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.
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