Prince William Felt ‘Intense Media Pressure’ Before Breaking Up With Kate Middleton in 2007

Prince William and Kate Middleton have a long history together — they’ve known each other for nearly 20 years. But the duke and duchess, who have been dating since 2002, haven’t always had the smoothest road on their journey. The two actually broke up for a few months back in 2007, and William receiving constant pressure from the media had something to do with it.

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

William and Kate were both battling the press while dating

When William and Kate first went public with their relationship, it was a free for all with the media. The press did anything they had to in order to get photos of the two, though the couple was mostly safe on their University of St. Andrews campus.

Things quickly got out of hand, though, and Kate had difficulty curbing the paparazzi whenever she would go out in public. The royal family eventually released a statement asking the media to leave Kate alone; since she was a commoner, she wasn’t used to the fanfare, and it proved challenging for her and William.

Kate Middleton asked Prince William to propose so she could have security

After college, William and Kate were still going strong. But since he was doing work with the military, he was stationed several hours away from her — and it wasn’t easy for the two to see each other. With that, the media was still making Kate’s life increasingly difficult.

When William came home to see the duchess one weekend in 2007, she reportedly asked him if he was ready to take the next step in their relationship. At this point, the two had been dating for about five years, and if Kate was William’s fiancé, she would be able to have the royal family provide her with some security.

Kate Middleton in 2007
Kate Middleton was hounded by paparazzi while dating Prince William | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

The ‘intense media pressure’ lead William to hit the pause button

William’s request from Kate came at a time when the media was putting increased pressure on expecting an engagement. The time frame made sense; the two were 25 and had been together for a while. But William wasn’t quite ready to marry Kate.

According to E! News, the “intense media pressure” that William was under forced him to rethink his relationship with Kate. William reportedly went to his father for advice, and his father told him that if he’s uncertain about a future with Kate, he should break up with her. (Charles did not do this with Diana; instead he proposed, and he likely didn’t want William making the same mistake.) With so much talk of the couple’s expected engagement, William broke down and ended his relationship with Kate over the phone.

Kate embraced the media once she and William split

When William called Kate and ended things, she was admittedly upset — but she later said in the couple’s 2010 engagement interview that the breakup actually made her stronger. Kate was determined to make William jealous, and she embraced the photographers once the two broke up. She wanted William to see her out at all the best clubs and attending all the best parties.

Sure enough, it worked. William regretted his decision shortly after he dumped her, and he wanted her back within a couple months. The two, who had split in early April 2007, were back together by July.