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Kate's April 14th: Heartbreak & Happiness

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It is April 14th. Kate's last official public appearance was on March 27th when, with William by her side, she undertook number of appearances in her "cerise" Mulberry coat. Today, signs were placed outside the Lindo Wing prohibiting parking until the 30th of the month, almost assuring us that the second child of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge will arrive before the end of the month. Just yesterday, new photos emerged of Kate playing with George among the haystacks of a Norfolk children's play park. The former Kate Middleton was the picture of happy and content motherhood as she cradled her adorable son in her arms, and helped him up the steep slides. Incidentally, eight years ago--I can't believe I just wrote that--eight years ago on this day, the headline on William and Kate was breaking hearts around the world, and most of all, the heart of a certain Miss Kate Middleton. It was on April 14, 2007 it was confirmed that HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Middleton has indeed ended their relationship:



The tension had been building. After graduation from St. Andrews, William and Kate had struggled to adjust to life under the intense lens of public scrutiny. With the grace period the press had granted the heir to the throne while he pursued his degree having expired, Wills and Kate were subjected to almost constant "surveillance". William, who had not planned to commit to a relationship for many years, was particularly floundering. I have never faulted William for this hesitancy. Preconceived prejudices about relationships, particularly the date at which one can or should commit, can have very strong impacts on real scenarios. Given his particularly troubled background, his reluctance to commit to anyone so young was understandable, and possibly even prudent. Nevertheless, it left our favorite, and oh, so faithful royal girlfriend vulnerable. 



The couple's appearance at Cheltenham is now iconic. Their distant body language and Kate's occasionally glum face sparked immediate speculation in the press that all was not well in the royal paradise. Regrettably, although these kinds of hypotheses are often fabricated, this was an instance when the media had picked up the correct scent. 


Over the ensuing months, Kate and William did some very obvious soul searching. In the engagement interview, Kate remarked on her time away from William, reflecting that although she hadn't been happy about it, she had grown in character and in personal strength. She certainly didn't shy from her own personal battle to remind William that she was special and worth the struggle:


Kate really poured herself into self-improvement and into PR. Never once did she shrink from the harsh limelight, as the world waited for her to crack under the pressure of her public heart break. 


Like magnets inevitably drawn together, William and Kate couldn't stay apart. Facing a future in which Kate was not a factor, William returned to woo his princess back. While her mega-watt smile during the break-up was brave, the genuine joy she exuded after their reconciliation still melts my heart:


Life is a funny thing. One day it feels like you can't go on, and a year later, you are king of the world. April 14, 2007 must have been one of the darkest days of Kate's life, but she stayed the course. Almost an exact year later, April 11, 2008, she was glowing next to her prince as he graduated from flight school:


In April of 2011, she lit up the planet in a custom gown by Alexander McQueen as she immortalized the fairly-tale romance in lavish Westminster Abbey wedding to Prince William:


In April of 2013, she was expectantly waiting the birth of her first child:


On April 14th of 2014 she was on a blockbuster tour of New Zealand and Australia with her achingly adorable toddler son and doting spouse:



Eight years ago, the world boomed with the news that Prince William had dumped his commoner girlfriend and was at last free, while somewhere, in a quiet flat in London, Kate struggled to hold her crumbling world together. Today, a sign went up outside the exclusive Lindo Wing of St. Mary's hospital, excluding parking in front of the building in anticipation of the arrival of the second child of HRH the Duchess of Cambridge. 

@_mio

Eight years. Today, Kate is on top of the world.  Thank goodness that after the storm comes the rainbow, after the dark of night, there is always the dawn.  xoxo, Jane


Don't forget to check out my new website, The Encyclopedia of Kate's Clothes! The Duchess's wardrobe searchable by designer, type, color, event, charity and more! www.KatesClothes.com



53 comments:

  1. Aww, they looked like babies! I'm glad Kate has redefined the month of April for herself!

    I believe Kate was mostly single during the break, correct? I never liked how it seemed William was seeing what else was available, then deciding to go back to her. I believe their love is genuine and deeper, I'm just not a fan of that breakup mentality. But Williams background is very dysfunctional and the pressure would not have helped.

