- When she and Prince William broke up in 2007, Kate Middleton was so emotionally wrecked that she took a week of "compassionate leave."
- In the United Kingdom, compassionate leave is typically given for family emergencies and deaths.
- Kate took a week off from her job at Jigsaw to process the breakup.
Kate Middleton and Prince William haven't always been the fairytale couple they are today—which you already know if you're one of the many, many royal fans who have done deep dives into their relationship history.
Before they were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Will and Kate were just two young people who met at college and fell in love. And, like many people who fall for each other during their late teens and early twenties, Will and Kate had some ups and downs, some moments of doubt, and they took some time apart to make sure the relationship was what they really wanted (spoiler alert: It was).
When Will and Kate broke up in 2007, Kate put on a strong exterior, but she was hurting behind-the-scenes. In fact, according royal expert and biographer Katie Nicholl in her book Kate: The Future Queen, Kate actually took a week of compassionate leave from work to process the breakup.
According to the official UK government site, compassionate leave is:
If you aren’t given time off for dependents, your employer may allow you ‘compassionate leave’ - this can be paid or unpaid leave for emergency situations. Check your employment contract, company handbook or intranet for details about compassionate leave.
For Americans, that sounds a lot like bereavement leave, which employers often offer following the death of a family member or other loved one. Since breakups (especially ones with people you really love) are also a painful kind of loss all on their own, this makes sense.
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