How Many Times Did Prince William and Kate Middleton Break Up?

Most people are aware that Prince William and Kate Middleton broke up before deciding they wanted to live happily ever after, but not a lot of people know just many times they split before saying “I do.”

Here’s the answer to how many times the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge broke up before getting married and what they have said about their time apart.

Kate Middleton and Prince William
Kate Middleton and Prince William | Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Their 2007 breakup

Their split in 2007 is the one most people recall.

Middleton and the prince first met in 2001 while attending St. Andrew’s University in Scotland and reportedly started dating sometime in 2003. They initially kept their romantic relationship under wraps and it wasn’t made public until 2004 when they were spotted on a skiing trip together. Three years later, things reportedly got pretty rocky between them and William broke things off.

There have been many stories over the years about exactly why the royal called it quits. Speculation has swirled that his stepmother, Camilla Parker Bowles, may have had something to do with it. Games of Crowns author Chris Andersen wrote in his book that the Duchess of Cornwall wanted William to leave the commoner because, at the time, she was trying hard to win over the British public and was “disgusted” that everyone seemed to fall in love with Middleton instead of her.

Andersen claimed that Camilla asked her husband, Prince Charles, to coax his son into dumping Middleton. When William went to his father for relationship advice the Prince of Wales told him to break up with his girlfriend. However, he only told William to do so because it would be unfair to string her along if he was questioning whether they should be together.

After a brief time apart, William and Middleton got back together.

Prince WIlliam and Kate Middleton
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge | Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Their 2004 breakup

The pair broke up another time before the prince proposed.

In the book titled The Duchess of Cambridge: How Kate Middleton Became A Future Queen, author Jessica Jayne wrote that the couple separated in 2004. Jayne said that this breakup was because the prince was feeling “claustrophobic” in the relationship.

Former Sun editor Duncan Larcome believes that there was a different reason for the 2004 breakup.

In his book William & Kate: The Journey, he opined that the fact that Middleton’s mother, Carole, was once a flight attendant did not sit well with some in William’s inner circle. Duncan wrote that because of her mother’s one-time profession, people would call Kate “doors to manual” whenever they saw her and eventually urged the prince to break up with her.

That split was also very brief.

What they said about their time apart

During their joint interview in 2010 following William’s marriage proposal to Middleton, they both reflected on their time apart.

“We were both very young,” the prince said. “It was at university, we were sort of 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.”

Kate chimed in adding, “I think at the time I wasn’t very happy about it, but actually, it made me a stronger person.”

The two tied the knot in 2011 and today have three children together.

Read more: Revealed: What Prince William Promised Kate Middleton Before Their Wedding

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