Scroll To See More Images
It’s no secret that the Prince and Princess of Wales had a tumultuous marriage. Their marriage began with them as virtual strangers and ended in a whirlwind of affairs and drama. But Prince William and Kate Middleton’s marriage is different from Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s. The pair, who met back in 2001 during their first year at St. Andrews University, have a love story full of growing pains.
When Princess Diana married Prince Charles in 1981–she was just 20-years-old. Her husband was 12 years older than she was and at a very different place in his life. The future Crowned King was still helplessly in love with his former girlfriend, Camilla Parker Bowles. Also, having grown up within the confines of Kensington Palace–Prince Charles was indoctrinated in royal traditions and stuffy royal protocols.
Though marrying a prince seems like a major key–Princess Diana had no idea what she was in for. Though she was beloved by the public, she wasn’t exactly adored by members of the British Royal Family. Because she and Prince Charles didn’t exactly mesh–she did not find an ally within her husband. However, having watched his parents’ marriage crumble–Prince William knew he couldn’t make the same mistakes.
This is how the Duke of Cambridge and Kate Middleton avoided a Diana/Charles situation.
A trial separation
We all have that dream fairytale in our heads of finding love at a young age and sailing off into the sunset. However, that rarely happens. If you do end up with your high school or college sweetheart–it’s likely that you’re going to experience more than a few bumps throughout your relationship.
Three years into their relationship–Prince William and the Kate Middleton took a step away from each other for a “trial separation.” At the time, “Kate was beginning to question William’s commitment to their relationship, and she also had her own creeping doubts about their future after St Andrews. A number of things had caused her to question William’s commitment, although she had not raised them with him yet.”
Knowing how much her life would change if shed continued dating the future King–Kate wasn’t afraid to pause. Since this went down before their courtship was public, it really gave the duchess the time and space she needed to think things through.
A big breakup
Prince William and Kate Middleton called it quits again for several months back in 2007. This time around–it was a much more explosive experience than their “trial separation” some years prior. Since the duke and duchess were very much a couple in the public eye–everyone across the globe knew about their breakup this time. In her 2010 biography Kate–Marcia Moody wrote, “rot had set into their relationship.”
After some less-than-stellar boyfriend behavior, the prince split from his future wife. However, what the prince did next–getting advice from two people who have been married longer than most may have put him back on the right path.
Getting some sound advice
When Prince William and Kate Middleton called it quits–the prince confided in his grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. He told them that wasn’t sure he, “loved Kate enough” to commit for the long haul. Both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh told their grandson that he should not continue leading Kate on if he had no intention of marrying her.
According to the Sunday Express–Queen Elizabeth also warned her grandson that there would be no divorce--he was only to marry Kate if he was 100% sure.
A secret pact
Though they would not get engaged for another three years, when Will and Kate got back together in 2007–they reportedly had a secret pact about their relationship. When they reconnected they agreed that they would eventually become man and wife–however, they would do so on their own timeline.
In the years following their rekindling, Kate would be dubbed, “Waity Katy” by both the press and the public. Also, her parents had become convinced that the prince was simply stringing her along. Royal expert Kate Nicholl told Vanity Fair, “I know that it was the Christmas of 2009 when [Kate’s mother] Carole was getting quite concerned. Kate was nearing 30, there was still no ring on her finger.”
A delayed engagement
Though it was nearly a decade after they first began dating– Prince William finally asked Kate to marry him in the fall of 2010 during a romantic getaway in Kenya. “We had a little private time away together with some friends, and I just decided it was the right time really,” Prince William explained during their BBC engagement interview. “We’d been talking about marriage or a while, so it wasn’t a massively big surprise, but I took her up somewhere nice in Kenya.”
It might have taken a while, but at least they waited until the timing was perfect for them.
Avoiding the rumors
Since William and Kate have been together for nearly 20 years, and they have such a solid foundation, nothing has been able to rattle them. Though the pair have been virtually scandal-free up until now, a major rumor about the prince cheating with their close friend, Rose Hanbury rippled through the tabloids earlier this year.
However, the duke and duchess remained unruffled by the entire thing. Thankfully, it all proved to be a false rumor, but all of the hoopla might have shaken a couple who was less stable.