Media outlets have been speculating that the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton may be on the rocks. Kate’s most recent disappearing act can be explained by her allegedly recovering from plastic surgery but of course that doesn’t explain her absences from those countless other missed social engagements or why she so often prefers to spend extended periods of time at her parents’ home, away from her husband.
Kate and William’s marriage was described to me a while back as being more of a friendship. I’ve never believed it was a great romance which made think it actually might go the distance, it was a more practical arrangement and given all that Kate endured to become Mrs. Prince William, there was no reason to suspect the Limpet would ever let go.
Royal fairytales sell newspapers because they provide a form of escapism from the dreariness of everyday news. When Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage first showed visible signs of disintegration, the press turned a blind eye, churning out instead candied stories of the glamorous princess and her prince living perfect lives inside an enormous palace until the obvious strain on their faces when in close proximity could no longer be ignored and the press was forced to go with the truth.
The beginnings of Kate and William’s marriage didn’t fit the typical fairytale mold, forged instead inside of a romantic bouncy castle. The media frequently criticized Waity Katie who most believed would never make it down the aisle to wed her prized prince. There may have been three in Princess Diana’s marriage but the courtship of William and Kate was far more crowded.
Before he began dating Kate, William had a few minor relationships. In 2000, Prince William spent quite a bit of time with Jecca Craig during the gap year he spent at the Kenyan ranch owned by Jecca’s parents. Usually when Jecca is mentioned, there’s reference to hers and William’s “mock engagement”, but it tends to get dismissed as an interesting anecdote about the whimsy of youth and Jecca gets relegated to the status of ex-girlfriend in the media when in reality, to William she is far more important. Jecca has always been strong, self-assured, practical and she knows what she wants and the princess life isn’t it. Prince William’s time at her family’s Kenyan ranch was one of the happiest of his life because he was able to escape the perceived burden of being a prince, he was young and in love with a beautiful, down-to-earth girl.
In 2001, another major figure in the William love life saga appeared on the timeline, Prince William met the gorgeous Isabella Calthorpe and developed a major crush on her. She didn’t pay much attention to him at the time, they became friends because they had overlapping social circles.
There were rumors about William’s and Jecca’s relationship since his gap year but it wasn’t until 2003 that the media started printing stories about their involvement. Prince William was very protective of Jecca and thinking it would spare her media scrutiny, he had St. James Palace immediately issue a statement that it, “denies that there is or ever has been any romantic liaison between Prince William and Jessica Craig.” They admitted Prince William returned to Kenya in August 2002 to spend time with her and her family back but that was it. Many regarded the Palace’s denial as an idiotic move, they never commented on William’s other relationships, the denial was considered confirmation Jecca was very important to William, more important to him than any other woman to whom he was romantically linked up until that point which included Kate Middleton.
Jecca and William may have been star-crossed lovers, but Jecca is far too pragmatic for any kind of sword and poison scenario and William wasn’t going to lead a life of celibacy because the girl he really wanted didn’t want a future of tiaras and ribbon cutting in the UK.
By the time of Prince William’s 21st birthday bash on June 21, 2003, Kate had been with William long enough to assume she would be sitting next to William at his 21st birthday celebration and was devastated to discover that Jecca occupied the top spot at Prince William’s side while Kate found herself exiled to another table.
Kate wasn’t liked by William’s friends. They found her cold, boring, presumptuous and her only discernable interest appeared to be in marrying a prince. There were a number of people hoping Jecca would replace Kate for good but it became clear Jecca had no such intention. Jecca started dating one of William’s old school chums, dashing hopes that Jecca would serve as Kate-B-Gone.
William’s friends disliked Kate so much, they had been conspiring to get rid of her from the very beginning. There was a group of girls chasing William, I forget what they called themselves, while each wouldn’t have minded becoming a princess, the whole thing was a bit of a lark for them as well. When William had plans to go out, a member of the group would tip off the girls in hopes William would realize there were more options than Kate. William would flirt, dance and drink with these girls when they could get close enough. Kate would tag along when William went out, fiercely guarding her prince claim, physically body blocking the girls who tried to get close and even brought along another girl with her for guard duty so that one of the girls couldn’t serve as a diversion while another snuck in on the side to talk to William. The girls hated Kate and found her guard dog behavior so ridiculous, that on at least one occasion they approached a stranger on the street because they thought William would really go for her, told her where he would be and what time to show up and they would make sure she was introduced to William. I have it on very good authority that the random stranger had absolutely zero interest, politely declined and is in hindsight insulted they thought she was William’s type. It didn’t escape Kate’s notice that this group of girls appealed to William, they drank, had fun, wore sexier clothes so she strove to emulate them, trying to turn herself into everything William seemed to like and want. Kate wasn’t much of a drinker initially, at first she usually had a couple over the course of an evening, but she saw that William seemed to be drawn to the girls tossing back drinks and having less-inhibited fun, so that’s what Kate did.
