LONDON: Prince William was reportedly flirting with at least two society beauties even as Kate Middleton battled to save their four-year romance, according to several British tabloids.
Even Kate's 52-year-old mother Carole, a former air stewardess, has partly been blamed for the break-up over what has been described as her shocking lack of class, as the royal split continued to dominate the electronic and print media.
The Daily Mail claimed the prince had been involved in a serious flirtation with a well-connected young woman for four months.
At the same time, the future king has also been seen kissing and cuddling an attractive blonde in a nightclub here, it said.
The prince began effectively acting as a single man after Kate revealed her devastation that an expected announcement of their engagement never came in February, it added.
The 24-year-old William had made clear to those close to him that while he was extremely fond of Kate, he never thought of her as the one.
According to the paper, the prince reportedly said he was too young to settle down, adding all the fun has gone. I don't want to be nailed down.
Even as Kate was planning the wedding, William was working out how to extricate himself, with his name romantically linked with a string of young women including students Lisa Agar and Ana Ferreira, and PR girl Tess Shepherd as well as society beauty Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe.
On Saturday, William was reportedly seen in Mahiki, the trendy Polynesian-themed Mayfair club, pumped up with relief, behaving like a pit pony released for the first time in years into the sunlight.
I'm freeeee the prince was said to have cried, performing a version of Liverpool footballer Peter Crouch's robot dance executed after scoring a goal.
I'm really happy. Everything is fine. Lets drink the menu, the paper reported him as saying.
The Mirror said the cracks first appeared in the relationship when the prince twirled Tess round a dance floor at West London nightclub Boujis last month before they shared a kiss.
It added that William's boozy night out in Bournemouth three weeks ago with Lisa and Ana before inviting the former back to his barracks for a drink also added to the break-up.
And, while Kate got on well with the princes family, her mother Carole had been the subject of snobby jibes by palace officials and his snooty pals.
The paper said William's upper-crust friends would ridicule Carole's former career when Kate was out of earshot.
Carole had, in fact, raised eyebrows among senior royal circles when, on her first meeting with the Queen, she greeted her with Pleased to meet you rather than Hello Madam, or How do you do?
According to the report, she had also used words such as toilet, rather than lavatory or the loo, pardon, and had a habit of chewing gum, apparently frowned upon by the monarch.
The Sun reported that the couple decided to part during tearful heart-to-heart talks while on a ski holiday in the Alps last month.
They wanted different things she needed more commitment. But they agreed to stay good friends, it said, adding they had simply met five years too soon.
The paper said the week after they returned from Switzerland, they spent the day together at the Cheltenham Racing Festival, but it was clear from the body language that all was not well.
That occasion was to mark the last time the couple were seen together in public.