How Kate gave up millions to marry William
Now that she's ready to marry a royal and take part in the wedding of the decade, $10 million might seem like small change. But Kate Middleton's loyalty to Prince William came at an astronomical cost.

While the golden couple is all smiles these days and poised to become husband and wife in front of a worldwide audience on April 29, their relationship hit a serious roadblock three years ago and they parted ways for several months.

Within days of the split, Kate was inundated with offers to sell her story and reveal the most detailed insight yet into the life of the future king of England. Television, book, and magazine deals came flooding in, yet Kate steadfastly refused to entertain any of them, turning her back on a fortune in the process.

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Ten million dollars? "No problem," said Paul Ridley, former editorial executive of the Sun newspaper and now a leading public relations expert based in London. "There was interest from everywhere and she could easily have sparked a huge global bidding war if she had wanted to. Properly managed, she could have named her price and tapped into an almost endless revenue stream. She would have been the girl that walked away from a life of royalty and all that goes with it, and any media group would love an exclusive, long-term agreement with someone like that.

"She could have got a large immediate payment to help her get over the breakup, and then been wheeled out as a royal commentator whenever any issue came up. She could have opened the door to William and the way his mind works and would have had some extraordinary insight."

While the British media are never shy to stoke themselves into a frenzy, the interest in Kate came from all across the globe. Publications from as far as Japan, Germany, and the U.S. wanted a piece of the action and made countless approaches with checkbook in hand.
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Despite the mildly acrimonious nature of the split, with Kate's ire further stoked by reports linking William with a series of women immediately after the breakup, she vowed to remain tight-lipped and stayed true to the pledge.

Given the obsession with privacy held by the royal family, there is little doubt that any attempt by Kate to "cash in" would have instantly vetoed any possibility of reconciliation. She shunned the vast sums of money that continued to be offered, and instead concentrated on her job as a fashion buyer for clothing chain Jigsaw and her part-time role with her parents' company, Party Pieces.

"If Kate had sold her story for a fortune during the time they were broken up, then a subsequent reconciliation would have been unthinkable," said Robin Millard, royal correspondent for AFP. "The royal family guards its privacy intensely and would have regarded such action as a huge betrayal."

Within three months, reports began to surface that William and Kate were back on speaking terms and were once again "good friends." By the end of 2007, it was clear that the relationship had been rekindled in full and was as serious as ever.

As the countdown to next Friday's grand occasion continues, the problems that were but a blip in the relationship are now long forgotten as the couple has started to finalize preparations by visiting Princess Diana's grave, doing last-minute shopping, and getting ready to face the world.

Kate is now just a week away from discovering that a royal wedding and the title of princess is priceless.