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The Crown: Kate and William’s Actual-Life Faculty Romances

Prince William comes of age in The Crown’s remaining episodes, making him the goal of screaming girls, extra press, and his first romantic storyline. In “Alma Mater,” the seventh episode of season six, creator Peter Morgan reimagines William’s 2001 enrollment at St. Andrews, and the ladies who flooded the small coastal Scottish city due to it. In actual life, the varsity noticed a 44% uptick in purposes—together with paperwork from one candidate who reportedly spiked her personal college plans upon listening to William’s: Kate Middleton. 

However earlier than William falls for Kate on the collection, The Crown pairs the freshman prince with a pigtailed aristocrat and aspiring actor named Lola Airdale-Cavendish-Kincaid. (“From a household so posh they needed to identify it thrice,” a personality tells Kate.) Although William dated loads of titled girls in actual life—“His social circle was replete with the identical outdated stuffy titles from the Highgrove set whose mother and father had bored Diana,” wrote former Self-importance Honest editor in chief Tina Brown in The Palace Papers—Lola Airdale-Cavendish-Kincaid is a fictional creation. 

Earlier than William bought to varsity, he was linked to Davina Duckworth-Chad, whose mom is second cousins with Princess Diana; Rose Farquhar, a childhood pal of William’s and the one one of many prince’s exes to have appeared on The Voice; Arabella Musgrave, whose father managed the Cirencester Park Polo Membership; and Jecca Craig, whom William met throughout his hole 12 months whereas staying at her household’s 55,000-acre African sport protect. At St. Andrews, he “fleetingly” dated a blonde magnificence named Olivia Hunt earlier than embarking on a relationship with a fellow scholar named Carley Massy-Birch.

Just like the fictional Crown girlfriend, Massy-Birch was an aspiring actress who briefly went out with the prince at St. Andrews throughout his freshman 12 months. In actual life, the 2 dated for about seven weeks. On The Crown, William and Lola date lengthy sufficient for her to erupt in jealousy when she spots William and Kate collectively on the library. 

After the connection ended, Massy-Birch opened up concerning the romance to VF royal correspondent Katie Nicholl: “William was within the 12 months under, and we simply occurred to fulfill by means of the overall St. Andrews mêlée. It’s such a small place that it was unimaginable to not stumble upon William…. It was very a lot a college factor, only a common college romance.” In a function for this very journal, Nicholl continued:

Carley was additionally a rustic lady, which appealed to William—he had been introduced up within the Gloucestershire countryside. “I’m an actual nation bumpkin,” Carley advised me. “I believe that was why we had a connection.”…They mentioned performs and literature, and Carley advised William all about her dwelling life in Devon. Different evenings they’d get pleasure from pints of cider on the Fort pub, on North Avenue, and play board video games or get pleasure from dinner events with their mates…. Though Kate had been voted the prettiest lady at St. Salvator’s, Carley’s derrière was voted the most effective at St. Andrews.

“We’d joke that Carley’s backside had been sculpted by the gods,” recalled considered one of her mates. “William was very taken along with her, which was fully comprehensible. In contrast to the hordes of made-up, pashmina-clad undergraduates who devoted their time to stalking William, Carley was joyful to remain in and cook dinner for him, and their romance was so beneath the radar it was reported solely years after that they had each graduated.