    It's true that if two people are meant to be together they will find their way back! And it wasn't a long break anyway. I'm sure they were officially back together before we even got suspicious.

    Amanda, Canada

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    1. Yes, it was a very brief break! Kate was "squired" around by a few different guy-friends, but she wasn't with any of them. I think it was very clear that William was always her focus, and as you say, they were gravitating back to each other before it was public knowledge. Kate said, and I feel like it makes sense, that their break-up made them a better couple. I think he appreciates her more for it, too. So, as hard as it was, really great things came from it. :)

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    2. Agreed! I think they appreciated each other more, but I think he was the one who really had his eyes opened to realize he was lucky he had everything with her all along.

      Also, in that rowing photo she is wearing rings on her middle finger. I think one of those rings is the ring believed to be from William with pearls and garnets. Gravitating is a good word, and by the time she was spotted at the Diana concert they were already officially and firmly "on" for good.

      Amanda, Canada

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  2. I hadn't noted until now, but you are quite right, Jane; April seems to be a significant month for Kate. One more reason to hope that, this time, Kate will have a girl.

    While I don't doubt that Kate would worry about the way some in the British press might treat a royal female teenager--the UK strikes me as one of the most misogynist countries in the Western world--I see so many potential benefits for George and a sister. He could give her a heads-up re guys to avoid, and vice-versa. She could introduce him to a nice girl, and vice-versa. They could, these days, play polo together--no need for a brother. Best of all, it might well cut down on sibling rivalry, and it would be much more difficult for the gutter press, and certain royal websites, to compare/contrast the two.

    P.S. I loved that peach outfit Kate wore when pregnant with George; wonder where it went.

    JC

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    1. Faith from MassachusettsApril 15, 2015 at 6:47 AM

      I loved that peach ensemble too. I thought most of her first pregnancy wardrobe was fresh and young looking.

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    2. I hope she has a few more, I would be stoked for two boys and two girls. :) Then everyone wins!
      She had several maternity pieces I wish she had recycled. More on that on Friday... :)

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    3. I also loved that peach ensemble, and agree that her first maternity wardrobe was very fresh and young. I missed some of that freshness this time around, although she looks amazing as usual. I sooo hope the baby is a girl, and my guess that if it is, they'll name her Alice. Maybe "Alice Diana"? That would be perfect. :) But I don't know about her having more children, she suffers so from the sickness I worry about her! But then again she always bounces back so beautifully, maybe she could handle it. Time will tell....:)

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    4. I also loved the Peach outfit and would love to see it again.

      Sometimes we easily forget and the HG for Kate lasts only for a few months so maybe she try again. Would certainly understand if she didn't!! Certainly doesn't make for a pleasant start to a pregnancy.

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  3. What a moving post. Thanks Jane.

    Camilla

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  4. She threw herself into self improvement after the separation? How so? I think you mean what you consider her "new exercise" program and weight loss.

    I disagree and I think the premise is also offensive. Here's why... First, she didn't row for that long, she actually dropped out of the race. (BTW, if you ever see a female college rowing team, they are not slender and tiny....their appetites are huge.) Second, she was very slender before the break-up and I think her weight loss after the break-up was stress and anxiety, not something to hold-up as positive. Finally, to say she went into self improvement mode after the break-up smacks of suggesting that Kate was lacking in some way before and needed to improve herself in order to win William back. There was nothing wrong with her and their break-up was caused by their age, inexperience, and William needing to come to turns with what he wanted his future to be.

