Prince William’s ‘secret meeting’ with Kate Middleton when he was just nine years old

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge famously met at St Andrews while they were both studying – but there were plenty of times they could have met before their romance took off

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge could have crossed paths years before they officially met

In the wedding of the decade, Prince William wed his college sweetheart Kate Middleton in front of a global television audience of more than 60 million people.

As they say “I Do,” the couple became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – and 10 years later, they’re now the proud parents of three.

While few of us need to be reminded that their romance began while they were studying at St Andrews University in Scotland, it seems the royal couple’s paths crossed a decade earlier.

Royal correspondent and Vanity Fair bestselling author Katie Nicholl claims Prince William may have first caught Kate’s eye when their schools’ ice hockey teams played each other.

Royal author Katie Nicholl revealed the couple could have met when they were young


(Getty Images)

The young prince, then nine, was a student at Ludgrove Prep School and his teammates attended Kate’s school – St Andrew’s Prep – for a match

In her book Kate: The Future Queen, Nicholl writes: “Although she wasn’t particularly interested in boys, the arrival of a certain young man caught her attention.

“Nearby Ludgrove Prep School often played games against St Andrew’s Prep and there was a lot of excitement when Prince William, a left-back on Ludgrove’s Colts team, came to St Andrew’s to play a hockey game when he was nine was years old.

“Like Kate, William loved sports and was one of the best hockey and rugby players of his year. Of course, the arrival of the prince caused a stir.”

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Prince William spent his gap year in Chile and Belize

The Duchess of Cambridge spent part of her gap year on the same program as Prince William


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While the couple’s official meeting took place when they were both enrolled at St. Andrew’s University in 2001, ieIt also came to light that Kate had chosen the same expedition company as her husband, Raleigh International, for her gap year.

The pair spent ten weeks trekking, helping locals and building in Chile, albeit weeks apart. Malcolm Sutherland, who led both expeditions, called the coincidence “absolutely insane.”

He continued, “For me, it was a normal assumption that everyone else would have realized what that connection was. I think a lot of people don’t realize that there is this shared connection in their past.”

During Kate’s year abroad she studied at the British Institute in Florence, participated in the Raleigh International program in Chile and crewed Round the World Challenge boats in the Solent.

Prince William’s gap year was anything but glamorous


Tim Graham Photo Library via Get)

Another part of Prince William’s gap year was certainly less glamorous than his wife-to-be’s, as he spent it with the Welsh Guards in the jungles of Belize.

Katie Nicholl wrote in her book William and Harry that the prince was housed in a “harsh environment”. She explained how “he was taught how to kill and prepare his food. An exercise codenamed Native Trail began with instructors butchering a pig, hanging it on a pole, and butchering it.”

She added: “The soldiers, including William, were then given a live chicken to ship. They had to wring his neck and cut off his head and feet with a machete, pluck his feathers and gut him before cooking him over a fire, just as they would have to do if they were living off the land in a jungle war . They were shown how to make termite stew and then had to eat it.”

The sleeping situation was also a challenge: “At night, William tried to get as little sleep as possible in the rain in a hammock stretched between two trees.”

As well as Belize and his Raleigh Challenge in Chile, William reportedly used his gap year to explore places like Kenya and Rodrigues Island in the Indian Ocean.

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