Prince William and Kate Middleton's romance appears to be like a fairytale — but it was once so rocky, Prince Charles was forced to step in.
Prince William and Kate Middleton always appeared destined to walk down the aisle.
The pair met while studying at St Andrew's university in 2001 and began dating a year later, with Kate, then just 21, seeming to adjust to the harsh glare of the royal spotlight seamlessly.
Which is why their abrupt split five years later, in 2007, seemed all the more shocking.
Plenty of theories have swirled about exactly why they took a break from their relationship for just two months before reuniting, with most pegged off Prince William's inability to settle down.
During the couple's engagement interview in 2011, Prince William basically confirmed the reports, explaining awkwardly: "We were both 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."
But according to royal biographer Christopher Anderson, Prince Charles actually played a huge role in the split.
In the documentary Kate Middleton: Biography, Anderson revealed that in April 2007, the heir to the throne told Prince William, then 25, to break up with Kate after his son approached him for relationship advice.
"William went to his father and said, 'Look, I'm 25, I'm too young to get married. I just don't want to commit at this point,'" the royal expert said.
"Charles, who was by then very fond of Kate, said, 'It would be unfair to the young lady. You cannot string her along anymore, so you should just break it off.'"
Around the same time, a photo of William with his arms around two women in a nightclub was splashed across the tabloids. The young prince was also said to be extremely rattled by British retailers' decision to pre-emptively create wedding souvenirs featuring himself and Kate.
According to Anderson, Kate (then also 25) received the devastating call from William while she was at work — just a few days after his conversation with Charles — and was left "reeling".
During the engagement interview in 2011, Kate admitted that she wasn't the one who initiated their split.
"I think I … at the time (I) wasn't very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person," Kate said.
"You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn't realised, 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."
During that rough patch more than a decade ago, Kate was reportedly left "miserable" when William escaped their relationship drama by taking a boys' trip to Greece with his friend Guy Pelly.
A biography released last year, The Duchess Of Cambridge: How Kate Middleton Became A Future Queen, revealed that instead of retaliating with a wild holiday of her own, Kate fled to the countryside to spend time with her family.
"She got quite drunk on white wine and really let her guard down," a source said. "She was debating whether or not she should text or call him.
"She said how sad she was and how much she was missing William but never mentioned it after that."
At the time, Clarence House refused to directly address the reports, instead saying in a statement: "We don't comment on Prince William's private life."
During their time apart, William was asked about Kate in an incredibly uncomfortable moment during a press conference with Prince Harry.
The brothers were answering questions about an upcoming memorial concert for their mother, Princess Diana, when a reporter asked: "Tell us about the friends you've got coming along to the concert. I understand Kate and Chelsy (Davy, Harry's then-girlfriend) will be joining you. How are things going with Kate?"
William — appearing fairly mortified — responded: "Er, well er, I've got lots of friends coming, everyone's going to be there on the night and it's going to be a great night basically."
Even Harry couldn't resist commenting on the awkwardness, telling his brother: "Very well avoided, William."
As we now know, Kate and William's split was short-lived and they wound up reuniting just a couple of months later — this time, for good.
William then proposed during a trip to Africa in 2010 with his late-mother's engagement ring.
The pair were married the following year, and now have three children — Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and 8-month-old Prince Louis.