People were so eager for the news, in fact, that they had gotten all worked up and convinced themselves that William was going to pop the question on January 9, 2007—Kate's 25th birthday. Paparazzi were hounding Kate especially hard that day, hoping to capture the first photo of her engagement ring. Royal fans were sure it was happening and just waiting not-so-patiently for the announcement.
Unfortunately, everyone was super, super wrong.
In the 2011 documentary Kate Middleton: Biography, royal expert Katie Nicholl explained that the truth was that Will wasn't even really considering proposing on Kate's birthday, much to everyone's (including Kate's) disappointment.
"What I was hearing from my sources in the inner circle was that actually the relationship was coming unstuck," Nicholl said of this time in Will and Kate's relationship. "Prince William was feeling the pressure from the press and from everyone around him to settle down. He was totally wrapped up in his military career, he wanted to do other things apart from being with Kate all the time."
According to Daily Express royal correspondent Richard Palmer, Will called Kate that spring to tell her he wanted to take a break. "She was devastated, she was really upset about it," Palmer said.
Thankfully, Will and Kate's fairytale worked out in the end.