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Prince split sparks media frenzy

Story Highlights

• Media frenzy after Prince William splits with girlfriend Kate Middleton
• Tabloids speculate "royal summit," army career behind break-up
• Fears that Middleton will be hounded for "biggest kiss'n'tell in history"
By CNN's Barry Neild
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- The relationship break up of Britain's Prince William and longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton sparked a media frenzy Sunday, as the country's newspapers speculated on the reasons behind the split.

In the absence of any official comment, reports blamed pressure from the queen, a relationship turned sour and the prince's army career for ending the five year romance which many had forecast would result in marriage. (Gallery: Before the split)

The tabloid News of the World, sister paper to the Sun which broke the surprise revelation on Saturday claimed the decision was made at a "royal summit."

It said the prince, second in line to the throne, had been warned by his grandmother Queen Elizabeth, that he was in danger of "creating another Diana" if he rushed into marriage.

The claimed comments reflect similarities drawn by observers between Middleton and the prince's mother, who died in a 1997 car crash after separating from Prince Charles.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper chewed on the details of the break-up, claiming the 24-year-old prince had told his girlfriend the relationship had reached its natural conclusion.

"It's just not fun any more," he said, according to the paper. (Watch CNN review of Britain's tabloid papers Video)

The Mail, seen as the voice of Britain's right wing middle class, also speculated that the rift was partly blamed on the social status of non-royal Middleton.

"Some friends are even said to make cruel jokes about Kate's breeding," the paper said.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, it was out of concern for Middleton that Prince Charles suggested his son to end the relationship if he felt he could not fully commit to marriage.

"Prince Charles has suggested to him that it would not be fair to keep Kate hanging on if he was not prepared to marry her sooner rather than later," it quoted a royal insider saying.

The Observer newspaper gave a more straightforward account of the break-up, blaming the prince's "increasing commitment to an army career."

It also spoke of concerns from Middleton's family that the 25-year-old would now be under siege from media trying to lay their hands on "the biggest kiss'n'tell" in history."

Other papers focused on how the couple was dealing with the split. The Sunday Mirror claimed the prince had racked up a $22,000 bar bill as he "drowned his sorrows." The Sunday Express went further, printing a picture it claimed was of the prince out on the town on the day of the break-up.

Prince William and Kate Middleton pictured together in February.


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