How Prince William Hurt Kate Middleton at His 21st Birthday Party

Prince William and Kate Middleton were secretly dating when he turned 21. Will invited Kate to his birthday party but hurt her feelings by focusing on (and sitting next to) his rumored ex, Jecca Craig.

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Prince William and Kate Middleton (opens in new tab) might be living their happily ever after now, but their fairytale story had plenty of ups and downs before they got there. One of the couple's early lows came during Will's 21st birthday party, when the prince did something that reportedly hurt Kate's feelings in a big way.

Their relationship was still a secret at the time, but Will invited Kate to his party (opens in new tab). Before the party, Will gave an interview in which he insisted he was still single and went on about it at some length, saying:

That wasn't the thing that hurt Kate though. According to royal expert and biographer Katie Nicholl (opens in new tab), Kate was used to Will lying to the press to protect his privacy and she totally understood. In her her book Kate: The Future Queen (opens in new tab), however, Nicholl describes a slight Will committed against Kate at his party.

Even though Will invited Kate to the party, he didn't spend much time with her. Instead, he was focused on Jecca Craig, his old friend and rumored ex who had flown in from Kenya for the party.

Worst of all? Will gave Jecca a seat of honor at the party and sat Kate far away from his table. Ouch.

"Kate didn't know whether they had been romantically involved or not, but she noted that Jecca had been seated at the head table next to William, whereas Kate had to raise her glass to toast the prince from afar," Nicholl wrote.

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Kayleigh Roberts
Kayleigh Roberts

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.