The fairytale romance that is Prince William and Kate Middleton's love story 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.
How's this for a potential hiccup in their love story: Mere weeks before Will met Kate, he was involved in a "passionate romance" that was so serious, he reportedly considered dropping out of school to be with the woman.
Yeahhhh. Take a seat and pour some tea because this bit of Prince Will backstory is intense.
The revelation comes courtesy of royal biographer and expert Katie Nicholl, who wrote about the love affair in her 2010 book, William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls. According to Nicholl, just prior to meeting his future wife at the University St. Andrews, Will was all kinds of in love with a woman named Arabella Musgrave.
According to Nicholl (via quoted excerpts in The Sun), Arabella was part of the "Glosse Posse," the name given to Will 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:
"As [Arabella] walked through a friend’s house party, William did a double-take. Arabella had blossomed into a gorgeous-looking girl, and he wondered why he hadn’t noticed her properly until now."
Mmkay. So then what?
"They danced and drank into the early hours, and when Arabella said her goodnights, the prince quietly slipped out of the room to follow her upstairs. It was the beginning of a passionate romance and the two spent as much time together that summer as possible."
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.
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, no less) and she has an amazing gig as Gucci's head of PR.