Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, 38, and Prince William, 38, met as students at St Andrews University and were an item for most of their university career. Following graduation, William’s royal schedule ramped up and Kate and his relationship faced new pressures. Royal historian and author Robert Lacey explores the struggles Kate and William faced maintaining their relationship after university in his new book Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult.
According to the royal expert, Prince Charles’s wife Camilla ‘confided in Kate’ about how to hang on to a future king.
Mr Lacey begins the chapter “Kate Not” with a quote from the Duchess of Cambridge on November 17, 2010, following her and Prince William’s engagement.
The quote reads: “You go through the good times. You go through the bad times – both personally and within a relationship as well.”
Mr Lacey writes: “Camilla had confided to Kate the secret of hanging on to a busy prince: fit your timetable – well, basically your whole life – around his.”
The author continues: “But after St Andrews University, William’s timetable was proving rather un-fit-roundable.
“His next destination was the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, where he was due to spend the best part of 2006 training to be an army officer – the start of his plan to do stints in all three military services whose commander-in-chief he would become as king.
“Marriage had not been included in that schedule.”
According to Mr Lacey, Kate had to watch William’s first royal tour unfurl from home as he represented the Queen in New Zealand.
The author writes: “In the meantime, the prince, now 23, undertook his first solo royal tour abroad when he flew to New Zealand to represent the Queen at the sixtieth anniversary of Allied victory in the Second World War.
“Happily, the British Lions rugby team were touring the islands at the same time, which made for a lively 10 days of engagements – rendered all the livelier by screaming crowds of hysterical young women.
“Kate followed her boyfriend’s progress – and the screaming – via the evening TV bulletins at home.”
Mr Lacey claims Kate had to hide her “objective” to “lead William in handcuffs to the altar” by creating a “camouflage career” for herself as insurance.
The author writes: “While Kate’s medium-to-long-term objective was quite simple – to lead William in handcuffs to the altar – for the time being, she had to devise her own independent career path as camouflage.
“This was a matter of both personal and public tactics.
“In neither respect would it help Ms Middleton to appear the slightest bit needy – and of course there was the ultimate unthinkable possibility that she might end up getting dumped!
“In that event, the woman who would be known for the rest of her life as the girl-that-Wills-let-go would unquestionably need a plausible career to provide a clear shape to the rebuilding of her non-royal identity.”
Despite mounting speculation that William would pop the question, the pressure of their royal relationship caused he and Kate to break up for a bit in 2007.
Mr Lacey claims Prince William’s “life of hard-drinking” as an army officer in training took its toll on his and Kate’s relationship.
The author writes: “This was shrewd sociology – but for Kate, the problem was emotional, not academic.
“On April 11 she excused herself from a meeting at Jigsaw, the fashion store with which she had recently started working, to take a call from William in a conference room out of earshot of the other buyers.
“She shut the door for more than an hour.
“When she rejoined the meeting she was single.”