William and Kate's separation was the "best thing for them"

Their relationship grew stronger from it

Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton arrive at the Central Flying School at RAF Cranwell where Prince William received his RAF wings in a graduation ceremony, Sleaford on April 11, 2008 in Lincolnshire, England.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're an avid royal fan, you'll know that Prince William and Kate Middleton briefly broke up in 2007, before reuniting fairly soon after that.

And even if you're not an avid royal fan, you'll obviously know that the two got married four short years later, in 2011, becoming the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge—so clearly their time apart wasn't the right solution for them longterm.

These days, the two seem really happily married, looking loved up during their joint public appearances, and raising their three children together in Windsor.

"I’m sure that William and Catherine are a great support to one another and that Catherine is the most incredible source of encouragement for William," royal expert Jennie Bond told OK!.

"The marriage is founded on an enduring friendship and I’m sure William has called on the strength of that friendship to help him come to terms with the loss of his wingman, his brother."

Jennie is referring to Prince Harry's departure from the Royal Family, and his estrangement from William ever since.

As for the now-Prince and Princess of Wales' marriage, Jennie believes that their "break" (cue Ross from Friends) was actually instrumental in strengthening their relationship.

"I think one of the best things they did was essentially to have a 'divorce' before they got married," Jennie said.

"The short time they spent apart made them see what life would be like without one another. I think it laid the foundation for what appears to be an extremely happy and secure marriage.

"Being dropped must have hit Catherine’s self-confidence at the time, but she has since grown as a woman, as a wife, a mother and as a future Queen who would have been watching her husband perform on the world’s stage last week with enormous pride." (William was in New York last week on various official engagements.)

William and Kate first started dating circa 2001, but called it quits in 2007, reportedly because the prince didn't want to be tied down so early in life. Still, it seems they both realised this was a mistake, and they were better off together.

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn is a celebrity and royal news writer for Marie Claire. As a London-based freelance journalist, she writes about wellness, relationships, pop culture, beauty and more for the likes of InStyle, Women's Health, Bustle, Stylist and Red. Aside from her quasi-personal investment in celebs' comings and goings, Iris is especially interested in debunking diet culture and destigmatising mental health struggles. Previously, she was the associate editor for Her Campus, where she oversaw the style and beauty news sections, as well as producing gift guides, personal essays and celebrity interviews. There, she worked remotely from Los Angeles, after returning from a three-month stint as an editorial intern for Cosmopolitan.com in New York. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles, she interned at goop and C California Style and served as Her Campus' national style and LGBTQ+ editor. Iris was born and raised in France by a French father and an English mother. Her Spotify Wrapped is riddled with country music and One Direction, and she can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.