Prince William and Kate Middleton have been married for over seven years and have three children (5-year-old Prince George, 3-year-old Princess Charlotte, and 3-month-old Prince Louis). The couple seems very happy together, but that was not always the case. It was a long road from their first meeting in 2001 to their 2011 marriage, and they experienced bumps along the way as most couples do. In fact, the pair once split because of an argument about Christmas.
William and Kate met at St. Andrews University in Scotland where they both studied. William’s area of study was geography, and Kate’s was history of art. Express reports that it was a shared “naughty” sense of humor that first drew them to each other. They shared a residence with two other people for a while during their university years.
Following graduation, William and Kate maintained a long-distance relationship for a while with him stationed in Dorset with the Army and Kate living in London. It was about four years into their dating relationship when, after initially accepting the invitation, the prince refused Kate’s request to spend New Year’s Eve with her and her family. William didn’t have much of a choice about where he would ring in the new year as it’s royal tradition for the family to do so with the queen in Sandringham. At the time, no one outside the royal family was permitted to be part of the celebration, meaning that Kate could not be part of the festivities. An argument ensued that resulted in a temporary split.
It was an experience that was difficult at the time but that they both now say was actually a good thing. Prince William explained that their split in 2007 had a lot to do with the lack of maturity in them both.
“We were both very young. It was at university and we were both finding ourselves and being different characters and stuff. It was very much trying to find our own way and we were growing up. It was just a bit of space. It worked out for the better.”
Kate now believes it helped her grow.
“I think I at the time wasn’t very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person. You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realized, or I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you are younger. And I really valued that time for me as well although I didn’t think it at the time, looking back on it.”
Queen Elizabeth has since relaxed the rule about people outside of the royal family being part of their holiday celebrations and allowed Meghan Markle to join in their festivities in December 2017, before she had married Prince Harry.