    Instead of "self improving" during the break-up, I think Kate took every opportunity to show herself moving on with her life, having a good time, and just being young and enjoying London. I don't think she had a huge plans, except to show William that she wasn't crying in her soup and maybe she realized that she was now a hot, single woman, even if the future king didn't want her.

    Yes, people can take self improving steps after a break-up like continuing their education, getting a better job, etc., but Kate didn't do that. She did the time honored approach of showing them what they are missing and never letting them see how hurt you are. Nothing wrong with that.

    I have also read that it wasn't just Kate chasing after William. But in order to continue the relationship, she wanted changes from him too. Such as ready access to Clarence House, so she wasn't waiting on the street to be rung up, no more embarrassing groping of women on William's part ( remember several times when he grabbed women's chests during pictures at bars?). And a commitment that at some point in the future they would marry. I guess I feel that you sometimes describe her as a lap dog, waiting for William to return, furiously losing the two pounds of extra fat she had on her body. No, she had her stipulations too. She would wait, but on her terms.

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    1. Hmmm, well...I am going to work from the bottom up here. I don't think Kate is a lapdog and never have. i think her behavior during the break-up is proof, but even more, we can see how very independent she has been in raising her child her way.

      I think Kate may have pushed William to the break-up, because I think she was unhappy with his behavior and I think she did want him to settle down and commit. Instead, he ran...for a brief time.

      Self-improvement can be very much an interior change of attitude, particularly when it also called growing up. I think this break-up forced William and Kate to grow up, which isn't unusual in a break-up scenario like this, when two young people are at the tipping point and the relationship was serious. Kate has said she is better for it and I think even from the outside, we saw a different Kate Middleton post-2007. It doesn't mean she was lacking before, but it does mean that she adjusted mentality and attitude to be a better adult. The fact is, there is room for improvement in everyone, always.

      This rolls right into the point you found so offensive, and which it seems is the crux of your irritation, which was a misinterpretation of the premise, assuming that "self-improvment" in the post referred only to a physical change. Kate did lose weight during her break-up, natural enough, but the self-improvement was mostly mental, as she alluded to in her engagement interview.

      I think that covers the majority of your objections.

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    2. I agree with Jane that it seems you may have misinterpreted some of her intentions behind certain comments. I too believed the self-improvement was more internal. How she got out of bed every morning and put a smile on her face are things that are big accomplishments after a huge break-up like this was, and then add the weight of the world watching. She probably learned she had way more strength and gumption than she realized.

      I believe we do agree on some points too. I think I recall correctly that Chelsy had access to CH when Kate did not, despite both of them being in long-term relationships with the Princes. At the time I felt it odd and I felt bad for Kate. If I believe William (which I do), in the engagement interview he spoke to protecting Kate and easing her in so she could decide if she really wanted all that comes with him. A part of me also believes it was him keeping her at a distance, as he was scared and unsure if she was all he wanted for the rest of his life.

      The CH thing was one thing that would have probably made someone like me walk away. Just like how during their breaks (don't forget the post-uni one where he was wooing an American one summer) he was chasing other girls who didn't seem that interested. Speculation is these girls weren't interested in joining The Firm, but part of it may have been sensing his reluctance at committing. Whereas Kate tolerated a lot of it. Personally, I also thought it was strange she didn't meet Granny (aka the Queen) until Peter's wedding...years into their dating. The BRF is not a typical family, but it still struck me very odd the first time William let her meet Granny was years into their relationship and without him present.

      However, we are all not cut from the same cloth. I have friends that have tolerated more than I would have tolerated from their boyfriends, and I have friends that have tolerated less than I have. We all live...and hopefully learn ;-)

      Ultimately, I believe both made compromises and all they went through has made them a stronger couple that is more trusting and appreciative of the other.

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    3. Who was the american girl William was pursuing that is mentioned in your post? I am curious. Thanks.

