It’s hard to remember a time when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were University students, not a solidly married couple with three children. But they did meet and fall in love while in school, and they even shared an apartment with a few other students. With things getting so serious, it makes sense that, as many University students do, they took a brief break to spend time alone. Marie Claire reports that Kate traveled to Ireland in March of 2007 when the couple was on a brief hiatus from their intense relationship.
William and Kate spent time apart beginning that March and were back together by June of that same year. The break was short but apparently meaningful. The couple was asked about the brief split during their engagement interview, and William offered a succinct but plausible answer.
“We were both very young,” he explained. “It was at University, we were sort of both finding ourselves as such and being different characters and stuff, it was very much trying to find our own way and we were growing up, and so it was just sort of a bit of space and a bit of things like that and it worked out for the better.”
By traveling to Ireland, Kate also put physical distance between the pair, which prevented any meetings during the few months they were apart. In the same interview, Kate revealed she was not entirely on board for the split.
“I think I at the time wasn’t very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person,” she said at the time.
She said she had a tendency in her youth to get too caught up in relationships, losing herself in the process. The time apart was needed for her to experience personal growth. It must also be acknowledged that her relationship was certainly all-consuming, given the constant press coverage and attention on campus.
She traveled to Dublin with her mother, Carol Middleton, taking in the sights of the city. They visited the National Gallery of Ireland among other sights and generally enjoyed traveling together.
They were approached by reporters when out at the time but Kate refused to comment on the split. Several of Kate’s friends also eventually joined her in Dublin for a break as well, proving that even future duchesses need a loyal group of girlfriends to help them process a breakup.