Prince William *Almost* Dropped Out of College—Until a Talk with Prince Charles Changed His Mind

According to royal historian Robert Lacey, Prince William was seriously considering dropping out of college but a talk with Prince Charles changed his mind.

st andrews, scotland september 23 prince william, dressed casually in jeans, blue jumper and trainers, arriving at st andrews university in scotland he and his father, prince charles, are walking together towards saint salvators hall of residence where william will be staying photo by tim graham photo library via getty images
(Image credit: Tim Graham)
  • When he was a freshman in college at St. Andrews University, Prince William considered dropping out or, at very least, transferring to a different school.
  • According to royal historian Robert Lacey, William's dad, Prince Charles, stepped in with a heart-to-heart conversation to convince the young royal to stick it out at the university.
  • If Will had dropped out of St. Andrews, his life would have gone down a very different path, especially since he connected with his now-wife, Kate Middleton, at the school not long after deciding to stay.

Prince William's life almost took a very different path.

According to royal historian Robert Lacey, the Duke of Cambridge came very close to dropping out of college after his first semester at St. Andrews University.

In his book, Battle of Brothers (per the Mirror), Lacey describes Will's early days at university, saying that the young royal felt the highlights of going to the school included distinctly non-academic tasks like "shopping in the local Tesco" and that going out at night was "clouded" because of the attention he got from classmates who were fascinated to be matriculating with a royal.

By the time he came home to London for Christmas his freshman year, Will told his dad, Prince Charles, that he was ready to quit (or at very least transfer schools), according to Lacey.

"It was no different from what many first-year students go through," Mark Bolland, who worked with Charles' office as a royal "spin doctor," told Lacey. "We approached the whole thing as a wobble, which was entirely normal."

Even though the royal PR team was was immediately sure Will was just going through a standard case of the college jitters, it fell on his dad to convince the young royal to stay the course, which he did, during a heart-to-heart over the Christmas holiday.

Instead of dropping out or transferring, William was encouraged to try changing majors—from Art History to Geography.

"St Andrews had a flexible course structure and when they heard that William might be happier majoring in geography, they made sure there were no roadblocks," Bolland reportedly said.

Obviously, leaving St. Andrews would have had a huge impact on Will's life—especially since the royal met his future wife, Kate Middleton, at the school not long after he decided to stick it out.

Fate? We think so.

Weekend Editor at Cosmopolitan

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with over 10 years of professional experience covering entertainment of all genres, from new movie and TV releases to nostalgia, and celebrity news. 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.