This is apparently why Prince William and Kate Middleton broke up before getting engaged

Prince William and Kate Middleton at his RAF graduation ceremony in 2008
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Prince and Princess of Wales are the definition of a happily married couple, celebrating their twelfth wedding anniversary this past April. The last decade has seen the young couple turn into a family of five, welcoming their three little ones, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, with the Wales pack delighting the public and making non-stop headlines.

It’s hard to imagine a time when Kate and William weren’t associated with marital bliss, but there was a time, however, when their future was a lot less certain.

The Prince and Princess of Wales met at university where they were both studying at St. Andrews, and according to Prince William the attraction was pretty instant. "When I first met Kate I knew there was something very special about her", he explained.

After a happy few years of dating, aside from a short break during their final exams, everything seemed to be going well. They went to Kenya on safari, jetted off on a romantic ski trip to Klosters, and Kate was even invited to Sandringham for the royal family’s traditional Christmas lunch – the first royal girlfriend to have ever been invited.

The world was shocked, therefore, when in 2007, the couple split up. Rumours were circulating at the time that the two of them were in different places, with Kate ready to commit but Prince William wanting to make the most of his youth and freedom.

Years later, both the Prince and Princess of Wales spoke out about their break up.

"We were both very young", William said of his decision. "We were finding ourselves. It was very much trying to find our own way and we were growing up."

"I, at the time, wasn’t very happy about it", explained Kate. "But actually it made me a stronger person."

Luckily for everyone, they came to their senses, getting back together and going on a romantic holiday to the Seychelles, where they apparently made a secret pact to get married.

It wasn’t made official until 2010, when on 16th November the couple announced their long-awaited engagement and all was right in the world again. 

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.