Prince William and longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton have split, the British media reported Saturday, ending widespread speculation of an imminent wedding between one of the world’s most eligible royal bachelors and the middle-class descendant of a coal-mining family.
William, 24, and Middleton, 25, who met at St. Andrews University in Scotland in 2001, parted amicably – and almost completely unexpectedly – after succumbing to the massive pressures placed upon them by intense media scrutiny of their courtship, according to the Sun newspaper.
Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper said the relationship had been dwindling since William, the older son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana and second in line to the British throne, graduated from Britain’s elite Sandhurst military academy in December.
Especially since last month, when William began training as a tank commander on a remote English army base, the pair have seen each other increasingly less. William has also been photographed recently partying with other attractive young women. The paper reported that Middleton was increasingly frustrated that William seemed to prefer drinking with his army buddies to spending time with her in London.
The newspaper also reported that William considers himself too young to marry and bristled at media and public pressure to become engaged to Middleton, who appeared to many as a likable and intelligent young woman who would have brought new youth and glamour to the royal family. Many in England were certain Middleton would be the next fairy tale princess and someday Queen Catherine.
Protesters oppose presidential run
More than a quarter of a million people rallied in the Turkish capital Saturday to voice secularists’ opposition to a run for the presidency by the country’s prime minister, who is affiliated with an Islamist party.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to announce soon, perhaps in the coming week, whether he will be his party’s presidential nominee.
The president is to be elected next month by lawmakers, and because Erdogan’s party has a substantial parliamentary majority, announcing that he is running would be tantamount to claiming the post.
The rally Saturday was organized by Turkey’s secular establishment, and followers were bused in from all over the country. It was large by the standards of political protests here, but probably not big enough to deter Erdogan if he has decided to seek the presidency.