Kate Middleton Turned To Sports to Heal From Her Breakup With Prince William Years Ago

Kate Middleton and Prince William started dating in 2003. And since then, the two have been through a lot. They had a massive, elaborate wedding, and they’ve welcomed three adorable kids. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some bumps in the road along the way.

William and Kate had a high-profile breakup back in 2007. And though they rekindled things a few months later, it still hit both of them very hard at the time. And Kate turned to sports to help heal some of her hurt during the couple’s split.

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

William and Kate broke up for a few months back in 2007

When William and Kate first met in the early 2000s, sparks didn’t fly right away. Both were attending the University of St. Andrews, and though they were in the same friend group, they were reportedly casually dating other people when they were first introduced. However, in 2003, when William spotted Kate walking in a university fashion show, things changed.

It quickly became known to the public that the two were dating, which certainly put a strain on their relationship. The two were still in school when they took a break in 2004, but they got back together quickly. Three years later, they split up again — and this time, it hit both of them a little harder.

Kate joined an all-female rowing team, which became like ‘therapy’

Distance was a factor in William and Kate’s split; he was stationed several hours away from her, doing work for the military. When they broke up, Kate could have sulked, but she chose to do things for herself instead. She and her sister, Pippa, moved in together, and they started to spend much more time going out.

Kate also decided to join an all-female rowing team, the Sisterhood, to row for charity. According to Parade, the sport became very helpful in Kate dealing with her recent breakup. “Kate was very down and I think the training became her therapy. Kate had always put William first and she said this was a chance to do something for herself,” Emma Sayle, who rowed with Kate, told the magazine. The duchess would practice at 6:30 a.m., and it became quite a commitment, but that’s what helped her. She became immersed in rowing and channeled her emotion into the sport, which seemingly allowed her to heal a bit from what had happened.

Kate learned a lot about herself during her time away from William

The couple’s breakup didn’t last long. William reportedly regretted his decision shortly after, and within just a couple of months, he and Kate were back together. Kate has since said that she learned a lot in that short time away from him.

“You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realized,” she said during the couple’s engagement interview. “I really valued that time for me,” she added, though she made it clear that she was very upset about the split when it happened. Breakups happen for a reason, and it’s clear that they both were able to grow from the experience.