Prince William and Duchess Kate have been happily married for nine years and share three children, but there was a time back in 2007 where their relationship hit the rocks and the couple split — with the British royal dumping his longtime girlfriend via a phone call, according to a new book.
Royal historian and author Robert Lacey claims in his new book, Battle of Brothers, that the future king, who was 25 at the time, was “uncertain” about his future with his girlfriend of almost six years and called Kate when she was at work as an accessories buyer for Jigsaw on April 11, 2007.
“Kate excused herself from a meeting at Jigsaw, the fashion store with which she’d recently started working, to take a call from William in a room out of earshot of the other buyers,” Lacey writes in an excerpt published by the Daily Mail earlier this week. “She shut the door for more than an hour. When she came out, she was single.”
The pair, who met as students at St. Andrews University in Scotland, had previously broken up in 2004, with William later admitting to British TV journalist Tom Bradby, that they “were both very young” and “finding ourselves.”
After this latest split, Kate was determined not to mope at home and, according to Lacey, was “sighted enjoying herself on the London party circuit. Ms. Middleton was not going to be seen as defeated.”
William “got the message quicker than he or anyone else expected,” the author claims. “The prince missed his family — which by now meant the Middleton family. One pillar of William’s year at Sandhurst [military academy] had been his regular Friday night escapes to [the Middletons’ home in] Bucklebury, where he could collapse and be mothered by [Kate’s mom] Carole — and also fathered by the quiet and affectionate Michael who, whisper it, could provide a better ear for confidences, on some issues, than [William’s own father] Prince Charles.”
Just 10 and a half weeks after William ended things with Kate over the phone, they were seen kissing and dancing at a party at the Duke of Cambridge’s barracks in Bovington, Dorset, in the U.K.
Three years later, in October 2010, William proposed to Kate during a safari vacation in Kenya, giving his bride-to-be his late mother Princess Diana‘s diamond and sapphire engagement ring. They wed at Westminster Abbey in London on April 29, 2011.
Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult is out on Thursday, October 15.