Prince William "Caught Kate Middleton's Attention" When They Were 9 Years Old, Expert Says

Their schools were playing each other in hockey.

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Apparently, Kate Middleton and Prince William met before their official meeting at St. Andrew's University in Scotland—a decade before, in fact.

While both were 9 years old, they were enrolled at nearby schools, Kate at St. Andrew's Prep, and William at Ludgrove Prep. One day, the prince's school shipped over to the future duchess' school for a hockey match, which a royal expert has said didn't leave her entirely indifferent.

"Although she wasn’t especially interested in boys, the arrival of one particular young man had caught her attention," author Katie Nicholl wrote in Kate: The Future Queen (via Express).

"Nearby Ludgrove Prep school would often play matches against St Andrew’s Prep, and there was much excitement when Prince William, a left-back on Ludgrove’s Colts team, came to St Andrew’s," Nicholl continued. "William, like Kate, loved sports and was one of the best hockey and rugby players in his year.

"Of course, the arrival of the Prince generated a flurry of excitement."

Nicholl didn't detail whether the two actually spoke to each other at the time.

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The future Cambridges truly met at university, thanks in large part to their living arrangements. "Well I actually think I went bright red when I met you and sort of scuttled off, feeling very shy about meeting you," Middleton said in a joint interview in 2010. "But um, actually William wasn't there for quite a bit of the time initially, he wasn't there for Freshers Week, so it did take a bit of time for us to get to know each other but we did become very close friends from quite early."

Addressing how he knew his now-wife was the one for him, Prince William said, "when I first met Kate I knew there was something very special about her. I knew there was possibly something that I wanted to explore there. We ended up being friends for a while and that just sort of was a good foundation. Because I do generally believe now that being friends with one another is a massive advantage. And It just went from there. And over the years, I knew things were getting better and better and we went through a few stumbling blocks as every relationship does, but we really picked ourselves up and carried on and you know. From where you had the odd problem when you are first getting to know each other, it has all gone and it is just really easy being with each other, it is really fun and I'm extremely funny and she loves that, so it's been good." Very sweet.

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author whose work has appeared in InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Stylist, HelloGiggles, SheKnows, Metro, Fabulous, Nicki Swift, POPSUGAR, Alma and more. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.