Believe it or not, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge weren’t always as solid as they are now. They met in the fall of 2001 and began dating a year later. All was going swimmingly until 2007, when Will broke up with Kate (whaaat??). Thankfully, the split only lasted a few months before they rekindled their romance, quickly got engaged in 2010 and then wed the following year in the wedding to end all weddings. But, prior to Kate, there was another girl in the picture, a girl so bewitching that Will considered dropping out of university to be with her.
Arabella Musgrave was a childhood friend of William and Harry, a member of the royals’ inner circle of trusted pals known as the Glosse Posse (which sounds like it would put any squad Taylor Swift puts together to shame). And while things were strictly platonic growing up, something changed when Will turned 18 and he finally noticed Arabella as more than just a mate. Shades of Dawson’s Creek?
“As she walked through a friend’s house party, William did a double-take,” royal biographer Katie Nicholl writes in her book, William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls, according to The Sun. “Arabella had blossomed into a gorgeous-looking girl, and he wondered why he hadn’t noticed her properly until now. They danced and drank into the early hours, and when Arabella said her goodnights, the prince quietly slipped out of the room to follow her upstairs.”
The account continues, “It was the beginning of a passionate romance and the two spent as much time together that summer as possible.”
Nicholl noted that Prince Charles knew about the relationship and gave it his blessing, even though Musgrave was “not the debutante Charles hoped William would romance.” But things got a little wobbly when Wills, set to start at the University of St Andrew’s that fall, considered bailing to be with Arabella.
“He missed Arabella, and on Friday nights when he began his journey home to Highgate he was comforted by the fact that she would be waiting for him.”
They tried the long distance thing, but what often happens to young couples making that effort happened to them; he met an attractive fellow student. Kate Middleton “encouraged him to give St Andrews a second chance” and the rest is royal history!
Don’t cry for Musgrave, though. Not only is she Gucci’s head of PR but she is happily married to George Galliers-Pratt and their wedding was featured in Vogue. And despite Will still being friends with his ex, neither he nor Kate attended the 2014 wedding. But you know who was there? Kate’s sister, Pippa.
Oooh. This is either a case of royal circles running deep or a way for Kate to keep her husband’s friends close.