Despite now having three children together, there was a time when the Prince and Princess of Wales struggled to balance their separate lives before marriage.
Kate was once “left in tears” by Prince William when he cancelled “big plans” at the last minute, according to a royal expert.
In Katie Nicholl’s book, The Making of a Royal Romance, the author described a rocky period in the Wales’ life, before their fairy-tale wedding. She wrote that Prince William and Kate spent Christmas apart back in 2006.
While this may seem confusing, given that the couple had already been dating for five years at this point, it’s all down to a royal custom.
Only married couples were invited to the Queen’s Sandringham celebrations. According to the book, William had reportedly made “big plans” for New Year to make up for not spending Christmas with Kate.
However, he changed his mind and cancelled plans, telling her he would be staying with his own family – despite having promised that he would spend time with the Middletons.
Despite dating throughout university, it was said that William was wary of making Kate his girlfriend and taking the next step because of his royal status and his own parents’ difficult marriage.
“William had been having second thoughts and sat down with his father and his grandmother to have a frank discussion about his future with Kate. Both advised him not to hurry into anything,” wrote Katie Nicholl.
In April 2007, the news broke that Kate and William had broken up, with sources saying the Queen was “disappointed” by the news. However, they were seen together at an army party at barracks in Bovington, Dorset just weeks later.
Three years on the couple announced their engagement to the public in 2010. In her first-ever TV interview, Kate said she “wasn’t very happy” about their brief split but that it actually made her a “stronger person.”
“You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realized,” she revealed. “I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you are younger, and I really valued that time for me as well although I didn’t think it at the time.”
William seconded this, agreeing that time apart helped the relationship in the long run. “It was very much trying to find our own way and we were growing up so it was just a bit of space, and it worked out for the better,” he said.