On the face of it, Prince William and Kate Middleton have it made. They’ve got plenty in the bank, three healthy kids and all the power and prestige that comes with being royal. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal! But there’s one big drawback to being so famous: all the whispers about your private life. And in Kate and William’s case, there’s some scandalous gossip you may just have heard. Simply put, the prince is alleged to have cheated on his wife. Yikes. So, is it true? And how’s Kate said to have punished William after the rumor got around?
We’ll discover the roots of the affair claim a little later, but let’s first learn more about William and Kate themselves. The couple married in 2011 and it was a truly spectacular royal affair; millions of people worldwide tuned in to watch the soon-to-be Duchess walk down the aisle. Later, William and Kate stood on the palace balcony and kissed for the cheering crowds.
But the road that led William and Kate to marriage hadn’t always been an easy one. Indeed, the early days of their relationship were marked with strife. The pair first met at St. Andrew’s university – where they happened to share the same halls of residence. And the shy, pretty Kate immediately caught the eye of the young prince.
William got along very well with Kate; but she wasn’t the only woman getting his attention at the time. There was also Carley Massy-Birch, a creative writing and English language student. Although Kate had been crowned the prettiest girl in her dorm, Carley had the honor of winning a “finest first-year bottom” competition at St. Andrews. William liked her very much, and his friends knew, although the tabloids didn’t.
Yet the William-Carley relationship came to an end, allegedly, when it transpired William still had feelings for an ex, Arabella Musgrave. She is a woman of high social standing and is the daughter of Major Nicholas Musgrave. William had known her when they were children, but they had met again as young adults.
William and Arabella had dated before the prince left for university, but they had then decided to take a break. The feeling between them, reportedly, was that Arabella didn’t expect him to wait around for her while they were apart. William missed her, though it seems he wasn’t at all averse to meeting and romancing other women.
And in the middle of all these complicated romantic emotions, William suddenly began seeing Kate in an entirely different light. As the oft-repeated story goes, she was modeling in a fashion show and the prince happened to be there. Apparently, he was awestruck after seeing her walking the catwalk in a sheer dress and underwear.
Right after the show, William began to romance Kate. At the afterparty, the two sat together and chatted for a long time while the alcohol flowed. Then, suddenly, William went to kiss her. She pulled away in surprise; Kate herself was taken at the time, as she was dating another university student named Rupert Finch.
Obviously, things between Kate and Rupert didn’t last, and the future Duchess of Cambridge began properly dating William. The pair moved into new accommodation, the romantically named 13a Hope Street. They kept their relationship as quiet as possible – even leaving the house at separate times – so that the tabloids wouldn’t get wind of it.
And yet, William didn’t exactly seem ready to commit. Come the prince’s 21st birthday in 2003, many noted that he seemed to be getting close to a woman called Jecca Craig – despite Kate apparently still being his girlfriend. And this relationship the newspapers very much did pick up on.
The media reported that William and Jecca had performed an engagement ceremony of sorts, where they declared their love for each other. And despite the royal family very rarely commenting regarding news stories about them, William got his people to deny such an event had ever taken place.
William also spoke to the Press Association to mark his 21st birthday, and unsurprisingly he was asked about romance. Despite Kate being in his life, the prince said at the time, “I don’t have a steady girlfriend. If I fancy a girl and I really like her and she fancies me back, which is rare, I ask her out.”
“But, at the same time, I don’t want to put [prospective girlfriends] in an awkward situation because a lot of people don’t quite understand what comes with knowing me,” William continued. “There’s been a lot of speculation about every single girl I’m with and it actually does quite irritate me after a while, more so because it’s a complete pain for the girls.”
Yet Kate definitely seemed to be being shunted aside in favour of Jecca, attendees of William’s 21st birthday party noticed. Both women were present, but while the latter woman sat at the main table with William, Kate did not. Furthermore, the celebration’s theme was “Out of Africa” – an appropriate choice, given William had first met Jecca in Kenya.
Yet despite that unfortunate blip, Kate and William stayed together – for a little longer at least. They were still keen to maintain their privacy, but news of their relationship got out in the end. In April 2004, after Kate had been spotted with William on a skiing trip, The Sun ran the headline “Finally… Wills gets a girl.”
But William didn’t have Kate for much longer. By the summer of that year allegedly the duchess had tired of William’s immature behavior, which may have included flirting and worse with other women. She had also apparently noticed him getting close with yet another female friend – this time it was Anna Sloan, a rich American girl.
Kate was apparently very upset when William went on holiday with Anna and her friends, but that wasn’t the end of it. There was also his friendship with heiress Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe to consider. Reportedly, neither woman had been interested in William romantically, though that didn’t change Kate’s feelings.
Kate apparently banned William from seeing Isabella again, but things still weren’t looking great. The pair decided to do a trial separation, although once again they tried to keep their personal business out of the tabloids. Reportedly, William’s plans to go and see Jecca in Kenya didn’t remotely help matters.
The trial separation ended with the pair getting back together, and in 2005 Kate went on holiday with William, Harry and Charles. After that, more holidays and parties followed, plus the pair both graduated from St. Andrews University. But then, as William joined the British Army, things started to go wrong again.
Although the media constantly speculated that William was about to pop the question to Kate, it seemed that the prince himself wasn’t so sure. The pressure for the two to announce an engagement mounted until neither could take it anymore. That was one problem; William being photographed with other women was another.
