Marie Claire recently recalled Christmas 2006 for Prince William and the then Kate Middleton, who by that point had been dating for over four years. That Christmas, William invited Kate to Sandringham for Christmas (where the royal family typically spends the holiday), but she declined, saying she wouldn’t come without a ring on her finger. New Year’s Eve—as we all well know, seeing as the holiday is tomorrow—comes right on the heels of Christmas, and that same year, in 2006, Kate was left in tears after William changed their New Year’s plans, reports The Mirror. After spending Christmas apart, the couple—who were both 24 at the time—were planning to spend New Year’s together. Then, William cancelled their plans abruptly and last minute, leaving Kate “in floods of tears” and “fearing for the future of their relationship,” according to Katie Nicholl’s book The Making of a Royal Romance. In the book, according to The Mirror, “William had promised Kate he would join her family, but decided to stay with his family instead—and informed her on the phone on Boxing Day [December 26].”
Nicholl writes “William had been having second thoughts and sat down with his father and his grandmother to have a frank discussion about his future with Kate. Both advised him not to hurry into anything.” The holiday season of 2006 was a prelude to William and Kate’s split in 2007, which sources say disappointed the Queen. But, within weeks, the couple were back together, and by that July Kate and her younger brother, James, were at the Concert for Diana, held at Wembley to mark 10 years since the death of William’s mother, Princess Diana. And all’s well that ends well: “It wasn’t long before their romance was confirmed to be back on, and Kate moved into William’s Clarence House flat, where he would return from military duties on Friday nights for cozy weekends together—and the rest, they say, is history.” The couple eventually got engaged in 2010 and married the next year.