach at St Andrews
Kate after land yachting on the beach at St Andrews (Andrew Milligan/PA)

They began sharing a four-bedroom Edwardian townhouse in Fife at the start of their second year and at the time, William’s future wife was dating fellow student Rupert Finch.

After living in a halls of residence during their first year, they later house-shared with other students and it is rumoured the future king and queen became an item around Christmas 2003.

The first confirmation that the flatmates were romantically linked came when they were pictured on the slopes of the posh Swiss ski resort Klosters in March 2004.