It’s hard to imagine it now, but there was a time when Prince William and Kate Middleton almost didn’t get married. Their big break-up in 2007 inspired so much heartache around the world – everyone was just waiting for them to announce their engagement, then all of the sudden they weren’t even together.
How did it happen? And how long did it last? Read on for all the details of one of the most famous break-ups in royal family history.
When did Prince William and Kate Middleton break up?
Kate Middleton and Prince William | Middleton Family/Clarence House via GettyImages
The couple started dating in 2004 after the future king of England caught a glimpse of his future wife strutting her stuff in a skimpy outfit. Kate Middleton was walking the runway for a charity fashion show at their college, St. Andrew’s University. It wasn’t long before their relationship became serious and the pair even shared a house with two college friends.
But it wasn’t like the young couple was just free to live their lives free from intrusion. Once it became clear that Prince William was in love with Kate, the media began hounding them just like they did for many of his previous girlfriends. It seemed like everyone was speculating whether he would propose soon.
Then, a shock – under the immense pressure, the pair decided to split up. Apparently, Prince William started having doubts about their future together. He allegedly said, “I can’t… It just isn’t going to work. It isn’t fair to you.” They broke up in April 2007.
What did Prince William and Kate Middleton do during their break up?
Prince William | MJ Kim/Getty Images
The last time Prince William and Kate Middleton appeared together in public was in late March 2007. Shortly after, Kate traveled to Ireland with her mom. And Prince William? He was seen partying with half-naked models and letting loose on the dance floor. Though their split wasn’t public yet, clubgoers quickly figured it out when Prince William jumped up on a table and shouted, “I’m free!” while doing the robot dance.
How did the couple handle their break up?
Kate Middleton in 2007 | Gareth Cattermole/iStock/Getty Images
During that time in 2007, Prince William and Kate Middleton dealt with the break up in different ways. She joined an all-female boat racing team called Sisterhood, which was made up entirely of female athletes. She also started hitting the bar scene and going out more and more often. It’s very likely that jealousy was a factor for the two getting back together.
Meanwhile, Prince William spent his solo time at the barracks and performing royal duties. He went out with friends too, though it quickly became clear he was missing Kate more and more.
With her partying and shameless flirting, it may have appeared that Kate was moving on. But inside she was hurting. In a TV interview, she said, “At the time I wasn’t very happy about it, but it actually made me a stronger person. You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realized. 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.”
When did Prince William and Kate Middleton get back together?
Kate Middleton and Prince William | Jason Reed – Pool /Getty Images
All told, the breakup didn’t last very long. William and Kate secretly reconnected in early June 2007 when she attended a party at his barracks. The two were dressed up in costumes and spent the entire night together on the dance floor, rekindling their lost love.
Ultimately, a little space and perspective were all the young couple needed to realize how much they loved each other. They were engaged a few short years later in 2010 and wed in a lavish royal wedding ceremony in April 2011. Now they’re busy living out their happily ever after.