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Before Prince William broke up with Kate Middleton in 2007, he reportedly had a “frank discussion” with Queen Elizabeth II about the future of his relationship. Sources say William had cold feet about becoming engaged. And the queen gave him sage advice, though she was reportedly disappointed when the relationship paused.

What did the queen tell William, and how long did his pre-engagement breakup with Kate last? Plus, how did Kate show she had royal qualities during their split? Read on to find out.

Prince William, pictured between Queen Elizabeth II and Kate Middleton, had a 'frank discussion' with the queen before his 2007 breakup with Kate
(L-R) Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, and Kate Middleton | Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Prince William felt pressure to propose to Kate Middleton before their breakup

William and Kate met in 2001 when both were students at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Their friendship turned romantic, and they eventually became a couple.

They moved in together in 2003. But by late 2006, he was feeling public pressure to propose to Kate. And he wasn’t sure if he was ready, one source said.

“William had been having second thoughts and sat down with his father and his grandmother to have a frank discussion about his future with Kate,” royal expert Katie Nicholl (per the Daily Mail). “Both advised him not to hurry into anything.”

Sources said William’s father, Prince Charles, also told him not to lead Kate on. He reportedly suggested ending the relationship if his heart wasn’t in it.

Not long after that discussion, William supposedly called Kate while she was working to break up with her. Queen Elizabeth was reportedly disappointed by the end of the relationship, but probably not as disappointed as Kate.

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s breakup proved she was ‘probably a sure thing,’ royal expert said

Royal expert Kinsey Schofield said that Kate didn’t publicly show her sadness, which might have been why William returned to their relationship rather quickly. She proved she had the qualities of a future queen by carrying on with her life during their split, Schofield offered.

“Kate was probably a sure thing because, despite being considered a commoner, they [Kate and William] were together for such a significant amount of time,” she explained (per the Express).

According to Schofield, William and his royal relatives were pleased that Kate was a “good girl” and that she “wasn’t talking to the media” during their break. Instead, she remained “stoic” and “kept her mouth shut.”

She noted how “in all of the photographs of [Kate] during her break up, she’s looking ahead,” and offered, “She just handled herself so well throughout the rollercoaster that was her and Prince William’s dating history leading up to their inevitable marriage.”

“It made Kate a no-brainer,” Schofield concluded. “She was the future queen.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton married in a historic wedding in 2011


Prince William and Kate Middleton Display ‘Strong Bonds’ With Each Other and Their Children, Body Language Expert Says

Sources claimed the breakup occurred because William thought the relationship had lost its fun. But after they got back together, he explained the decision in more detail than that.

“We were both very young,” he shared and added, “We were finding ourselves. It was very much trying to find our own way, and we were growing up.”

“I, at the time, wasn’t very happy about it”, Kate offered (per PEOPLE). “But actually it made me a stronger person.”

William and Kate were reportedly only broken up for a couple of months before they got back together. They announced their engagement in 2010, married in 2011, and have three children who follow William in the line of succession.