It's hard to imagine Prince William and Kate Middleton being anything but a fairytale couple. But Royal Family biographer Robert Lacey's new book, Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of A Family in Tumult (not to mention every season of The Crown) reveals that even royals deal with a lot of the same stresses and challenges that we mere mortals do when navigating family and romantic relationships.
The book, which is being serialised in the Daily Mail before it hits shelves on 15th October, describes brothers Prince William and Prince Harry's romantic journeys, as well as their bond with each other over the years. But what many are really latching onto is the delicious royal drama detailed in the book — from the Duchess of Cambridge's alleged refusal of the Queen's Christmas invitation before her 2011 engagement to William, to a reported rift between the princes when Harry when was photographed in a Nazi costume, to stories of a notorious breakup between William and Kate that happened over the phone. (Taylor Swift would like a word).
Lacey alleges that on 11th April 2007, when Middleton was an accessory buyer with clothing company Jigsaw, she excused herself from a meeting to take a phone call from her boyfriend, Prince William, who then was described as a "hard-drinking Army officer often spotted at nightclubs." Lacey then claimed she "shut herself in a room for more than an hour while the pair discussed their future" and eventually broke up.
During the few months they were apart, the book claims Prince William "found dating difficult and was turned down by a 'surprising' number women." Thankfully, he missed Middleton and her family enough that they got back together 10 weeks later, and well — nearly a decade of marriage and three children later — the rest seems to have gone pretty well.
It's usually wise to take many of the facts relayed in these kinds of accounts with a grain of salt, but it is a comfort to know that even fairytale romances take hard work. Even Princes can get in their feelings and make the rookie mistake of breaking up with someone at work.