In 2004, William broke up with Kate right before exams. He wanted space, shortly thereafter he reportedly discovered he had just enough space for Jecca.
After Kate and William got back together, it wasn’t long before Kate found her position as Prince William’s girlfriend was again in jeopardy. Kate had nothing in her bag of tricks to compete with the likes of Isabella Calthorpe, very few women do. William was so smitten with Isabella that whenever they bumped into each other, William only had eyes for Isabella and would completely forget about Kate’s existence. At a ball in October of 2005, William was so enraptured by Isabella with whom he had spent the evening in deep conversation that Kate finally stormed off. I’m not sure how long it took William to even notice Kate was gone. William cast Kate aside to fully pursue Isabella. The relationship was brief, Isabella reportedly told William that if he weren’t a prince, she could see a future for them together, but the realities of his life weren’t for her. Kate once again was offered the now-vacant number one girlfriend position which she accepted, despite feeling humiliated for being so publicly dropped on her ass while William swooned over Isabella but William promised Kate he wouldn’t see Isabella anymore.
Once again Kate was William’s official plus one and Kate and Jecca would run into each other at weddings and various events. Knowing how insecure Kate was and that William’s circle didn’t like Kate, Jecca went out of her way to be nice to Kate, talk to her, make her feel welcome as part of the group and reassure Kate that she was in no way a threat to her, she had absolutely no interest in living a princess life. In 2005, Jecca even hosted Kate and William at her family’s Kenyan ranch.
Jecca was rumored to be one factor in the 2007 break-up. My own opinion is that William got spooked because of what allegedly happened towards the end of 2006 that made the idea of a future married to Kate with babies feel more suffocatingly real and it made him want freedom. Kate’s parents had rented the Jordanstone House in Alyth for the 2006 winter holiday, after spending Christmas with his family at Sandringham, William was supposed to join them, but he blew them off, never bothering to show.
Up until his being a no-show at the holidays, Kate was sure she and William would eventually be getting married. William started becoming very distant. I’m not sure if this part is true, but supposedly Kate suspected William and Jecca were romantically involved again and tried to dictate who William was and wasn’t allowed to see and he responded with something like screw you, you don’t tell me what to do, I’m Prince William and I give orders, I certainly don’t take them from you. The possibility Jecca and William were secretly romancing on the side was rumored to have also been a factor in Jecca’s canceled engagement to Hugh Crossley in 2008. Jecca’s family released a statement that it had nothing to do with a third party, the reason Jecca called off the engagement to Hugh Crossley was because they had two vastly differently visions for the future. Honestly, I doubt the veracity of this particular Jecca rumor.
In the months before the April 2007 break-up, Prince William was spotted snogging a girl in a nightclub, photographed in March with his hand on another woman’s breasts and was rumored to have been sneaking random girls into the barracks for some non-regulation nookie. Most girls would have put his crown jewels in a vice grip and dumped his sorry cheating ass, but not Our Fair Waity. Kate asked William for more of a commitment. She should have been committed… to a mental institution. Then William decided to break up with Kate once and for all by cell phone. When he was done severing ties with Kate, he jumped up on the table, proclaiming, “I’m free!”
During the Limpetless Freedom Tour 2007, William attempted to see if it was possible to love every woman. In a bid to win Prince William back, Kate began a campaign to show him what he was missing by hitting the clubs in sexier outfits and she made sure she was seen dancing and flirting with men so it would get back to William. By June of 2007, Kate was back to existing in a suspended state of waiting for William. In May of 2008, Prince William once again demonstrated how important Jecca was to him by skipping his own cousin’s wedding in order to attend the wedding of Jecca’s brother. William asked Kate to attend Peter Philips’ wedding in his stead, which some interpreted as a sign it wouldn’t be long before Kate officially joined the Royal Family while others thought it was a pretty ingenious way of keeping Kate from going with him to Jecca’s brother’s wedding so he and Jecca could have some alone time.
Kate and William finally got married in 2011 and for some reason brought along friends on their honeymoon. Their holidays were usually group affairs as well, more often than not taken with Kate’s family, because what newlywed couple doesn’t love to have parental supervision. Not all of their holidays were taken as a couple. In February 2014, when William was reportedly so occupied with an agriculture course he was unable to join his wife and son on holiday, a photo emerged showing Jecca had joined Prince William on a trip to Spain for some boar hunting.
Given the state of their union to this point, it appears likely Kate and William have some kind of arrangement which affords William certain freedoms while in return Kate gets to have a title the public and media rarely use and a seemingly endless supply of jeggings. Not exactly the romance of the century but given how far from idyllic Kate’s courtship with Prince Not-So-Charming was, it’s hard to tell exactly where a bumpy path becomes a rocky road.