Kate Middleton and Prince William are happily married with a baby on the way (any day now!), so it’s tough to imagine that back in 2007, the rock solid pair once split for several months.
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The biography Kate (U.K. publish date: July and U.S. publish date: October) by Marcia Moody, a former royal correspondent for OK! Magazine, offers an inside glimpse into the couple’s rocky period.
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According to Moody, trouble was first evident in March 2007 when Kate and William appeared distant and uncomfortable while attending the horse racing event Cheltenham Festival.
Their tension was reportedly due to a number of reasons. USA Today reported that William wasn’t ready to commit (he famously remarked during a ski trip, "I don't want to get married until I'm at least 28 or maybe 30”) while a story published on the BBC reported that William’s career in the army, his party lifestyle, and meddling from the royal family were to blame.
It didn’t help matters that in late March, shortly before the pair’s split was confirmed, William was photographed flirting with other women at the nightclub Elements in Bournemouth. According to the book William and Kate: A Royal Love Story by Christopher Andersen excerpted on Today.com, the Prince was surrounded by scantily clad women. One woman named Lisa Agar even claimed that she accompanied William back to his apartment, although he seemed distracted and tired and nothing happened between the two. "Strangely, I felt sorry for William and I thought maybe he was cheering himself up," she said. The exact date of Middleton and William's split is unconfirmed—Andersen cites April 11, 2007. Soon after, according to Moody, William visited Mahiki, a cocktail lounge in Central London, jumped onto a table and yelled, "I'm free!"
During their first television interview as an engaged couple in 2010, the couple addressed the breakup. William said, “We were both very young. It was at university, we were both finding ourselves as such and being different characters and stuff. It was very much trying to find our own way and we were growing up, it was a bit of space and a bit of things like that and it worked out for the better.”
Kate added: “I think at the time I wasn't very happy about it, but actually it 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.”
And yet, it seemed like she relished the single life. Although according to Andersen’s book, Middleton was initially distraught about the breakup—one source says in an effort to stay together, Middleton told William that they made each other happy—she eventually accepted the breakup and the pair went their separate ways. Middleton hit the party scene, donning a pair of Playboy bunny ears at a DVD launch party for “Rabbit Fever” a racy mockumentary and was spotted dancing until the early hours of the morning, according to the New York Post.
Middleton also retreated for some R&R at her wealthy uncle Gary Goldsmith’s Ibiza villa “Casa Bang Bang,” a detail Goldsmith went public with this past March in an exclusive interview with Hello! magazine. "Kate was very low. [She was] spending a huge amount of time on the phone, walking around the pool,” Goldsmith told Hello! “It's a very relaxing place and it has a very nice vibe and you can hear the sea at night. So in some small way I just hope that being there helped [Kate]."
Moody reports that the couple discreetly reunited on June 9 when Middleton attended a party at William’s barracks to celebrate the end of his training. The theme of the party was “Freakin’ Naughty." William wore hot pants, a vest, and a policeman’s helmet and Middleton wore a nurse costume. The two were spotted dancing together and talking all night. And in July 2007 People magazine reported that Middleton was seen entering William’s home one night around midnight. "They are clearly seeing each other," a source told the magazine. "But whether they are officially dating is another matter."
According to the Telegraph, the couple got back together in July and Middleton came to witness William receiving his wings as a qualified RAF pilot from the Prince of Wales.
The rest is royal history. The couple got engaged when William proposed to Middleton during an African safari in 2010 and half the world lost sleep watching the couple wed on April 29, 2011. And we’ll soon be celebrating another royal event when Kate Middleton gives birth to the royal heir.
Fortunately, Kate and William’s love story has a happy ending. It’s fairly common for couples to put the breaks on their relationship, according to Scott Haltzman, MD, author of The Secrets to Surviving Infidelity. “Dating is about exploration. Many couples go through periods where they don’t know whether their partner is a match, but figuring that out while you’re dating—not married—is key,” he says.
If a couple is at a standstill, taking a breather to analyze the situation without conflict, talking to friends and family who care about your relationship, and spending time solo can be beneficial.
However, breaking up multiple times and quickly getting back together without sorting out the issues can speak to a lack of commitment and inability to problem-solve, says Haltzman. The difference between a break and a breakup is identifying whether your unhappiness means you miss the person (a normal response to a split) or truly want them in your life.
“Figuring that out can often mean just taking a leap of faith," says Haltzman.
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