Prince William and Kare Middleton have been together, on and off, for almost 20 years now. They created a wonderful family with three children during that time; today they are seen as the monarchy’s future. And that’s not just necessarily because Prince William – and his son, Prince George, after him – will be king but also as a result of the modern approach they take towards their royal duties.

The Prince and Princess of Wales have had their ups and downs, including their famous 2007 split, which led to several stories about William’s supposed partying and seeing other women. The prince had a girlfriend before meeting Kate at university, but then Kate also had romances before she met William.

As per reports, Kate dated a few men in her youth, and the reality is that if things had played out differently she might never have become a royal at all.

Here, we take a closer look at Kate Middleton’s ex-boyfriends, some of whom were even invited to her and William’s wedding.

Kate Middleton, William
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William and Kate have a long history together. They first became great friends while studying at St Andrew’s University, and fell deeply in love shortly after.

William & Kate – early relationship

It didn’t take long before the world, or at least the British tabloids, realized that Kate Middleton was the future king’s new girlfriend. So naturally, they reported on the couple as much as possible, though it wasn’t just “love is in the air”-type articles the papers published. No, they focused on digging into Kate’s personal life, even giving her unfair nicknames to help generate a buzz.

She was only 19 when she and William started dating, but that didn’t matter to the tabloids. Despite coming from a middle-class background – her parents made millions through their company – Kate was labeled “a commoner.”

Before the couple announced their engagement in 2010, Kate was nicknamed “Waity Katie” and “Lazy Katie.” According to Buckingham Palace officials, it referred to the fact that Middleton had recently quit her job to “prepare for her future life.”

One can only imagine what it’s like to prepare for a life as a royal. It’s no great understatement to say that there probably exists no more extensive change in lifestyle – and publicity– in the world. But Kate managed, thanks to the help of “The Firm” and her then-fiancée, William.

William and Kate dated for many years, though kept things relatively quiet during their university years to focus on their respective studies.

They both graduated in 2005; William with a master of arts degree in geography, and Kate with a master of arts degree in art history. But, while their relationship flourished, trouble lay on the horizon.

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In 2007, the couple experienced a high-profile split. It turns out there may have been cracks in their relationship as early as a year prior when the couple declined each other’s invitations to spend major holidays with one another.

Kate Middleton & William’s 2007 split

It’s no great surprise that when William and Kate split in 2007, rumors about what had happened spread quickly.

William was stationed with the Household Cavalry in Dorset at the time, while Kate was living in London. As a result, they often spent time apart. The couple opened up about their 2007 split in their engagement video.

“We did split up for a bit,” William admitted. “But that was just, we were both very young, it was at university, we were both finding ourselves and such and being different characters and such.”

“I think I at the time wasn’t very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person,” Kate added. 

“You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realized. Or I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you’re younger. I really valued that time for me as well although I didn’t think it at the time, looking back on it.”

Speculation about what caused a rift between William and Kate back in 2007 still rears its head occasionally. Recently, former royal correspondent for Hello! Magazine, Judy Wade, disclosed a new theory.

According to Wade, Kate realized how big of a lifestyle change becoming a senior member of the Royal Family would entail.

“She might have realized the awful burden she would have taken on. It’s a life sentence marrying a royal,” Wade said.

Kate, William
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William and Kate have had – and still have – a very happy marriage. But before the two met, Kate – and her husband – had other romances that could’ve shaped the future in a very, very different way.

Kate Middleton – ex-boyfriend, romances

In the Princess of Wales’ case, one boyfriend was even dubbed “The One.” Unfortunately, the way said boyfriend treated her ultimately ended up breaking her heart.

Kate dated a few people before settling down with William. She began dating her first known boyfriend, Willem Marx while attending Marlborough College in 2000. That was before she headed to St Andrews University, where she would meet her future husband.

