Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, 38, and Prince William, 38, began dating when they were both students at St Andrew’s University but didn’t tie the knot until nearly a decade later. Royal historian and expert Robert Lacey’s new book Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult lays bare the strain their relationship faced after they both graduated in 2005.
While William was engrossed in his training to become an army officer and carried out his first solo royal tour on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, 94, Kate found her boyfriend’s busy new schedule hard to work around and came up with a backup plan in case she ended up “getting dumped”, Mr Lacey claims.
Describing William’s packed routine following graduation, Mr Lacey writes: “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 no choice but to watch the “screaming girls” who flocked to see William during his first tour on New Zealand from home.
The author wrote: “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 claimed that while it was Kate’s “objective” to “lead William in handcuffs to the altar”, she had to formulate a career plan as insurance.
Mr Lacey alleges: “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!”
According to Mr Lacey, Kate’s “camouflage career” would allow her to “reshape” her life if she and William split.
The author writes: “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.”
Kate and William did break up for a brief stint in 2007 and Mr Lacey describes how Kate took the heartbreaking call from William while at work.
He wrote: “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.”
The book continues: “She shut the door for more than an hour.
“When she rejoined the meeting she was single.”
Despite their ups and downs Kate and William got engaged in November 2010.
At the time of their engagement announcement Kate said, rather poignantly: “You go through the good times.
“You go through the bad times – both personally and within a relationship as well.”