A Royal Biographer Revealed That Kate Actually Met William Way Before They Were At College Together

Kate Middleton and Prince William have been married since 2011 and have three children together. And the royal pair are famous enough that most people know the story of how they met: they happened to share the same halls of residence at university and fell in love there. However, one biographer claims that Kate and William actually met before then, when both were still children. And it’s an adorable tale.

William’s mother, Diana, tried to give him and his brother, Prince Harry, as ordinary an upbringing as possible. She went with them to theme parks and fast food restaurants, while at the same time ensuring they met and interacted with people not as fortunate as they were. She also sent her oldest son to Eton against royal family tradition.

Once William had finished at Eton, he did volunteer work during a gap year. Then, in 2001, he took up a place at the University of St. Andrews. This had a dramatic effect on applications to the institution, and rumors spread of young female pupils ordering wedding dresses just in case they got a shot with the prince.

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“I just want to go to university and have fun,” William told the Press Association at the time. He was well aware that he might be treated as an oddity, though. “I want to go there and be an ordinary student. I mean, I’m only going to university. It’s not like I’m getting married, though that’s what it feels like sometimes,” the prince said.

While at St Andrews, William was sent to live at a hall of residence called St. Salvators. There, he noticed a young woman who not only lived in the same building but also happened to be taking the same major as him. That was Kate. And she was doing well for herself. She’d even won the title of “prettiest girl” among the hall’s students during freshman week.

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William took an interest in Kate from the start. They had a lot in common, it turned out, so they quickly became friends. Both of them liked art, traveling and sports. They began swimming and enjoying breakfast together in the mornings. After classes they would have drinks together as well.

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However, William had other romantic entanglements at the time. Before going to St. Andrews, he had had a summer romance with a girl called Arabella Musgrave, Major Nicholas Musgrave’s daughter. And the young prince was still hung up on her after leaving for university, even though they’d technically split up.

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William didn’t get over Musgrave for quite a while, it seems. He then tried dating another girl, Carley Massey-Birch. “We got on well, but I think we would have got on well even if nothing had been going on romantically,” Massey-Birch told Vanity Fair magazine in 2010. “It was very much a university thing, just a regular university romance.”

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However, the pair split up before too long, apparently because William was still in love with Musgrave. That infatuation would prove problematic in other ways too. It’s said the young prince even considered dropping out of St. Andrews and getting back together with her. However, in the end, things didn’t go that way.

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Despite not staying together, William and Musgrave actually remained friends. So much so, in fact, that she was even invited when he and Kate tied the knot. She later married George Galliers-Pratt, a banker, had a child with him, and now is Gucci’s head of public relations. So all’s well that ends well.

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The moment William fell for Kate has, unsurprisingly, been well documented. She was walking in a charity fashion show wearing nothing but black underwear and a sheer dress, and the young prince suddenly saw her in a whole different light. After the show he attempted to make a move on her, even though she already had a boyfriend.

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“It was clear to us that William was smitten with Kate,” an anonymous friend told Vanity Fair magazine in 2010. “He actually told her she was a knockout that night, which caused her to blush. There was definitely chemistry between them, and Kate had really made an impression on William. She played it very cool, and at one point when he seemed to lean in to kiss her, she pulled away.”

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Kate broke up with her boyfriend, Rupert Finch, after less than a year of dating him. After that, she moved into student housing with a group of friends, of whom William was one. As a result, Finch was another ex who scored an invite to the pair’s royal wedding. Although, it’s unconfirmed as to whether he actually went.

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After William and Kate moved in together, they opted to keep things as discreet as possible. Indeed, their bedrooms were situated on different floors, and they deliberately left and arrived at events separately. They never even held hands in public. They still don’t – although that’s for the sake professionalism rather than anything else.

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Yet the media did eventually get wind of what was going on. Kate’s face was splashed all over the magazines come 2004. Luckily, her personality was such that she was able to adapt to what was going on. Even with cameras following the young woman everywhere, she never caused the slightest scandal. In fact, she never spoke much about William at all.

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The media wasn’t the only problem, though. William, it seems, felt he was too young to settle down. Even though some British stores had actually already started manufacturing merchandise featuring the couple in anticipation of a proposal, the prince himself felt differently. “I’m only 22 for God’s sake. I am too young to marry at my age,” he told The Sun in 2005. “I don’t want to get married until I’m at least 28, or maybe 30.”

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For a while it seemed like the relationship couldn’t take the strain. In April of 2007, it was suddenly announced that Kate and William had broken up. Royal spokespeople gave no reason, but there was no doubt the young woman had been under pressure during the whole relationship. Her lawyers had even threatened some media outlets with legal action if they continued to photograph her.

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William had to face some awkwardness after the split, however. At one press conference for a Princess Diana memorial concert, an interviewer asked the young prince “How are things going with Kate?” He stuttered away the question by not mentioning her at all, just his other friends. His brother, Prince Harry, then leaned forward and said “Well avoided, William.”

