Prince William 'auditioned' Kate Middleton before asking her to marry him, a royal expert has claimed.
The Duke reportedly wanted to make sure she'd be a right fit for the Royal Family and be prepared for the highs and lows of royal life.
Before the pair married in April 2011, William had known Kate for almost 10 years after they met as students at St Andrews.
Royal expert Robert Lacey claimed he felt he had to 'audition' his wife before he proposed while appearing on The Day Will and Kate Got Married on ITV.
He said he was 'auditioning' her for her future role as Duchess.
He explained: "It's been said that William was auditioning Catherine for her future role.
"And I think there's a truth to that. William is the future King of Britain and the Commonwealth and, like it or not, part of his job was to choose a consort who would do the job well."
After the couple dating for four years, they briefly split up in 2007, which royal expert Katie Nicholls says the prince initiated.
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"It was William who instigated that split," she said. "Kate wanted a sense of commitment and at that point in time, William wasn't able to give it to her."
Mr Lacey also claimed in his 2020 book, the Battle of Brothers, that Prince William dumped Kate over the phone while she was working as an accessories buyer for Jigsaw.
However, they got back together after a couple of months.
The Queen is reported to have advised Kate to get involved with charities and the Duchess started working for Starlight, which works with terminally ill children.
Addressing their break-up in their 2010 engagement interview, William said: "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."
Additionally, Kate Middleton said it was difficult not to be "consumed" by the relationship at first.
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Giving insight into how she dealt with the split, she added: "At the time, I wasn't very happy about it but actually it made me a stronger person.
"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. Looking back on it."
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