Prince William and Kate Middleton's romance is one of the world's most iconic real-life love stories, and in the more than 15 years since they met they've gone from college sweethearts to happily-married pair who are parents to three adorable children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. In fact, it has been such a storybook relationship that it is easy to forget that, like many couples, they've gone through their ups and downs. Their younger fans might not even remember that it was back in 2007 when William and Kate, who had gone public with their romance three years earlier, went through a very high profile split.
Young love! College sweethearts Prince William and Kate Middleton on their graduation day from St Andrews in 2005 Photo: Getty Images
Many had thought that Kate was sure to one day be Prince William's bride so when the split news broke in spring 2007, the breakup made headlines around the world. But the reason behind the falling out was left to speculation – Prince William wasn't talking, and neither was Kate. "Neither my client nor her family will be talking to the press or media or commenting on or off the record relating to the matters publicized this morning," Kate's lawyer announced.
In March 2007, the couple made their last appearance before the breakup news broke, attending the Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival with William's cousin Zara Phillips Photo: Getty Images
"Maybe she realized the awful burden she would have taken on, it's a life sentence marrying a royal," said HELLO! royal correspondent Judy Wade at the time. "Any other guy that she dates is going to be a sort of social step downwards because you know you can't beat the most eligible bachelor in Britain," she added.
During William and Kate's engagement interview in 2010, months before their spectacular royal wedding, the Prince explained for the first time the reasons behind the split. "We were both very young... and we were both finding ourselves and such, being different characters and such. It was very much trying to find our own way, and we were growing up – so it was just a bit of space."
After the split, newly-single Kate hit the town looking more glamorous than ever. "The break-up made me a stronger person," she said later Photo: Getty Images
The two took some time apart, but that doesn't mean Kate – who, newly-single and more glam than ever, enjoyed hitting the town with sister Pippa Middleton and seemed to be showing Wills what he was missing – was completely out of the picture. At the July 2007 Concert for Diana, in honor of Prince William and Prince Harry's late mother Princess Diana, Harry's then girlfriend Chelsy Davy took a seat next to her royal beau – but Kate was spotted two rows behind the royals.
At the Concert for Diana in July, Chelsy Davy sat next to then-boyfriend Prince Harry – but Kate was seated two rows back Photo: Getty Images
In the run-up to the concert, William ducked a question about whether his ex would be attending, saying, "I've got lots of friends coming. Everyone's going to be there on the night and it's going to be a very good night." Jokester Harry added his two cents, quipping: "Really well avoided William, very diplomatic." Still, Kate's mere presence hinted that a reunion might actually be in the cards and it wasn't long until the couple were reunited – for good! The future Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were back together again by the end of the summer.
Happily ever after: William and Kate went on to marry in 2011 and are now proud parents to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis Photo: Getty Images
Reflecting on the break-up in the 2010 BBC pre-wedding interview, Kate seemed to infer that it was William who had made the decision to break up. "At the time I wasn't very happy about it but actually it made me a stronger person," said the future Duchess of Cambridge. "You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn't realized. I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you're younger. I really valued that time, for me as well, although I didn't think it at the time.”
As Prince William summed up the situation: "It soon worked out for the better." In other words, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge lived happily ever after!