Menu

Review your data settings

Cookies are set through this site to recognise your repeat visits and preferences, serve more relevant ads, facilitate social sharing, and to analyse traffic. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes in line with our privacy statement and cookie policy.

Kate Middleton fled to Ireland with her mother after her break-up with Prince William - and we have the exclusive pictures

Caitlin McBride ·

19
Exclusive pictures of Kate Middleton in Ireland in 2007. Pictures: Liam Mulcahy

After nearly 17 years together, Kate Middleton and Prince William are considered to have one of the most solid marriages going - not just in royal terms, but even for 'normal' people.

Since their 2011 wedding, Kate has assimilated with ease into her new role as Duchess of Cambridge, enjoying a nearly 10-year head-start since first meeting Britain's future king back in their first year of college at St Andrew's University. But their relationship wasn't always so blissfully happy and they famously split - albeit briefly - in 2007 after five years together, during which time Kate secretly fled to Ireland with her mother Carole Middleton to recover.

19
Kate Middleton at the opening of Gemma Billington's exhibition at the Urban Retreat Gallery. Picture: Liam Mulcahy

As the world's obsession with the British royal family continues to grow apace, old stories are recirculating among a new generation of royal watchers and news of Kate's holiday to Dublin was spread again. At the time, the then 25-year-old wanted to escape the impending attention and retreated to the capital for some respite with her mother and close friends.

The couple eventually reconciled within three months, but during that time, she enjoyed an art exhibition by her friend Gemma Billington and visited the National Gallery of Ireland, a fitting spot as she is an art history graduate and The Art Room is among the causes of which she is a patron. As our exclusive pictures show, Kate was all smiles as she was pictured speaking with Irish football legend Niall Quinn and her artist friend at the private event.

During their engagement interview in 2010, they were asked about their split, which Kate said ultimately made them stronger.

"I think I at the time wasn't very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person," she explained.

"You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn't realized. Or I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you're younger. I really valued that time for me as well although I didn't think it at the time, looking back on it."

Similarly, William echoed: "But that was just, we both were 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, and so it was just sort of a bit of space and a bit of things like that and it worked out for the better."

19
Kate Middleton at the opening of Gemma Billington's exhibition at the Urban Retreat Gallery with Niall Quinn. Picture: Liam Mulcahy

It's believed the reason William waited so long to pop the question was because he wanted his future wife to have an accurate understanding of how much her life would change once she officially became a royal.

Online Editors

1 / 19
Exclusive pictures of Kate Middleton in Ireland in 2007. Pictures: Liam Mulcahy
2 / 19
Kate Middleton at the opening of Gemma Billington's exhibition at the Urban Retreat Gallery. Picture: Liam Mulcahy
3 / 19
Catherine Middleton (R) her mother Carole and sister Pippa arrives at The Goring Hotel after visiting Westminster Abbey on April 28, 2011 in London, England
4 / 19
Michael and Carole Middleton arrive for the christening of Prince Louis Dominic Lipinski/Pool via REUTERS
5 / 19
Photo: Matt Holyoak/Camera Press
6 / 19
The Duchess of Cambridge (left), and Carole Middelton (right) during day one of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse
7 / 19
Mum's the word: Carole Middleton, who has undoubtedly been a help to Kate and Prince William since George was born, pictured with her husband Michael
8 / 19
Michael and Carole Middleton arriving for the christening of Prince Louis, the youngest son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London
9 / 19
Carole Middleton at the royal wedding in 2011
10 / 19
Kate Middleton at the opening of Gemma Billington's exhibition at the Urban Retreat Gallery. Picture: Liam Mulcahy
11 / 19
Kate Middleton at the opening of Gemma Billington's exhibition at the Urban Retreat Gallery with Niall Quinn. Picture: Liam Mulcahy
12 / 19
Kate Middleton at the opening of Gemma Billington's exhibition at the Urban Retreat Gallery. Picture: Liam Mulcahy
13 / 19
Prince William and Kate Middleton use a T-bar drag lift whilst on a skiing holiday on March 19, 2008 in Klosters, Switzerland. (Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)
14 / 19
Kate Middleton With Sister Pippa At Windsor After Watching Prince William Play Rugby.. (Photo by Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images)
15 / 19
Kate Middleton takes part in a training session with the Sisterhood cross Channel rowing team, on the River Thames on July 27, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)
16 / 19
Carole and Michael Middleton, parents of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in the Royal Box on Centre Court on day eight of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, 3 July, 2012
17 / 19
Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton visit the royal baby in the Lindo Wing. Kate's mum Carole has been dubbed the 'baby whisperer'.
18 / 19
Kate Middleton at the opening of Gemma Billington's exhibition at the Urban Retreat Gallery. Picture: Liam Mulcahy
19 / 19
Kate Middleton at the opening of Gemma Billington's exhibition at the Urban Retreat Gallery with Niall Quinn. Picture: Liam Mulcahy