Prince William and Kate Middleton dated for nearly a decade before they tied the knot in 2011, but the relationship was not always smooth sailing. The couple broke up two different times before their engagement, and after the second split, Middleton’s friends were thrilled.
Prince William and Kate Middleton
split for the first time in 2004
The couple started dating in the spring of 2002 after she caught his eye by modeling a see-through dress during a charity fashion show. William and Kate were already friends, but it wasn’t until this moment that William realized Kate was something special.
They managed to keep their
relationship private for a year-and-a-half before the media caught on. But, the
young couple were just not ready to take things to the next level, and by the
summer of 2004 William wanted some space, and they agreed it was time for a
“trial separation,” says royal expert Katie Nicholl.
The separation only lasted six
months, and by Christmas of that year, they were back together.
‘Thank goodness that’s over!’
By April 2007, the couple had hit
another rough patch in their relationship, and they broke up for a second time,
with Clarence House unofficially announcing that the romance had come to an end
after five years.
According to The Express, royal biographer Andrew Morton wrote in his book, William and Catherine, that the reaction from most of Kate Middleton’s friends was: “thank goodness that’s over!”
years they had watched helplessly as Kate, whose university dissertation had
been on Lewis Carroll, had gradually disappeared down the royal rabbit hole
into the Windsor wonderland, leaving her friends out in the cold,” wrote
One of Kate’s friends claimed that she upset a lot of her pals because she didn’t make an effort to see them after starting her royal romance. Others weren’t happy with how William treated Kate, and Morton wrote that even the future Duchess of Cambridge felt at times that William treated her “like a servant” instead of his girlfriend.
friend of Kate’s said that William expected her to run after him and kept her
“on a tight leash,” while a third called the relationship “edgy” because “they were
always in and out.”
Kate Middleton wanted a commitment
When the second split occurred,
Morton says it was because William was unsure about his future with Kate, and
he thought that living a bachelor life might be better.
was an emotional conflict,” writes Morton. “While Kate had made it clear that
she wanted a commitment from her man, Prince William, according to close
friends, was not so sure. Siren voices were calling suggesting that the grass
was greener on the other side of the fence.”
Morton explained that Prince William was spending a lot of time away from Kate Middleton due to his military training, and the temptation to live a single life came from his fellow officers of the Blues and Royals – also known as the “Booze and Royals.”
said in the documentary Prince William at
30 that when pictures surfaced of William dancing with a beautiful blonde,
Kate made it clear that he couldn’t “have it both ways.” And, this is when
William decided it was time for another break.
The Concert for Diana
Just like the first split, the
second one didn’t last long. On July 1, 2007, Prince William and Prince Harry
celebrated what would have been their late mother’s 46th birthday by hosting
the Concert for Diana, which included performances from numerous artists including
Elton John, Kanye West, Duran Duran, Lily Allen, and Take That.
The show also featured speeches from
prominent world leaders like Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair.
It was at this event that the public
saw Prince William and Kate Middleton back together again. And, as Nicholl
points out, when Take That sang their hit Back
for Good, “Kate was seen swinging her hips and singing along to the
“I suppose that’s all anyone needed
to know they were back for good,” said Nicholl.
Later that summer, William and Kate
enjoyed a romantic getaway to the Seychelles, where they reportedly made a
commitment to one another. And, three years later, William proposed to Kate –
with his mother’s engagement ring – while they were backpacking in the Kenyan
Prince William and Kate Middleton married
in April 2011, and are now the parents of three children – Prince George,
Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.