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However, the two couldn’t stay apart for long. Kate and William kept calling each other and their close friends soon realized they were essentially back to dating within months. This time, though, they were keeping it as secret from the paparazzi as they possibly could. It was June 2007 before media outlets were allowed to report that the pair were back together.

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After university, William joined the R.A.F., and by then Kate had very nearly become part of the royal family. She even joined them in their holiday homes and when they went out shooting. Despite the couple being clearly in love, however, no proposal seemed forthcoming. The media then nicknamed the young woman “Waity Katie.”

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Luckily, Kate didn’t have to put up with that nickname for too long. In November 2010, the palace put out a long-awaited press release. William had proposed and the couple were finally getting married. “The wedding will take place in the Spring or Summer of 2011, in London. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course,” read the announcement.

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“Prince William and Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya,” the statement went on. “Prince William has informed The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince William has also sought the permission of Miss Middleton’s father. Following the marriage, the couple will live in North Wales, where Prince William will continue to serve with the Royal Air Force.”

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In the couple’s post-engagement interview with I.T.V., William shared some details about the proposal. “It was about three weeks ago on holiday in Kenya. We had a little private time away together with some friends and I just decided that it was the right time, really,” he said. “We had been talking about marriage for a while so it wasn’t a massively big surprise.”

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Both parties also discussed the 2007 breakup. “We both were very young, it was at university, we were sort of both finding ourselves as such and being different characters and stuff,” William said. “It was very much trying to find our own way and we were growing up, and so it was just sort of a bit of space and things like that and it worked out for the better.”

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“I think I at the time wasn’t very happy about it. But, actually, it made me a stronger person, you find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realized,” Kate said for her part. “I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you are younger. And I really valued that time for me as well, although, I didn’t think it at the time.”

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Kate and William were then asked what their first impressions of each other were when they met at university. “I actually think I went bright red when I met you and sort of scuttled off, feeling very shy about meeting you,” Kate said to William. She told the interviewer, “It did take a bit of time for us to get to know each other, but we did become very close friends quite early.”

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But actually, Kate’s first impressions of William might have happened long before they met at university. According to royal biographer Katie Nicholl and her 2015 biography Kate: The Future Queen, she just happened to encounter the young prince when both were still schoolchildren.

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Kate’s school, St. Andrews Prep, would play hockey matches against rival schools. And one of those institutions just happened to be Ludgrove Prep school, which William attended. One day he arrived at St. Andrews with the rest of the hockey team. Nicholl states in her book that there was “much excitement” about the prince’s visit.

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“Although [Kate] wasn’t especially interested in boys, the arrival of one particular young man had caught her attention,” Nicholls wrote. “William, like Kate, loved sports and was one of the best hockey and rugby players in his year. Of course, the arrival of the prince generated a flurry of excitement.”

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Kate’s old teacher Denise Allford talked to Nicholls for the book. “I remember when William came to play hockey,” she said. “The boys wanted to know why so many cars had stopped on the way in because it was unusual. It was William’s protection officers and bodyguard.” Both Kate and William were just nine at the time.

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It seems that Kate didn’t actually engage the young prince in conversation at the time, and, indeed, he probably didn’t notice her at all. She was just another face in the crowd. However, rumors have long spread that the young girl was taken with William before they properly met. She might have even had his poster on her wall.

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During the post-engagement interview back in 2010, interviewer Tom Bradby asked the future duchess about it. He told Kate, “There’s a story that goes around that you had a picture of [William] on your wall.” The prince then interjected with what was probably a joke: “There wasn’t just one, there was about 20.”

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“[William] wishes,” Kate answered jokingly. “No, I had the Levis guy on my wall, not a picture of William, sorry.” “It was me in Levis honestly,” the prince cut in. However, the story of Kate’s poster does have a clear source. The then-student’s dorm mate at Marlborough school, Jessica Hay, in fact, once told the story to the press.

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According to Nicholl, the future queen did have another chance to meet the young royal, but chose not to. “When William came to Marlborough for interschool events, Kate was more interested in playing hockey than waiting at the goal line on the hockey field, where some of the girls congregated to gawp at the prince,” she wrote.

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It’s a very sweet story, a girl and boy coming into contact without ever suspecting they would end up married one day. However, the relationship Kate and William have right now is just as adorable. They may endeavour to never commit P.D.A., but watchful eyes have still seen how lovingly they act around each other.

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Now the past is behind the royal couple, they can look forward to the future. They have three children to look after these days, and so far they haven’t put a foot wrong when it comes to parenting. Their kids are Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Prince George will almost certainly sit on the throne one day.

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Just as William grew up in as normal a way as possible, he and Kate are attempting to do the same for their children. George reportedly doesn’t even know yet that he could be King one day. “They are trying to delay that moment of realization and give him normality before they thrust this on him,” another royal biographer, Catherine Mayer, told E! News in 2018.

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George is attending a school of his own now. In September 2017 he started at Thomas’s Battersea, a prestigious London prep school. William took his four-year-old son to school himself, holding his hand and carrying his backpack for him. Who knows, the little boy might meet even his future spouse there…

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