By 2007 William was increasingly being seen out with other ladies. At one point, the prince was spotted dancing at a nightclub with a blonde girl, Tess Shepherd. At another nightclub in Bournemouth, he was seen with his arm around a pretty young woman and reportedly took another one out for a drink. For Kate, this was the final straw; she apparently told William that she would leave him if he refused to commit fully to her.
During Easter of that year Kate and William split up, and at the time it appeared to be for good. As a result, the former donned a revenge dress and hit the party circuit. She was determined to show the media that she wasn’t missing her former royal boyfriend; but in reality, Kate was deeply hurt.
The British media subsequently made plenty of the sudden split, and in April 2007 an unnamed “friend of the prince” told The Evening Standard that a marriage was “never on the cards.” They added, “Kate did everything she could to make him stay – playing a waiting game one minute and then hard-to-get the next.”
The royal insider also said, notably, “Just the other week, she said she intended to be photographed at as many places as she could without William to punish him for all those pictures that appeared of him clubbing with other girls. But William’s heart just wasn’t in it anymore. As she was planning the wedding, he was working out how to extricate himself.”
Other alleged insiders had worse things to say about William’s behavior. Another source told the Evening Standard, “He has always had a roving eye, far more so than Harry, who is meant to be the family playboy. That’s something Kate has always known and accepted – it was part of the deal, if you like.”
The source continued, “What has changed in recent months, however, is the way in which the public was starting to view Kate as a future princess. William’s visit to that nightclub in Bournemouth the other week was all rather harmless but he knew it made him look a cad.” Elsewhere, the paper also noted that the palace was not commenting on the situation.
Of course, as we all know, Kate and William ended up getting back together. And in 2010 they finally did the thing so many people had asked them about in the years prior; they got engaged. But there were a few naysayers, and some magazines claimed that it was pretty common for a royal man to cheat on his wife.
There was a grain of truth to the claim of infidelity among royal men, perhaps, because William’s father had famously strayed from his mother. Charles was married to Diana when he had romanced his ex-girlfriend and future wife Camilla Parker Bowles. And there have long been rumors that Prince Philip, William’s grandfather, allegedly cheated on the Queen.
Certainly, the first years of William and Kate’s marriage appeared to go by without incident. In 2013 the pair had their first child, George, who is third in line to the British throne. And by all accounts, William seems to be a good and attentive father.
However, in March 2017 the prince was spotted and videotaped in a comprising position at – once again – a nightclub. While on a skiing holiday with friends in Switzerland, he was observed dancing with a young woman there. Vanity Fair, meanwhile, reported that Kate was “less than pleased” to hear about it.
And in 2019 another apparent – but unconfirmed – issue with William made it to the media. This one was quite shocking; allegedly, the prince had cheated on Kate while she was pregnant with Louis. And the other woman was supposedly their neighbor Rose Hanbury, Marchioness of Cholmondeley.
At first, the story began with tabloid reports that Kate and Rose, once friends, had fallen out. Richard Eden of the Daily Mail claimed that Kate “seems to see Rose as a rival.” Following that, The Sun quoted a source who said, “Things are tense between them… Over the years, Rose and Kate’s lives have been entwined in many ways.”
In April the magazine In Touch then published an infidelity claim – complete with quotes from alleged insiders. Apparently, Kate had confronted William upon hearing rumors, but according to the source he “just laughed it off saying there was nothing to it.” Yet she reportedly ordered him to stop seeing Rose immediately, as she “[saw] their friendship in an entirely different light now.”
To make matters worse, journalist Giles Coren of The Times tweeted out a post seemingly “confirming” that William had indeed cheated on Kate. It was removed, reportedly due to pressure from the palace. And other publications who passed along the rumors were apparently handed legal warnings.
Cosmopolitan magazine, for its part, revealed one of the letters from lawyers representing the royals. It stated, “In addition to being false and highly damaging, the publication of false speculation in respect of our clients’ private life also constitutes a breach of his privacy pursuant to Article 8 of the European Convention to Human Rights.” Of course, having legal letters sent out this way was quite an unusual move for the royals.
Unfortunately, the best way to get everyone talking about an incident is to try and stop them talking about it. The rumors grew; but the palace unsurprisingly refused to comment. However, in April some anonymous courtiers told The Daily Beast that the affair story was “totally wrong and false.” Furthermore, they questioned the reliability of In Touch as a source, adding that it had in the past claimed that “[Barack] Obama was having an affair and Britney [Spears] was having triplets.”
Then, come June Kate and Rose were seen in a room together. They were both present and on diplomatic duty when U.S. President Donald Trump came to visit the palace early that month. Rose was with her husband, director David Rocksavage, and there didn’t appear to be any bad blood between the two women.
That same month, Us Weekly published an article about the whole incident – complete with quotes from more insiders. One of them said, “Kate finds the rumors hurtful, obviously, and hates the thought that one day her children will be able to read about them online.”
However, there was apparently a silver lining to the affair allegations. The insider claimed that Kate hearing the rumors “forced her and William to sit back and examine their relationship, which they realized they should have been doing more often.” A second source who spoke to Us was less positive, however, and they argued that the headlines “didn’t go down well with Kate.” Nevertheless, the source added that the couple were “determined to pull through it and are doing a great job at getting their marriage back on track again.”
The anonymous person informed Us, “It’s not unusual to have a few hiccups in a marriage, especially after eight years, and Kate and William are no different. They’re still going strong. Regardless of their ups and downs, they love each other dearly and their kids are the most important thing in their lives.” And that would appear to be that, at least for now.