The Royal Family Once Feared Kate Middleton Would Become the Next Camilla Parker Bowles

Though Duchess Kate Middleton and Prince William seem to be the picture of domestic bliss, the royal couple’s road down the aisle wasn’t as straight forward as one might assume. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wed in April 2011. However, they had been romantically involved for the better part of a decade.

In fact, the duo had a couple of breakups before officially getting back together and vowing to stay together. Still, the breakups caused a great deal of concerned for members of the British royal family.

When the Cambridges broke up for the second time in 2007, the royals feared Middleton would become the next Camilla Parker Bowles.

This is why Prince William and Kate Middleton broke up in 2007

By the time Prince William and Kate Middleton had made their first public appearance together as a couple in 2006, they had been together for five years — with a short break up in 2003. However, since the prince was in the Army and the duchess was in London they were already experiencing the strain of being long distance. It didn’t help when the media latched on to them.

In his book, William and Catherine royal biographer Andrew Morton claims that William treated his then-girlfriend, “like a servant.” Michael Choong, a university friend of the pair, told Express U.K. that Prince William “could be flip and curt. He expected Kate to run after him, and the longer they knew each other, the more he seemed to keep her on a tight leash.”

By the spring of 2007, it had all become too much. The prince had pulled out of Christmas plans with the duchess at the last minute that previous holiday season, he’d flubbed her 25th birthday that January, and he was photographed partying and flirting with other women. The pair decided to go their separate ways for some time.

Prince William and Kate Middleton dealt with their breakup differently

While Middleton sought the solace of her young sister, Pippa Middleton, the prince celebrated his freedom by partying.

According to royal correspondent Camilla Tominey, Prince William “confided to his grandparents that he was not sure if he loved Kate enough.” At that point, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip urged their grandson to let Middleton go. Thankfully, the prince came to his senses quickly.

The royal family thought Kate Middleton might be the next Camilla Parker Bowles

Following the Cambridges breakup in 2007, the royal family grew gravely concerned for the future Crowned King. In her 2010 book, William and Harry, Kate Nicholl explained, “It was hard not to draw comparisons between William and his father. Had William also met the right woman at the wrong time? Haunted by the specter of the past, there were real fears at the Palace that Kate would become the next Camilla.”

As we know, Prince Charles and Parker Bowles had a romance in the 1970s but were separated when the prince was deployed in the Royal Navy in 1973. By the time he returned the duchess was engaged to someone else. By the 1980s the pair were carrying on an illicit affair.

There was a member of the royal family who was sure that Prince William would come to his senses. Prince Philip reached out to Kate Middleton during the couple’s breakup. According to Nicholl, the Duke of Edinburgh said, “William will present a ring when the time is right. It was a well-intended reassurance that Kate valued.”