Kate Middleton has managed to attain something that everybody dreams of…a fairytale ending. In her case, that’s almost literal: she met and fell in love with a prince, married into an amazing Royal Family, and is destined to become the Queen of England.
If you believe in Destiny, then it’s hard not to believe that Kate and William were meant for one another. Of course, not even royals are lucky enough to meet their future spouse right away. In Kate Middleton’s case, that means she had to date a few different men before she found the prince who gave her a real “happily ever after.”
Just who did Kate date before William, and what do these men tell us about her romantic preferences? Keep reading to discover the answers!
We’ve said it before, and now we’ll say it again: there are very few things that most of us have ever had (or will ever have) in common with the Royal Family. But there are always a handful of surprising things that humanize the royals: for example, like many of us, Kate Middleton’s first big love just wasn’t destined to be the love of her life.
In Kate’s case, her own first love is Willem Marx. We don’t know much about their romance together, but we do know the two met while they were both at Marlborough College in Wiltshire. These days, Willem lives in London and works and serves as a special correspondent on PBS NewsHour. That may seem ironic given the Royal Family’s prickly relationship with the press, but considering that Marx attended Kate’s wedding in 2011, we think this is one journalist she would approve of.
As we noted above, Willem Marx is considered by many to be the first romantic love of Kate Middleton’s life. However, that’s not the same as being the first very serious love of her life. When it comes to Kate’s most serious love before William, that particular honor goes to Harry Blakelock.
These two met at Marlborough College, and it looked like they might have their own storybook romance brewing: not only did they attend the same college, but they even simultaneously studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Unfortunately, their romantic story ended up being as doomed as Romeo and Juliet: he allegedly ran very hot and cold with Kate during their time together and ultimately broke her heart.
As for Blakelock, things generally worked out well. He became an insurance broker and now works at Lockton, which is one of the biggest and most prestigious independent insurance brokers around the globe.
Pop quiz: who do you think of when you read the words “Kate Middleton’s boyfriend at St. Andrew’s?” Most people would think of Prince William, and it’s true that this is the institute of higher learning where Kate first met her future husband. But William wasn’t her first St. Andrew’s boyfriend: back when he was just a friend, she was dating Rupert Finch.
Presumably, part of what made Finch attractive to Kate was that he was a slightly older man. He only had one year left of his legal studies when he and Kate were dating, and they dated for just under a year way back in 2001. These days, Finch serves as a solicitor, and he has maintained a great relationship with Kate: not only was he invited to her wedding in 2011, but Kate and William attended Finch’s own wedding in 2013.
If you’ve been doing the math on when Kate met Prince William, then you’re probably wondering when or even how another man came into the picture before she met and later got married to William. However, the answer to that question is as simple as it is shocking: Kate and William had some major rough patches in their relationship, and it was during one of these patches that Kate began a relationship with Henry Ropner.
This brief relationship happened in 2007, when Kate and William had a brief breakup after six solid years of dating. Perhaps to prove to Prince William that she knew what she was worth, Kate wasted no time dating other people, and she landed quite a catch in the form of Henry Ropner. In addition to being tall and handsome in his own right, Ropner came from a fabulously wealthy family thanks to his family’s shipping management firm.
In retrospect, this seems like a clear message a young Kate was sending to a young William: that she didn’t need the crown to land a handsome, wealthy man who would spoil her for the rest of her life. Fortunately, Kate and William patched things up and got together, ultimately getting married in 2011. Now, they are raising three beautiful children together, and their relationship seems stronger than ever before.