Since Baby Sussex still hasn’t arrived, fans of the British Royal Family turned their attention to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s marriage. Rumors of a scandalous affair between the prince and the duchess’ good friend, Rose Hanbury have reminded us of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s past breakups. Though the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been scrambling to squash rumors that the prince carried on an illicit affair with Hanbury, all of this drama has thrust the future Crowned King’s past behaviors into the spotlight.
Though Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton have been married since 2011 —they were college sweethearts who began their whirlwind affair way back in 2001 when they both attended St. Andrews University. Though the Cambridges were friends first, their relationship turned romantic by the end of their first year in college. However, because of the prince’s mega-fame, they tried to keep their relationship under wraps in the beginning. The pressures of the public and the prince’s wandering eye led to the royal couple’s first break up in 2004.
It all began when Prince William invited Kate Middleton to his 21st birthday party in 2003. Though they were in a committed relationship at the time, just before the soiree, the prince gave a lengthy interview to the press saying, “There’s been a lot of speculation about every single girl I am with, and it does irritate me after a while, more so because it is a complete pain for the girls. These poor girls, whom I’ve either just met or are friends of mine, suddenly get thrown into the limelight and their parents get run up and so on.”
Though the interview was a bit harsh —Duchess Kate Middleton was OK with keeping their romance quiet. However, what she didn’t expect was to be ignored entirely by the prince at his birthday party in favor of another woman. In her book Kate: The Future Queen –royal expert and biographer Katie Nicholl explain that the Duke of Cambridge spent all his time with Jecca Craig –his old friend and rumored ex who had flown in from Kenya for the party. Nicholl explained, “Kate didn’t know whether they had been romantically involved or not, but she noted that Jecca had been seated at the head table next to William, whereas Kate had to raise her glass to toast the prince from afar.”
The prince’s birthday party was the first time the duchess began having doubts about their relationship. She also noticed that an American heiress named Anna Sloan started hanging around the prince and his friends. In her book, William and Harry, Katie Nicholl wrote, “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.” In the end, the royal duo would split briefly in 2004, but it wouldn’t be the last time.
Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton would call it quits again in 2007 after a massive blow up that involved the prince landing on the front page of the tabloids. He was photographed touching and flirting with girls at a nightclub. Before this incident, the duchess and the prince were struggling with their long distance relationship. After college, Prince William enrolled in the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, England while Middleton moved to London for her job. Though they tried to make things work at first –the media frenzy surrounding them and the prince’s unwillingness to fully commit were too much to handle. After he flubbed Christmas and the duchess’ 25th birthday, the photos with the other women were the final straw for Kate.
William and Kate would only be broken up for a few months in 2007 before the prince recognized the error of his ways. They’ve appeared to be pretty rock solid since then. However, their royal status has not stopped their relationship from being scrutinized. As recently as 2017 –the prince was photographed with his arm around the waist of a mysterious brunette. At the time, Vanity Fair reported that the duchess was, “less than pleased” with her husband’s antics.
With Prince William’s alleged affair with Rose Hanbury taking center stage — looking back, this might have been a pattern all along.