Prince William Treated Kate Middleton Poorly In the Months Before They Broke Up

Prince William and Kate Middleton seem happier than ever now but that wasn’t always the case. Years ago, about four years before the couple tied the knot, they actually broke up. William decided he needed a break from Kate; the two had been together for another four years before the breakup happened. And it seems like both of them had seen things coming before it happened — because William reportedly wasn’t treating Kate very well.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton | David Rowland/Pool/Getty Images

William and Kate broke up briefly in 2004

When the two first met back at the beginning of college, they were only friends; both were reportedly casually dating other people. However, it was a fashion show that truly sparked William’s interest in his now-wife. Kate was walking in a show wearing a see-through dress, and apparently, it changed the way the prince saw her.

The two dated for a while before briefly splitting in 2004. They were still in college and likely just trying to find themselves. Breakups are common while in school, and it’s far less talked about than their more high-profile split that came a few years later.

William reportedly wasn’t treating Kate well before their 2007 split

People can often see breakups coming before they actually happen. There tends to be a change in one or both partners, and such was the case for William and Kate. According to those close to the royals, things became rocky when William, who was supposed to spend winter break with Kate and her family on a trip to Alyth, Scotland, suddenly changed his mind. His last-minute ditching of plans shook the couple’s once-solid relationship and greatly disrespected his girlfriend.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2007 | Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The two didn’t end up seeing each other at all over the break, which was a clear sign that things were not going in the right direction. According to Parade, things only got worse between the two. William was not there to celebrate Kate’s 25th birthday because he was stationed nearly three hours away as part of his military service. Though he did give her a Valentine’s Day gift, the distance between the couple — and the lack of effort — was starting to cause problems that gifts could only mend for so long.

William had reportedly returned to London one weekend but ended up out at a club and flirting with another woman — something that the papers picked up the next day, which was embarrassing for both of them. The two broke up in the spring of 2007.

The two have since said the breakup made them stronger

The couple’s split only lasted about four months. Sometimes, breaks are much needed for two people to realize how much they mean to each other. For William, the separation only solidified that Kate was the one. He was painfully jealous that she was doing fine without him, and it made him understand how much love he really had for her.

The two eventually got engaged in 2010, and during an interview, they said that the breakup only made them stronger; Kate admitted she was very upset when it happened but that it ended up being for the best. These days, the two share three kids and are one of the most widely respected couples in the world.