The two met in 2001 while studying at St. Andrew's University in Scotland.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on November 13, 2020. It has since been updated.
Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton have been married for a decade now but they've been together for almost 20 years. They might be next in line to the throne but before becoming the Duke and the Duchess, they were like any other couple who had ups and downs in their relationship.
The royal couple met each other during their freshman year while studying history at St. Andrew's University in Scotland in 2001, according to Good House Keeping. By the second year, they were searching for a place to stay together. They officially began dating in 2003. In 2006, Kate was seen attending Prince William's graduation from Sandhurst military academy.
Just days later, they were pictured at the annual Cheltenham hunting festival in 2007, but this time, they seemed a little distant. At that time, The Sun had reported that the two had split as the Prince was seen partying with some girls. Biographer Andrew Morton revealed in his 2011 book William and Catherine that the breakup happened because the Duke “thought he could do better.”
According to Express UK, Morton said, “In April, much to Kate’s distress, William ended their relationship. It was a storm that had been brewing for a long time, resulting from his reluctance to commit and the feeling that his friends noted 'he could do better.'”
Peer pressure can be real, isn't it? Even the royals don't seem to be immune to it. A source who is a friend of the couple also told the writer that Prince William soon regretted his decision of breaking up with Kate. In fact, he grew jealous of how well the Duchess was handling the breakup and moving on. He realized that he had to undo the wrong decision he had made.
“He thought he could do better, but realized very quickly what he had given up," revealed the friend and continued, “William has seen pictures of Kate coming out of Boujis or elsewhere carefree in the world. Frankly, he didn’t like the idea of another guy enjoying a hay roll with his girl.”
The source noted that all those days Prince William was away from Kate helped him in a way because it allowed him to secure the relationship that had been missing in Prince Charles and Diana's union. “After the breakup, he achieved what he really wanted in life. A child from a broken house finds love, affection and warmth, and a stable family,” said the source. Can you imagine that we almost lost this adorable royal couple because Prince William wanted him and Kate to explore more?
Prince William and Kate got back together after six months of separation and soon announced their way towards marriage by getting engaged in 2010. Recalling the time, Prince William said, "We were both very young... we were both finding ourselves and being different characters. 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," reported The Sun.
After reconciling in June 2007, Good House Keeping reported Kate saying, "At the time I wasn't very happy about it," referring to the separation. She continued, "But actually it made me a stronger person, you find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn't realized." She added, "I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you're younger. I really valued that time for me as well, although I didn't think it at the time!"
Biographer Robert Lacey claimed that Camilla gave some advice to Kate regarding impressing the Duke when she was accepted into the royal family before their marriage. She asked her to adapt to Prince William's engagements. “She shared with her the secret to holding on to a busy prince. In essence, Kate should have changed her schedule, and practically her entire life, to follow her husband’s plans,” Lacey Said.
Even though the initial years of their public relationship was a bit difficult for Kate as the Duke had enrolled into Sandhurst for military training right after his graduation from St. Andrew’s University, she took on the role of a responsible and supporting Duchess, right after their marriage in 2011. She was beside Prince William as he carried out his royal duties.
She was also a prominent figure even during the lockdown as she joined the other family members online and on-site, in boosting the morale of the people during a difficult time.