Prince William Revealed The Tactic He Used To Win Kate’s Heart At University

For many royalists, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s love story is something of a modern fairytale. But how did the second in line to the throne manage to woo his future wife while they were both studying at the same university? Well, you might be surprised to learn the controversial truth.

William and Kate, a.k.a. the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, first got everyone talking when news emerged that they were dating in 2004. And their romance certainly had the general public’s seal of approval. In fact, one million people reportedly lined up to wish the couple well on the way to their wedding in 2011.

An astonishing 22.8 million Americans woke up early to watch the ceremony from the comfort of their own home too. And just over a million more Brits than that number did the same in a much more forgiving time slot. Unlike many of their scandal-hit family members, William and Kate have managed to maintain this level of popularity for nearly a decade.

ADVERTISEMENT

That’s right: in 2020 a YouGov poll revealed that Prince William was the second-most popular member of the royal family among the British public. And his wife wasn’t far behind. In fact, the pair were only beaten to the top spot by the Duke’s grandmother, a.k.a. Queen Elizabeth II.

The same study also found that 68 percent of Brits believe Kate and William would be the most influential members of the royal family over the next ten years. This figure was significantly higher than the latter’s father and stepmother, Charles and Camilla, at 12 percent. The duke’s brother and sister-in-law, Harry and Meghan, fared even worse with just 7 percent.

ADVERTISEMENT

So how exactly did the beloved pair get together in the first place? Well, they first clapped eyes on each other during freshers’ week at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Not only did Kate and William get placed in the same residence halls, they had also both landed places on the same course: art history.

ADVERTISEMENT

But while Kate settled into university life with ease, William found it much harder. In fact, the prince was even thinking about quitting his studies altogether until his future wife encouraged him to change his major instead. By the time their second year came around, the pair were living together with two other pals.

ADVERTISEMENT

William reportedly first realized that Kate was “the one” when he saw her grace the catwalk for a fashion show in 2002. The future king had forked out hundreds of dollars to watch the charity show staged by their university. And he was bowled over by the sight of her sashaying up and down the runway in a rather risqué outfit.

ADVERTISEMENT

There was just one thing standing in their way. Kate was already dating someone else at the time. It was only when the duchess-to-be called things off with her boyfriend, a fellow student at St Andrews, that William made his move. According to reports, this was all part of Kate’s masterplan.

ADVERTISEMENT

Yes, Robert Lacey, a historian who wrote a book about William’s sibling rivalry with Harry, claims that Kate had actively pursued the future king. Apparently, the future queen had initially planned to study at Edinburgh university, which Lacey claimed to be more prestigious. But on learning that Prince William would be furthering his education at St. Andrews, she changed her mind.

ADVERTISEMENT

Of course, Kate certainly wasn’t the only person who hoped that they could bag a prince while studying for a degree. Once word got out that William had landed a place at St. Andrews, applications for the university reportedly rose by a colossal 44 percent. But you could say that Kate went much further in her quest than most of her fellow aspiring royals.

ADVERTISEMENT

That’s right: Kate allegedly put her education on hold for a year to ensure that she’d be a freshman at the same time as William. She reportedly changed majors to guarantee that she’d be in the same class too. The aspiring royal also headed out on the same trip the prince did during their gap year, albeit a few months later.

ADVERTISEMENT

And Lacey also recalled a particular incident in which Kate had thwarted another student’s attempt to get her hands on the prince. He wrote, “Just a month or so into their first term together, they attended a party at which William was getting seriously hit upon by a pushy female student.” Step forward the future Duchess of Cambridge.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lacey continued, “The prince was being polite, but he couldn’t shake her off, and the girl didn’t get the hint – until Kate appeared out of nowhere behind him and put her arms around William. ‘Oh sorry,’ he said, ‘but I’ve got a girlfriend,’ and he and Kate went off giggling together. ‘Thanks so much,’ he mouthed to her.”

ADVERTISEMENT

In his book Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult, Lacey also refers to the moment that reportedly left William drooling. The biographer wrote, “[Kate’s] there and about to walk down the runway on the fashion show, and she strips off an extra layer of clothing. Here is a very strategic lady who knows what she wants and has got it.”

ADVERTISEMENT

When they eventually did get together in 2003, William and Kate decided to keep their relationship on the down low. They even adopted a codename to throw the media off the scent. And those two friends they moved in with? Well, they were just a smokescreen to make their cohabiting seem less conspicuous.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a 2020 chat with Vanity Fair magazine, Katie Nicholl, a royal family biographer, claimed, “Their bedrooms were on separate landings. But by this stage, it was nothing more than pretense. William and Kate had fallen in love and were enjoying a conventional university romance, albeit one involving elaborate cover-ups and decoys.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Nicholl continued, “In a bid to keep their relationship below the radar for as long as possible, they would leave the house at different times and arrive at dinner parties separately.” The biographer also claims that William and Kate agreed never to hold each other’s hands while in public. Of course, the cat was eventually let out of the bag.

ADVERTISEMENT

Yes, in the spring of 2004, the world was alerted to a new royal romance. William and Kate had been enjoying some vacation time on the ski slopes of Klosters. And when they leaned in for a kiss, the prying eyes of a nearby photographer was on hand to capture the affectionate moment.

ADVERTISEMENT

Although there were a couple of bumps in the road ahead, William eventually decided to pop the question in 2011. In his book Lacey wrote, “Kate eventually accepted the idea that she would have to do a long apprenticeship. William didn’t want to marry until he was 30. She waited nine years, but, in the end, she got him at 28, so there’s another strategic accomplishment on her part.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Of course, whether Kate really did have a prince-snaring masterplan or not, William himself still would have felt he needed to impress. And to do so, he tested the theory that the way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach. Yes, although the duke was no doubt waited on hand and foot while growing up, he is still apparently quite the chef.

