Kate Middleton Took a Week of Bereavement Leave from Work to Process Her 2007 Breakup with Prince William

When Kate Middleton and Prince William broke up in 2007, she took a week of bereavement leave from work. The time is known as "compassionate leave" in the UK.

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Kate Middleton (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab) in her book Kate: The Future Queen (opens in new tab), Kate actually took a week of compassionate leave from work to process the breakup.

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According to the official UK government site, compassionate leave (opens in new tab) 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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Kayleigh Roberts
Kayleigh Roberts

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.