Prince William Had a "Passionate Romance" With Arabella Musgrave Before Meeting Kate Middleton, According to a Royal Biographer

Before he met his future wife, Kate Middleton, Prince William dated Arabella Musgrave. The two had a passionate romance the summer before he started at the University of St. Andrews, according to royal biographer Katie Nicholl.

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The fairytale romance that is Prince William and Kate Middleton's love story (opens in new tab) has not been without its share of bumps—even though (thankfully) those bumps all seemed to happen early in the relationship, way before they tied the knot in 2011.

Yeahhhh. Take a seat and pour some tea because this bit of Prince Will (opens in new tab) backstory is intense.

The revelation comes courtesy of royal biographer and expert Katie Nicholl (opens in new tab), who wrote about the love affair in her 2010 book, William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls (opens in new tab). According to Nicholl, just prior to meeting his future wife at the University St. Andrews (opens in new tab), Will was all kinds of in love with a woman (opens in new tab) named Arabella Musgrave.

According to Nicholl (via quoted excerpts in The Sun (opens in new tab)), Arabella was part of the "Glosse Posse," the name given to Will (opens in new tab) and his younger brother Harry's inner circle. As a member of the Glosse Posse, Arabella was invited to parties that Will used to throw in the basement of Prince Charles' manor, Highgrove (teenage royals, really are just like us—throwing parties in their parents' basements and giving their friend groups ridiculous nicknames).

Will and Arabella (whose dad managed the Cirencester Park Polo Club) had known each other since they were kids, but, like the jock in a '90s teen movie, Will hadn't really noticed her like that until she "blossomed." Per Nicholl: 

Mmkay. So then what?

Apparently, things were so serious that Will had talked to Charles about the relationship and gotten his dad's blessing. When he started at university that fall, Will missed Arabella terribly and even considered dropping out of school to go be with her. He even did that very college-kid-in-a-long-distance-relationship thing and drove home on Friday nights to see her.

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This is where Kate comes in (opens in new tab). After the couple met during Will's freshman year (opens in new tab), she "encouraged him to give St Andrews a second chance," according to The Sun (opens in new tab).

Don't feel bad for Arabella though, because she is doing amazingly well herself post-Will. She married George Galliers-Pratt in 2014 (in a lavish wedding that was featured in Vogue (opens in new tab), no less) and she has an amazing gig as Gucci's head of PR.

Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.