Prince William’s heartbreak as he gave Kate Middleton chance to ‘back out’ of royal life

Prince William's heartbreak was revealed in his and Kate Middleton's engagement interview as he wanted to give her the "best chance"....

Prince William's heartbreak revealed, seen here with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attending Royal Ascot 2022
(Image credit: Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)

Prince William’s heartbreak was revealed in his and Kate Middleton’s engagement interview about wanting to give her a chance to “back out” of royal life. 


From Kate Middleton’s dresses for her ceremony and reception, to her and Prince William’s kiss on the Buckingham Palace balcony, there were plenty of emotional moments from their wedding day in 2011. Having met at the University of St Andrews as students, romance blossomed from an initial friendship, leaving many eager to hear wedding bells ring for many years before they walked down the aisle of Westminster Abbey. Though it wasn’t until a vacation to Kenya in 2010 that Prince William finally popped the question. 

Opening up to ITV’s Tom Bradby after the announcement, the couple shared intriguing insights into their relationship. Amongst the wonderful anecdotes was a remark that revealed Prince William’s heartbreak and desire to give Kate the chance to “back out” of royal life…

Interviewer Tom remarked upon the scrutiny faced by the extended Royal Family, saying how “protective” of his wife-to-be the Queen’s grandchild was. Responding to this, Prince William’s heartbreak might well have moved royal fans as he speculated that this “kind of” played a part in how long he waited to propose to Kate. 

“Massively so,” he said, agreeing with Tom’s suggestion. “Her and her family, I really want to make sure that they have the best, sort of, guidance and chance to see what life has been like - or what life is like - in the family."

It was then that Prince William, who is second in the royal line of succession, expressed his belief that perhaps he almost waited to give Kate a chance to “back out” if she needed to. 

Prince William and Catherine Middleton pose for photographs in the State Apartments of St James Palace

(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

The Duke of Cambridge continued, “That’s kind of almost why I’ve been waiting this long is that I wanted to give her a chance to see and to back out if she needed to before it all got too much.”

“I’m trying to learn from lessons done in the past,” Prince William added seriously, before turning to look at Kate. “And I just wanted to give her the best chance to settle in and see what happens the other side.”

Although the future King didn’t confirm the “lessons” learnt, it’s of course possible that the intense scrutiny that surrounded his late mother Princess Diana wasn’t far from his mind. However, this considerate approach and determination for Kate to have this “best chance” before committing to life as a future Queen Consort was something that she was “glad” of. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge watch from the Royal Box at wimbledon

(Image credit: Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

“I’m of course so glad that I’ve had the time to grow and understand myself more as well. So hopefully, hopefully, I’ll do a good job,” she said.

Now married to Prince William for over a decade, Duchess Kate has settled in spectacularly to royal life, becoming a devoted Patron to many organizations and charities, supporting important causes, and meeting fans and dignitaries from all over the world. Prince William’s determination to give her the “best chance” of thriving in the Royal Family certainly seems to have been worthwhile for the future Queen.

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.