Kate Middleton First Saw Prince William In-Person When They Were Nine Years Old

Kate Middleton and Prince William famously met at college, when they were both students at the University of St. Andrews. According to royal biographer Katie Nicholl, however, Kate first laid eyes on Will in person when they were just nine years old and he was the first boy who ever "caught her attention."

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're even a pretty casual royal fan, then you probably know the official story of how Prince William and Kate Middleton met (opens in new tab). As legend has it, they were both students at the University of St. Andrews and Kate was adorably awkward (opens in new tab) and the rest, as the ubiquitous "they" say, is history.

But, as it turns out, that wasn't actually the first time their paths crossed IRL. Way back in Will and Kate's (opens in new tab) elementary school days, their schools, Ludgrove Prep and St. Andrews Prep, used to play each other in sports. According to royal expert and biographer

Katie Nicholl (opens in new tab), this is actually when Kate first got a glimpse of Will in the flesh.

In her book Kate: The Future Queen (opens in new tab), Nicholl writes:

And no, Kate was not immune to that excitement (opens in new tab) (in her defense, she was nine and a celebrity/literal prince was on her school campus).

"I remember when William came to play hockey," Kate's former teacher Denise Allford 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 bodyguards, and it caused quite a stir. IT went round the school like wildfire."

Naturally, once word spread that Will was on campus, everyone wanted to get a look at him. As Nicholl (a little dramatically, but understandably so) points out, "It was the first time Kate had set her eyes on the young prince, but certainly not the last."

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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.