Royal Expert Reveals The Sad Royal Tradition Kate And William Have Finally Broken

Kate Middleton and Prince William truly epitomize a modern-day, storybook romance. The pair met in college in the early aughts. 

While their relationship started as a friendship, William admitted that he was drawn to his classmate. "I knew there was possibly something that I wanted to explore there," he explained, adding that their friendship gave their romance a solid foundation (via ABC News). 

They lived together with two other friends in off-campus housing during their second year at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, but Glamour noted that they didn't get together until 2003. After going public in 2004, they became a fixture in the press. There was a short breakup in 2007, but the couple got back together. 

In 2010, William proposed, and a royal wedding followed the next year. It took place in London's Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011, with millions watching across the globe. At that point, Kate became the Duchess of Cambridge and a princess in the eyes of many. 

Since then, the couple has welcomed three children into the world — George, Charlotte, Louis — and has staunchly represented the royal family through tough times, including the pandemic and Prince Harry leaving the royal family with his wife, Meghan Markle.

In April 2021, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary. For anyone keeping track, they've been together for about 18 years total. The royal couple's happily-ever-after is refreshing to see and a testament to the power of love. 

But it's also proof that tradition isn't set in stone.

Their lasting love is at odds with some prior royal marriages

Kate Middleton and Prince William appear to be just as enamored with each other now as they were when they wed 10 years ago, which couldn't be more different than the relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The elder royal couple's romance was plagued with challenges and ended in tragedy (via People). It wasn't just Charles and Diana who struggled, either.

"The House of Windsor has an abysmal track record of marital failure," said Robert Lacey, royal historian and author of "Battle of Brothers." He largely credited Kate (described as an "empathetic outsider from middle class origins") for helping William "break the cycle" of bad marriages. It doesn't hurt that the couple can look to Kate's parents, who have been married for more than 41 years, for guidance and inspiration.

William and Kate's former private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, weighed in on why they're basically the ultimate royal power couple. William brings an understanding of the institution, and Kate provides a "pragmatic awareness of what it's like to be from a decent, down-to-earth family."

Lacey also noted to People that the pair are devoted parents who aim to help each of their children live a meaningful life. With any luck, the example they've set will help their kids change the House of Windsor's track record to one of marital success in the future.

Kate Middleton and Prince William's relationship has had rough patches

Although we view them as #couplesgoals now, Kate Middleton and Prince William's relationship is just like any other, and they've faced a couple of bumps in the road. For the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, it seems as though the most prominent rough spot we're aware of took place before their brief breakup in 2007.

Royal author Katie Nicholl speculated to Express that Prince William was left questioning his priorities after beginning his career with the military in 2006. Meanwhile, Middleton allegedly wanted to get more serious in their relationship. "I think she wanted some more commitment," Nicholl said. 

The prince also reportedly hoped to avoid a failed relationship like the one between his father and mother. Nicholl added that the Queen and Prince Charles both urged William not to rush into anything (via Mirror). Unfortunately, tensions seemed to hit a boiling point when he made a last-minute decision and canceled plans to spend the New Years holiday with the Middletons.

Middleton was reportedly in tears after receiving a phone call about the change in plans. Their brief split happened shortly thereafter. Thankfully, they were able to work things out as even the Queen was reportedly upset by the news. 

As an added bonus, the experience likely taught them an important lesson in communication, which has helped the royal couple continue to grow in their relationship over the years.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are on track for a similar love story

It's not just Prince William and Kate Middleton who appear to share a picture-perfect romance. Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, seem ready to go the distance. 

The duo was set up on a blind date in July 2016 and went public with their relationship later that year (via Town & Country). The news about their official coupling broke on Oct. 31, 2016 (via Express), and they announced their engagement just over a year later, on Nov. 27, 2017 (via Twitter). The royal wedding followed in 2018.

While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have largely stepped down from their standing in the royal family, their romance is still very much one to study. If anything, they are said to be closer than ever after making the decision to leave the U.K. and move to the U.S. (via Marie Claire). 

What specifics do we know about their love story? Prince Harry was reportedly the first to say, "I love you." He expressed it three months into their relationship (via People), and they've shared many heart-stopping romantic moments with the public since then (via Insider).

Markle and Harry have two children and will hopefully enjoy a happily-ever-after on their terms as they forge their own path in the world.