Prince William Had a Life-Changing Chat with Prince Charles That Led to His Relationship with Kate Middleton

This talk literally changed the course of William's life forever.

Prince William
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  • Back during his freshman year of college, Prince William (opens in new tab) seriously considered leaving St. Andrews and transferring to Edinburgh instead.
  • According to royal historian and biographer Robert Lacey (opens in new tab), Prince Charles stepped in and had a talk with his son that ultimately convinced him to stick it out at St. Andrews.
  • If William had dropped out when he considered it, he never would have met his future wife, Kate Middleton, who was also a student at St. Andrews.

Prince William and Kate Middleton (opens in new tab) owe Prince Charles (opens in new tab) a big thank you for making their love story possible. According to royal biographer and historian Robert Lacey (opens in new tab), the Cambridges never would have fallen in love if it weren't for a life-changing talk that Charles had with his son during his freshman year of college.

In his new book, Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult (opens in new tab), Lacey describes Will's freshman year at St. Andrews in Scotland—and reveals that the royal almost dropped out.

According to Lacey, Will "had not anticipated quite how 'boring' — his word — life in a small Scottish seaside town could be."

In fact, Will was apparently so bored—and generally unhappy—that he seriously considered leaving the school after his first semester and transferring to Edinburgh (opens in new tab). When Will discussed his plans with his dad over Christmas break that year, however, the older royal stepped in and had a talk with his son that changed the course of history.

According to Lacey, one of Charles' aides actually got the ball rolling with the conversation, suggesting that the heir apparent "demonstrate more fatherly backbone" and encourage his son to stick it out at St. Andrews (opens in new tab). Charles did just that and sat Will down for a pep talk that convinced the prince to continue his education at St. Andrews—a decision that resulted in him meeting his future wife, Kate Middleton (opens in new tab), not long after.

Will has since spoken out about his uncertainty about St. Andrews—and the role his father played in convincing him to stay the course.

"I don't think I was homesick, I was more daunted," he said, according to The Mirror (opens in new tab). "My father was very understanding about it and realized I had the same problem he probably had. We chatted a lot, and in the end we both realized—I definitely realized—that I had to come back."

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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.