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    4. I think it is VERY hard to judge whether someone has had "internal" improvements without actually knowing them or at least having much more access to information than we have on Kate. Honestly, I think that is laughable. Jane has pointed to her weight loss many times as her significant change during the break-up.... I just think that is so wrong. The girl looked great before! Her weight loss was a sign IMO of nerves and anxiety, not exercise. And I don't think Kate pushed William to the break-up by demanding more of a commitment. I think they had dated for years as young adults, the military atmosphere influenced his desire to be single and party, and Charles was cautioning him to not drag Kate along (several people gave interviews about this). I also think it wasn't Kate growing up during the break-up, but Carole reminding her daughter that life wasn't over, as reported and advice that so many Moms give their kids.

      I don't blame Kate for the break-up, I think William was very lucky to see his mistake and get her back. She is very stable, her family is very stable and supportive. I guess we will agree to disagree! LOL

      I think the premise that she improved herself and finally was worthy of William or that improvement won him back, that's what I hear you saying, and I find it distasteful.

      Anon 2:21

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    5. Sorry Anon 2:21AM, I did not read Jane's comments the same way as you appear to have taken them. Kate herself mentioned in their engagement interview that she was a stronger person for having gone through the break-up. I have re-read Jane's post and can find absolutely no mention of weight loss. I also can find no hint that Jane felt "she improved herself and finally was worthy of William or that improvement won him back". What she said was "Never once did she shrink from the harsh limelight, as the world waited for her to crack under the pressure of her public heart break." and that "Like magnets inevitably drawn together, William and Kate couldn't stay apart. Facing a future in which Kate was not a factor, William returned to woo his princess back." To me that does not say to me that Jane thinks her "self-improvement" was what won William back".

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    6. Jane has mentioned before that she thought Kate lost her puppy fat or something like that during the break-up do to a new fitness routine, the rowing. She has discussed it a lot on the blog. I remember her putting up a picture of Kate taking out her trash in leggings as a before picture.

      And Kate did go home to stay at her parents' house when the news hit. I even wonder if she planned to stay for awhile because there were pictures of her loading up her car with boxes to go home. I wonder if that ws her first response and then she got home, calmed down, felt better, and came back to London. I also remember a picture of her crying in Bucklebury as she drove after the break-up. I think she treated her break-up as most do, tears and finally triumph.

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    7. I've never seen a "lap dog". Being drama free doesn't equal being a doormat. I see a classy and gracious young woman with an amazing inner strength. Yes, good thing he came to his senses. :)

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    8. It's amazing how much that the British press get wrong. A long time before Peter & Autumn's wedding, the 'royal correspondents' were telling us (with certainty) that Kate had met the Queen and said that they had privately dined together, serving themselves at a luncheon buffet that included cold meats. (at Windsor, I think) I wonder who is supplying these inaccurate reports to the press? (Low paid) Palace staff, trying to earn a bit of extra money?

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    9. Well, folks, I would like to add this: I was a late-comer as a Kate fan; therefore, I purchased a lot of books, in an attempt to catch up. And, in one of those books, there was a pic of Kate meeting the Queen in 2005, presumably at Windsor...but given the room, definitely at a palace/castle. Hard to refute, given the publication date of the book.

      I think Kate was coached to lie in her engagement interview, in order to protect the Queen, who likes to pretend that she isn't a snob and that she would welcome an upper middle class girl as the wife of a future king.

      JC

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    10. JC, if it's the photo I'm thinking of, I recall a thread on a blog many moons ago where people said the photo was not authentic. It looked real to me, but if it was, I believe it would have been shown repetitively when the engagement was announced and during the run up to the wedding.

      And regarding the Queen's thoughts on Kate, well, I'd like to think that a happy and successful marriage would have been at the top of the list for her. And with good reason! :))

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  5. I really love your post! Love from Italy
    Federica

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    1. Thank you, Frederica!! Much appreciated! xo, Jane

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  6. Carmen, The NetherlandsApril 15, 2015 at 3:33 AM

    I was visiting London with my mom and sister when they split up, and I remember us talking about it and my mom said: 'If he loves this girl he should marry her and not let her become the next Camilla while he marries some blue blooded girl because he feels obligated to do so.' I felt really sorry for Kate back then and always kinda knew they belonged together. So happy they ended up together and a second baby is on the way. I love them as a couple!

