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The St Andrews graduate was quietly going about her business on Sunday, moving boxes into her parents' home
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Dignified Kate faces up to life as a singleton

16 APRIL 2007

Contemplating life as a single girl, Prince William's former girlfriend, Kate Middleton has been conducting herself in the discreet, poised manner that endeared her to the public and the royal family. Still wearing a friendship ring given to her by the Prince two years ago, the pretty brunette bravely did her best to ignore the furore, quietly lunching with her parents and sister Pippa over the weekend.

As Kate was pictured outside her family home in Berkshire carrying out errands, "disappointment" was being expressed in royal circles that the relationship had run its course. "The Queen is feeling sad for them both," said a confidante of the monarch.

The young couple's four-year romance apparently began to unravel on a holiday last month in the Swiss Alps, during which they had a series of heart-to-heart talks about their future. Crisis discussions centred around how much time they were spending apart. Kate had recently started a job as a buyer with High Street chain Jigsaw. William, meanwhile, is on a four-month Army training course in Dorset.

The young royal was also reportedly becoming uncomfortable with talk of an impending engagement, and made up his mind to end the affair since he was not yet ready to propose. "I want to go out and do what other blokes my age do," he is said to have told friends.

The pair were described as being "very lovey-dovey" during a recent dinner in the Cotswolds a few weeks ago, however, leading friends to speculate they may reunite.

"I'm sure they have split up for now, but William's very good at manipulating the media and this may be about giving her a breather from the royal scene as well as giving him time to go off and do what he wants," said a source close to the Prince, quoted in the Daily Express.

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