Royal Family feared Kate Middleton would ‘become second Camilla’

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William and Kate Middleton will this year celebrate ten years of marriage. The couple in this time have had three children and potential heirs: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. They’ve taken up a place in the hearts and minds of the British public, but their romance wasn’t always plain sailing.

At one point, William had comparisons drawn between him and his father’s relationship to Camilla Parker Bowles.

This was as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had various “mini-breaks” and a “trial separation”.

The first came in 2004 while the pair were in their final year of university in Edinburgh.

Katie Nicholl, a royal author, revealed how by the end of March 2007, it appeared “their love affair had run its course”.

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In her 2010 book, ‘William and Harry’, Ms Nicholl details Kate’s ultimatum to William after he was pictured partying and flirting with other girls in London, and separately near his military training base at Bovington, Dorset.

The strategy, however, “backfired” and “William told her that they should have a break”.

Ms Nicholl wrote: “It was hard not to draw comparisons between William and his father.

“Had William also met the right woman at the wrong time?

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“Haunted by the spectre of the past, there were real fears at the Palace that Kate would become the next Camilla.”

Charles and Camilla had had a romantic relationship in the early Seventies, but were forced to call it off in 1973 when the royal went away with the Navy and Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles.

The Prince of Wales was, according to reports, heartbroken on hearing the news.

Their feelings remained throughout the years, however, with the pair having committed an extramarital affair when Charles was married to Princess Diana.

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It stirred perhaps one of the Royal Family’s most tumultuous periods in living memory, with Charles and Diana’s love life woes played out in public.

Diana famously remarked in her 1995 BBC Panorama interview: “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”

Charles and Diana divorced in 1996, with the Prince later marrying Camilla in 2005, much to what seemed the disapproval of the Queen.

At the time, one courtier told The Daily Telegraph: “The problems of the past week go back many years.

“The Queen believes that the Prince of Wales has put his own gratification and interests before duty by pursuing his relationship with Camilla, and she can never forgive that.”

Writing just before the wedding, Andrew Alderson offered a brief insight into the Queen’s feelings and frustration with Charles.

He said: “The Queen has ‘distanced’ herself from the wedding of the Prince of Wales to Camilla Parker Bowles because she believes that her son is putting personal gratification before duty, royal courtiers have disclosed.

“The courtiers also say privately that the Queen is ‘lukewarm’ about the marriage and is worried that it could tarnish the monarchy.”

Meanwhile, according to Ms Nicholl, Kate had an unlikely ally in William’s grandfather, Prince Philip.

She said: “While Kate mourned the end of their relationship at home with her family, William celebrated his ‘freedom’ in London at [nightclub] Mahiki.

“While William partied, Kate received a message of support from Prince Philip.”

According to Ms Nicholl, the events led the Duke of Edinburgh to tell the young prince: “William will present a ring when the time is right.”

She adds: “It was a well-intended reassurance that Kate valued.”

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