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    1. You mom was so right! The potential for disaster if he married someone else was high. I, too, am thankful he came to his senses. :)

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  7. Thank you so much, Jane, for this post. I´ve read and heard and seen this story many times, of course, but you put it together in a very special way.... quite "moving" if I may say so. I´m in a difficult period of life myself at the moment, and although I have very little in common with the Duchess this story and the way you presented it just gave me a boost. Special thanks for that last sentence in your post - I will "write it in my heart" as we say in German.... :-))))
    Sunny greetings from Germany!

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    1. Hope life gets easier for you! Best wishes.

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    2. Thanks so much, Anonymous, for your "best wishes"!!! :-)))) I really appreciate it!

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    3. Yes, all the best, Eve. Someone was suspended at work, and a colleague wrote in the 'Best Wishes' card: 'I want to liken you to a tea-bag. It's only when you are put in hot water that you know how strong you are'. I read it some years ago, but have not forgotten it!

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    4. Oh! The tea-bad comparison was written by Eleanor Roosevelt!

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    5. I meant to type 'tea bag', not tea bad'!!

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  8. Sonja from BavariaApril 15, 2015 at 7:55 AM

    What a great post, Jane! That's why I love your blog so much.
    Kate is a realky strong woman and I admire her for not hiding at home after break-up but reminding william of what he was missing ;)

    I really hadn't noticed before that April was that important to Kate and William's relationship (of course except the wedding of the decade!).

    I sometimes wonder if Kate knew that they would get back together because she knee william and his character so well or if she just hoped that it would happen (of course she couldn't have been 100% sure but at least pretty sure)...

    The peach outfit was really beautiful! She looked stunning and had that "special glow of a pregnant woman" everyone is always talking about - the outfit was one of her bests.

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  9. I was so devastated when they broke up. I remember being really mad at Prince William for breaking her heart just so he could go around and be a jerk with his buddies thinking their were more women out there. I loved when Kate bounced back and was seen out and about at clubs and such showing the world she was having fun and that she was awesome!!

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  10. I just wrote what I considered a stellar comment and then proceeded to hit Preview before Google Account and lost it all.
    Briefly, I agree with and applaud the comments. Also, Jane, you are doing a remarkable job of filling this potentially
    boring few weeks with a variety of posts.I even forget sometimes we are waiting.

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    1. Don't you hate when that happens? - it seems to happen to me all the time. Then what I post is not nearly as well-written.
      I second your comment re: Jane doing a remarkable job of filling these weeks with posts that make me forget we are waiting. xo

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    2. mine was certainly briefer the second time around.So glad the circus atmosphere will be tamed this time. I guess
      having a bunch of strangers outside the hospital beats having them in the room with you as in times past.
      Still a huge amount of pressure at a very personal and vulnerable time.

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  11. Anon 1:06 I think her name was Anna Sloan. I think she's been labelled the only girl who wouldn't even give William a fling (or something like that). During uni William dated Kate during the school year, then had flings with other girls during the summers. One summer he went to Tennessee to visit Anna...with friends but without Kate. Since then it was said he pursued her a bit and she refused him from the beginning. As opposed to girls like Jecca and Isabella who dated him.

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    1. Do you think he dated Isabella? The British press are quite coy about this (and his other relationships, for that matter!) and the British author Katie Nicoll denies it: 'That summer William visited the Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe family home in Chelsea to see her. Isabella, daughter of banking heiress Lady Mary Gaye Curzon, was single at the time. Sadly for William, she had no aspirations to date him and despite his amorous advances declared that she was not interested'.

