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Prince & girlfriend spring a shock
- William splits up with Kate
(Top) Prince William, Kate Middleton

London, April 14: The middle-class girl who reminded many Britons of Diana has chosen not to be their queen.

Prince William has split with long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton, amicably and with no one else involved, The Sun reported, quoting friends of the future king.

“I am totally shocked. We were all convinced they were going to get married,” Judy Wade, royal correspondent for Hello! magazine, said. “She and William had so much more in common than Charles and Diana ever did.”

Sources said the 24-year-old William’s devotion to his army career — which meant the couple could meet just once a week — and his reluctance to settle down caused tensions in the relationship.

“As far as Kate is concerned, William simply hasn’t been paying her enough attention,” a friend of the couple said. “She is stuck in London while he is living in an officer’s mess in Dorset.”

Last month, The Sun published a photo of William with an 18-year-old Brazilian student in a nightclub and said he had invited another girl back to his barracks at night for a drink.

Kate had always evoked comparisons with the late Princess Diana, for many Britons the best queen they never had.

The 25-year-old won praise for her fashionable dress sense and poise and was pursued by the paparazzi, as Diana was. But she didn’t enjoy the attention at all, making a harassment complaint after the Daily Mirror carried her photograph.

On her birthday in January, she faced a media scrum outside her London flat on her way to work. “Kate has been under intense pressure,” said Arthur Edwards, a Sun photographer. “She really was at her wits’ end.”

Kate met William when they were studying at St Andrews University, Scotland. The royal family had accepted her in its inner circle.

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