In the grand scheme of things, waiting seven years to decide whether or not you want to spend the rest of your life with another human being is nothing. But when you’re a royal and all eyes are on you to pick a princess, it’s a lifetime.
Even though Prince William and Kate Middleton started dating in 2003 while attending college, Will waited until 2010 to pop the question.
During a post-engagement interview, William said he decided to propose when he did because “it just felt really right.” Can’t argue with that.
But some people are arguing the length of time he waited before asking Kate to marry him. Was he having second thoughts? Did he settle? Was he considering other options?
A book from royal expert Katie Nicholl, Kate: The Future Queen, appears to hold the answer. Nicholl says it was simply a case of William not wanting to go through a divorce like his parents did.
“Forever scarred by the pain of his parents’ divorce, it was essential to William that when he married, it would be for life,” writes Nicholl.
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And it’s a good thing the couple waited as long as they did. The two went through a brief breakup in 2007 when, according to the rumor mill, William had a wandering eye. They also shacked up with each other during school, which wasn’t exactly royal protocol at the time.
According to Nicholl, “Before William asked Kate to marry him, he wanted to be sure it was what she really wanted. By living together, Kate could decide whether it was, and as William later recalled ‘back out’ if it wasn’t. “
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Of course, any royal watcher is aware of infidelity rumors that have plagued William. But if any couple can make their marriage work, it’s likely the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.