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  12. Anyone who has dealt with a breakup from their first serious relationship can appreciate how difficult it is. But living through it while the world is watching is something I cannot even begin to imagine. While I don't doubt that Carole was supportive of her daughter in every way, it was Kate's inner strength that got her through it. Major kudos to her for the way she held her head high and carried on.

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  13. Fantastic, reflective article, well done, Jane!

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  14. Their relationship is very interesting. William said during the engagement interview that they began as 'friends'. These are just his 'public' words on it, but, if true, it did not start with a 'grand passion' on his side, it appears..... rumours circulated after they broke up that he felt 'hemmed in' regarding his relationship with Kate and is quoted as saying that 'all the fun has gone out of it' just before the break up. He is also supposed to have jubilantly shouted 'I'm free!!!!' after they broke up. But, perhaps he was just putting a brave face on it all? Impossible to know......

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  15. Men in their 20s are a bit fickle. At least from my and my 4 sisters experience. No matter how in love the guy may be the urge to not give up that single life is huge for many a guy before 30. Frankly for many women also. I was in no rush to get married but did know I wanted marriage and kids so as I entered my later 20s I did state to my love you need to commit that we will get married and a date by when we would be engaged. I loved him dearly but I also knew I did not want in a loving relationship that was not going to lead to kids. My body clock was at a faster speed than his. He assumed I knew we would be married etc etc and just had trouble putting a ring on it. He did after that conversation. Ours started out passionately and friendly. But we did not start dating till we were 23 and 25. Makes a difference. I have no idea what happened with them but suspect there was some of this behind it. Fun to wonde. Ali

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  16. Thank you for the post. I've never noticed how April was such an important month for Kate. Love how they separated in one month and then got married in another, its so ironic :)
    Your last sentence made me tear up, "after the storm comes the rainbow, after the dark of night, there is always the dawn" It made me think of a friend who we lost nine months ago now, and everything seemed so dark then, mainly because of the shock as he was so young and healthy and it was just a terrible accident, and now I am moving on and life is much easier. Its so strange how you think you'll never get over it at the time, but it really does get better.

    Rebecca

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  17. Jane, very touching post, I enjoyed it immensely. For a young lady, you do talk a lot of good sense, Linda x

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  18. What a lovely post. Sentimental without being overly so. It is amazing to see the progression and change over the years. Looking forward to the upcoming birth and I know I will enjoy your posts on that as always.

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  19. As Liz, London pointed out, William said in their engagement interview their relationship started as a "friendship". This may say something for the staying power so to speak for their marriage. It is my understanding marriages based on friendship are stronger than those based only on physical attraction. I am glad they went through the "bumps" early before marriage and children and hope another Diana and Charles situation will be avoided. Happy to see the positive body language between them now, certainly different than that in Cheltenham (also different than I remember ever seeing between Charles and Diana).

    Glad also there will be another positive April for the Cambridge's this year!!!

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    1. I agree, they've already had their 'break up' and are now in it for the 'long term'.

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  20. I always thought the breakup was a bit of test for Kate, to see whether her loyalty and reluctance to speak publicly (even through surrogates) about the relationship would stand up. Not sure I completely blame him if he had some lingering doubts, even after all those years together, that she or someone in her inner circle, would break his trust when the chips were down.

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    1. I don't believe he would have put her through such a public breakup for the sake of a "test".

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    2. Intended or not, she passed the test with flying colors.

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  21. Thanks. I appreciate the effort you put into this forum.

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  22. Very sweet post - first I've read on this site - made me teary!

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  23. When the break up was actually confirmed by Clarence House and even the Prime Minister, Tony Blair made a comment about it, I don't think many of us realised that they would go on to get married! I was actually amazed that they broke up......I wondered how her life would actually map out in the future, having publicly been the long-term girlfriend of one of the most famous men in the world.....I believe many of us felt a lot of sympathy for her.

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