Prince William recalls the sad moment he gave Kate Middleton a chance to back out of royal life

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

There are plenty of advantages to being a royal - the bespoke ball gowns, the castles, the on-call chefs - but there are also certainly drawbacks, from the end of privacy and the hefty rulebook to follow, to the dreaded rumour mill. 

This is something that Kate Middleton, now Princess of Wales, has undoubtedly experienced since joining the fold.

This week, as The Crown's final instalment dropped on Netflix, airing its first ever depiction of Kate as Prince William's university girlfriend, stories have resurfaced around her introduction to the fold.

One anecdote surrounded the drawbacks to royal life, with insiders reporting that Prince William waited so long to propose due to his concerns for her.

Ed McVey and Meg Bellamy in The Crown

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Prince of Wales opened up about the situation in the couple's 2010 engagement interview, explaining how he wanted to give his future bride an opportunity to back out of royal life.

Explaining to ITV's Tom Bradby that he wanted to open Kate and the Middleton family's eyes to what they were walking into, he recalled: "I really want to make sure that they have the best, sort of, guidance and chance to see what life has been like - or what life is like - in the family.

"That’s kind of almost why I’ve been waiting this long is that I wanted to give her a chance to see and to back out if she needed to before it all got too much.”

Going on to reference his mother and the difficulties that she faced joining the fold, he continued: "I’m trying to learn from lessons done in the past. And I just wanted to give her the best chance to settle in and see what happens the other side."

Speaking of Prince William's decision, Kate explained at the time: "I’m of course so glad that I’ve had the time to grow and understand myself more as well. So hopefully, hopefully, I’ll do a good job."

Thankfully, it seems that Prince William was right to move slowly. Thirteen years later, the Prince and Princess are not only happily married with three children, they have also been credited with saving the royal family.

Well, this is lovely.

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.