Though not much is known about her “first love,” Willem, it’s been reported that the two stayed on good terms after their split. In fact, Willem was even invited to William and Kate’s 2011 wedding at Westminster Abbey.

“While Prince William’s first university girlfriend, Carly Massy-Birch, is still waiting for her invitation to his royal wedding, Kate Middleton’s former beau, Willem Marx, has had more success,” The Telegraph reported a month before the Prince and Princess of Wales tied the knot.

“Mandrake [Telegraph insider] hears that Marx is the only male chum from Kate’s schooldays to have been invited to the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.”

The Telegraph managed to get a hold of Willem Marx at the time. However, he was not interested in talking too much about the relationship or the invitation to his ex-girlfriend’s wedding.

“Who told you that I had been invited?” he replied, adding that it was a “false assertion”.

Willem Marx
Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

A friend of Kate Middleton’s, meanwhile, told the newspaper that Marx was still essential in her life.

“Willem means a lot to Kate,” the friend stated.

Kate Middleton’s romance with Harry Blakelock – he ‘broke her heart

Willem Marx went on to study at Oxford University and began working for the business television channel CNBC. Today, he is reportedly married to television presenter Johanna Botta.

Before Kate moved to Scotland to study at the University of St Andrews, she dated Harry Blakelock. Her relationship with Blakelock proved significant, as he reportedly was “the one who got away.”

Yet according to the Daily Mirror, Harry “broke her heart”. During a three-month pre-college trip to Florence in 2001 – where she studied art – the then-future princess was said to be still hung up on him, though Harry never showed her his real intentions.

“When Kate arrived in Florence, she was really hung up about Harry,” a source told the Daily Mail in 2020.

“She spoke about him all the time and he seemed to have messed her around quite a bit. He seemed to have blown hot and cold with her when they were at school, and she was always talking about how she could get him back. He was also in Florence at the same time but from what I can remember, nothing happened.”

Kate and Harry went their separate ways, but he would still be a part of her life in a small way. As reported by the Mirror, her ex-boyfriend went on to marry one of Kate’s friends. He became a partner at Lockton Companies, one of the world’s largest independent insurance brokerage firms.

Harry Blakelock
RYAN MCCUNE/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Now, Prince William and Kate Middleton didn’t start dating at once after they moved to St Andrews, which the former attended after a gap year following his education at Eton.

The two remained good friends for about a year. Before they found love, Kate dated another person at the prestigious school.

Kate Middleton & William attended her ex-boyfriend’s wedding

Rupert Finch was studying his final year of law school when he and Kate Middleton began dating in 2001.

Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter said that Finch, who left St Andrews the year after, “by all accounts was a nice man.” At the time, though, Finch wasn’t the only man showing interest in her.

“Prince William, he kind of expressed a bit of interest, but I think Kate was still playing hard to get. She wasn’t terribly sure if she was interested,” Arbiter told The Sun.

Kate Middleton and Finch – a solicitor – only dated for less than a year, but the two remain on good terms. He was invited to the royal wedding in 2011, and William and Kate attended his and Lady Natasha Rufus Isaac’s’ wedding two years later.

William and his wife were also accompanied by his cousin Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson.

Rupert Finch
Simon James/FilmMagic

In the end, Prince William and Kate Middleton found each other. First, they moved into the same residence halls, St Salvator’s Hall, and attended the same lectures and classes. Then, during their second year, the two moved in with a couple of friends at a private home – where their love blossomed.

By all accounts, they had the same sense of humor, which was one of the factors that helped them click.

“There’s a true romantic in there”

“She’s got a really naughty sense of humor, which really helps me because I’ve got a really dirty sense of humor so it was good fun, we had a really good laugh, and then things happened,” William said in their engagement video.

On holiday in Kenya in 2010, William proposed to Kate with his late mother Princess Diana’s sapphire engagement ring. He had carried it for three weeks and never let it out of sight.

“It was very romantic, Kate said. “There’s a true romantic in there.”

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