Prince William and Kate Middleton are one of the world’s most famous couples — and the romance between the two goes way back. But through the years, the two did have their share of speed bumps. And it turns out Kate almost didn’t take William back when he broke up with her briefly in 2004. But thanks to one condition, she gave him another chance.
Prince William and Kate Middleton started dating in 2002
William and Kate first met at University of St. Andrews in Scotland back in 2001. The two clicked instantly, but they were both seeing other people, so their relationship wasn’t romantic. They spent plenty of time together, though, and after William saw Kate walking in a campus fashion show in 2002, he was determined to win her over.
William reportedly confessed his love for Kate at a party shortly after the fashion show, and the two kissed. Kate ended things with the man she’d be dating, and the two started an official relationship.
The two briefly split in 2004
For a while, things were going well. At the start of William and Kate’s sophomore year, several months after they made things official, they moved in together with two other friends. According to Vanity Fair, royal biographer Katie Nicholl wrote in her book that the two had largely kept their relationship a secret, which allowed it to flourish. Since the press didn’t know, William and Kate had plenty of privacy.
By 2004, the two were living together — alone. But William started to feel a bit claustrophobic in the relationship, and as his claustrophobia grew, his wild side started to show. William went to Greece with friends, and Kate was not invited. He later accepted an invitation to visit American heiress Anna Sloan, and it all proved too much for their relationship. The two broke up in 2004.
Kate took William back on the condition he wouldn’t contact a former love interest
Though the two needed the time apart, they couldn’t stay apart for long. William eventually came crawling back, and though Kate wanted to take him back, she had heard that he’d been in touch with his former love interest, Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe. According to Nicholl, Kate took William back on one condition: He would never contact Isabella again. The two rekindled their romance, vowing to take things slowly.
The two split briefly again in 2007
For a while, everything was great. But in late 2006, when William declined an invitation to spend the holidays with Kate’s family, it foreshadowed the couple’s downfall once more. With William away at military training, the two could hardly see each other. That, combined with the onslaught of engagement rumors and William’s rowdy behavior, caused the couple to split for a second time.
Of course, in a matter of months, they were back together. William once again realized his mistake. And this time, the two would not break up again. They continued to date for about three more years before announcing their engagement in November 2010. The couple tied the knot in April 2011.