Before Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis were ever a thought in their minds, Will and Kate were recent college grads in the midst of a long distance relationship, and they hit a serious rough patch. They had dated for four years, but were living apart — Middleton in London, and Prince William in Dorset in army barracks — when a holiday fight sparked a split.
In late 2006, Popsugar reports that Middleton's family invited Prince William to celebrate New Year's Eve with them. Initially, he accepted, and all looked perfectly rosy, but that soon changed. Allegedly, he changed his mind, as spending the holidays in Sandringham with Queen Elizabeth is a strict royal tradition. Unfortunately, Kate wasn't allowed to join him, since she hadn't married into the family yet (famously, the queen made an exception to this rule for Meghan Markle).
As you can imagine, this caused a lot of tension between the couple.
This, combined with being long distance in the first place and the paparazzi being increasingly more aggressive toward Middleton as engagement rumours flared, caused a brief, though significant, breakup.
Of course, Will and Kate eventually reconciled and kicked off their happily ever after, but even years later while they were engaged, it came up again ... during their engagement interview.
In fact, there was a time when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge called it quits and broke up with each other, temporarily ending their relationship altogether.
We know, it's hard to believe, but stay with us.
"Well I think to be honest, I wouldn't believe everything you read in the paper but in that particular instance we did split up for a bit," Prince William admitted for the first time publicly.
"But that was just, we both were very young, 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."
Middleton also had an interesting take on their breakup.
"And I think I at the time wasn't very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person," she said. "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."
Maybe a breakup isn't a conventional chapter of a fairytale romance, but surviving those difficult moments seemed to make Will and Kate's relationship even stronger, and for that, it couldn't be more picture perfect.