Kate Middleton’s Friends Were Thrilled When She Dumped Prince William

Prince William and Kate Middleton dated for nearly a decade before they tied the knot in 2011, but the relationship was not always smooth sailing. The couple broke up two different times before their engagement, and after the second split, Middleton’s friends were thrilled.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Prince William and Kate Middleton split for the first time in 2004

The couple started dating in the spring of 2002 after she caught his eye by modeling a see-through dress during a charity fashion show. William and Kate were already friends, but it wasn’t until this moment that William realized Kate was something special.

They managed to keep their relationship private for a year-and-a-half before the media caught on. But, the young couple were just not ready to take things to the next level, and by the summer of 2004 William wanted some space, and they agreed it was time for a “trial separation,” says royal expert Katie Nicholl.

The separation only lasted six months, and by Christmas of that year, they were back together.

‘Thank goodness that’s over!’

By April 2007, the couple had hit another rough patch in their relationship, and they broke up for a second time, with Clarence House unofficially announcing that the romance had come to an end after five years.

According to The Express,  royal biographer Andrew Morton wrote in his book, William and Catherine, that the reaction from most of Kate Middleton’s friends was: “thank goodness that’s over!”

“For years they had watched helplessly as Kate, whose university dissertation had been on Lewis Carroll, had gradually disappeared down the royal rabbit hole into the Windsor wonderland, leaving her friends out in the cold,” wrote Morton.

One of Kate’s friends claimed that she upset a lot of her pals because she didn’t make an effort to see them after starting her royal romance. Others weren’t happy with how William treated Kate, and Morton wrote that even the future Duchess of Cambridge felt at times that William treated her “like a servant” instead of his girlfriend.

Another friend of Kate’s said that William expected her to run after him and kept her “on a tight leash,” while a third called the relationship “edgy” because “they were always in and out.”

Kate Middleton wanted a commitment

When the second split occurred, Morton says it was because William was unsure about his future with Kate, and he thought that living a bachelor life might be better.

“There was an emotional conflict,” writes Morton. “While Kate had made it clear that she wanted a commitment from her man, Prince William, according to close friends, was not so sure. Siren voices were calling suggesting that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence.”

Morton explained that Prince William was spending a lot of time away from Kate Middleton due to his military training, and the temptation to live a single life came from his fellow officers of the Blues and Royals – also known as the “Booze and Royals.”

Nicholl said in the documentary Prince William at 30 that when pictures surfaced of William dancing with a beautiful blonde, Kate made it clear that he couldn’t “have it both ways.” And, this is when William decided it was time for another break.

The Concert for Diana

Just like the first split, the second one didn’t last long. On July 1, 2007, Prince William and Prince Harry celebrated what would have been their late mother’s 46th birthday by hosting the Concert for Diana, which included performances from numerous artists including Elton John, Kanye West, Duran Duran, Lily Allen, and Take That.

The show also featured speeches from prominent world leaders like Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair.

It was at this event that the public saw Prince William and Kate Middleton back together again. And, as Nicholl points out, when Take That sang their hit Back for Good, “Kate was seen swinging her hips and singing along to the lyrics.”

“I suppose that’s all anyone needed to know they were back for good,” said Nicholl.

Later that summer, William and Kate enjoyed a romantic getaway to the Seychelles, where they reportedly made a commitment to one another. And, three years later, William proposed to Kate – with his mother’s engagement ring – while they were backpacking in the Kenyan mountains.

Prince William and Kate Middleton married in April 2011, and are now the parents of three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.