We all know that Prince William and Kate Middleton’s relationship wasn’t always smooth sailing. The pair went public in 2006 and broke in 2007 and then didn’t get engaged until 2010. It now appears early tension may have been caused by Prince William’s friends didn’t approve of Kate Middleton back at school, believing that William should find a more “suitable bride.” His friends mocked her and her family for their (comparatively) middle-class upbringing — and it seems Kate’s friends weren’t any more fond of William.
These details all come from Andrew Morton’s 2011 book William and Catherine, which explores the Cambridge royals’ relationship over the years. When their relationship became public, Morton writes, “She was seen as a ‘pretty and sensible’ girl.” But, he adds, “There were those in royal and aristocratic circles who believed that the Middletons were too middle-of-the-road for the House of Windsor.” A Scottish nobleman spoke to Morton about this dynamic, claiming “It was felt that she wasn’t from the right stock,” and that William had been expected to find a bride “among the aristocracy or European royalty – one of his own kind.”
This distaste for Kate’s background quickly made itself known. The nobleman claims that Kate was ” treated abominably behind her back by some who should have shown better manners.” Even Kate’s family wasn’t safe, with mother Carole Middleton, a former airline stewardess, falling victim to some of their barbs. “William’s upper-class friends thought it amusing to shout ‘Doors to manual!’ when speaking of [Carole Middleton],” Morton writes, acknowledging that Clarence House has denied this story. “It reinforced some commentators’ view that Kate did not have the ‘breeding’ to become Queen.”
It seems the ill will ran both ways: “In April 2007, when Clarence House unofficially let the world know that the romance between William and Kate had run its course,” Morton writes, “few of her friends shed a tear. The prevailing reaction for most of them was: ‘Thank goodness that’s over!'” It’s not entirely clear why Kate’s friends didn’t care for the relationship, though. According to CheatSheet, one friend claims Kate never made time for them after she began dating William. Another friend made slightly more troubling claims, saying William kept Kate “on a tight leash,” echoing Morton’s claim that at times Kate felt she was treated “like a servant.”
We’re sure the dynamic of a royal and non-royal dating are fraught in ways we can’t understand. And if William’s fellow royal-born friends were less than welcoming of Kate, our heart goes out to her. Hopefully, these claims have more to do with the friction that accompanies any new relationship, and any underlying issues have since been smoothed out. Of course, what with the rumors of William’s cheating, we can’t be sure — but at any rate, we hope William had a stern word with any school friends who might have spoken poorly of Kate.