ADVERTISEMENT

While appearing on BBC cookery show A Berry Royal Christmas in 2019, Kate told host Mary Berry that William would often show off his culinary skills in the early part of their relationship. She said, “In university days he used to cook all sorts of meals. I think that’s when he was trying to impress me, Mary!”

ADVERTISEMENT

William had previously admitted as such during his and Kate’s first post-engagement interview in 2010. As quoted by British newspaper Daily Express, the prince revealed, “When I was trying to impress Kate, I was trying to cook these amazing, fancy dinners. And all that would happen was that I would burn something; something would overspill; something would catch on fire.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The prince continued, “And she’d be sitting in the background just trying to help and basically taking control of the whole situation. So I was quite glad she was there at the time.” Kate then revealed that William’s cooking “would always come with a bit of angst and a bit of anger if something had gone wrong.”

ADVERTISEMENT

So what was the future king’s specialty in the kitchen? A caviar dish perhaps? Maybe something involving pheasant? Well, not exactly. Turns out that William’s favorite thing to cook was that tried and tested favorite, spaghetti bolognese. And the prince remains so proud of his take on the Italian meal that he later published its recipe.

ADVERTISEMENT

Yes, in 2020 royalists across the world got the chance to recreate William’s signature dish thanks to a new cookbook. His spaghetti bolognese recipe was just one of 120 shared by various famous faces and acclaimed chefs in A Taste of Home. The book was published to commemorate homeless organization The Passage’s 40th anniversary.

ADVERTISEMENT

William, who is a patron of the homeless charity, explained alongside the recipe why he decided to contribute. He began, “I am the first to admit that I am not an excellent chef. The last time I was allowed into the kitchens at The Passage, I made a spaghetti bolognese.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The prince went on to add, “What struck me the most was how sharing makes people who are experiencing homelessness feel right at home. Having a place to call home is precious.” But despite these noble sentiments, William’s contribution to the cookbook was deemed by some traditionalists to be rather controversial.

ADVERTISEMENT

You wouldn’t think that it would be possible to cause much drama over a spaghetti bolognese. But William’s advice to add some nutmeg, milk, and dry white wine in the sauce certainly raised a few eyebrows among those who cook the dish regularly. Apparently, this unusual combination helps to elevate the flavors in the vegetables and minced beef.

ADVERTISEMENT

Wondering what other ingredients William’s distinctive spaghetti bolognese requires? Well, you’ll also need olive oil, butter, flat-leaf parsley, parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, and, of course, spaghetti. The healthier side of the dish comes from the onions, carrots, celery, tomato purée, and chopped tomatoes that are thrown into the sauce.

ADVERTISEMENT

Not everyone was impressed by the Duke’s take on the dish. Using the hashtag PrinceWilliam, a disgruntled Twitter user commented, “With all due respect, can you foreigners just stop mystifying Ragù Alla Bolognese, which is a precise recipe containing a base of onions, celery, and carrots? Thank you. The Italian people.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Several MailOnline readers also took to the comments section under an article about William’s dish to voice their displeasure. “Ummmm, no milk dude. His recipe sounds gross,” commented one individual unlikely to be following its step-by-step instructions anytime soon. “All reasonable common ingredients and then you come to freshly ground nutmeg?” remarked another.

ADVERTISEMENT

William wasn’t the first member of the royal family to associate themselves with a cookbook. In 2018 his sister-in-law Meghan Markle, a.k.a. the Duchess of Sussex, shared no fewer than 50 of her favorite dishes from the Hubb Community Kitchen in Grenfell, London. Together: Our Community Cookbook was launched to raise money for those affected by the area’s tragic tower fire the year previously.

ADVERTISEMENT

But does William still show off his skills in the kitchen now that he no longer has to worry about impressing Kate? Well, kinda. When asked whether the future king still cooks during her appearance on A Berry Royal Christmas, the Duchess replied, “He sometimes does actually – he’s very good at breakfast.”

ADVERTISEMENT

William may still whip up the odd cooked breakfast, but he now leaves lunch, dinner, and every other mealtime to his wife. He admitted to former The Great British Baking Show host Berry, “I can do tea, Mary, but not cooking. Catherine is definitely the one who cooks, not me.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Although William doesn’t do much cooking these days, he still has the ability to wow his wife. In 2019 the pair headed out on a royal trip to Pakistan where they stopped by Broghil National Park and took in the sights of the Chiatibo Glacier. The duke remarked, “Dr. Warren, my geography teacher, would be well impressed that I’m back at a glacier after all these years.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Kate then went on to add, “I’ve been very impressed by William’s geography.” Yes, you might not know that this is the major that the future king graduated from St. Andrews University with back in 2005. William left with a the second-highest honor that a British undergraduate can achieve.

ADVERTISEMENT

That same year William impressed Kate, albeit briefly, with a less-known talent. During their tour of Ireland, the pair met with the Galway Community Circus to celebrate its hometown being selected as 2020’s European Capital of Culture. The duke used the opportunity to show off his juggling skills with three balls in front of an enthusiastic Kate. But when a fourth was added to the mix, he lost control.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mind you, any old romantics would say that the way William proposed to Kate was his most impressive feat. The king-to-be popped the question during a vacation in Kenya in 2010, nine years after they had first met. William later told CNN why he had chosen the African nation as the place to ask for Kate’s hand in marriage.

ADVERTISEMENT

William said, “I regularly daydream. Africa is definitely one of the places I go to. It does completely settle me down. [Kate] understands what it means to me being in Africa, and my love of conservation. I didn’t really plan it that far in advance. I just knew I wanted it to feel comfortable where I did it.”

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT