Prince William and Kate Middleton have been happily married for over a decade. They met while studying at St. Andrew’s, and despite a few hiccups along the way, they managed to make amends and later marry.
While William and Kate clearly are meant to be, Kate was dating other guys before the romance began. One of them broke her heart – and her first boyfriend has not been too much in the spotlight.
Well, that depends on how you see it. In fact, you might recognize the Princess of Wales’ first boyfriend, as he has been on television quite a lot over the years. Here’s all you need to know about Kate Middleton’s early boyfriends.
William and Kate have had – and still have – a very happy marriage. But before the two met, Kate – and her husband – had other romances that could’ve shaped the future in a very, very different way.
In the Princess of Wales’ case, one boyfriend was dubbed “The One.” Unfortunately, the way said boyfriend treated her ultimately broke her heart.
Kate Middleton – boyfriends before William
Before Kate moved to Scotland to study at the University of St Andrews, she dated Harry Blakelock. Her relationship with Blakelock proved significant, as he reportedly was “the one who got away.”
Yet, according to the Daily Mirror, Harry “broke her heart.” During a three-month pre-college trip to Florence in 2001 – where she studied art – the then-future princess was said to be still hung up on him, though Harry never showed her his real intentions.
“When Kate arrived in Florence, she was really hung up about Harry,” a source told the Daily Mail in 2020.
“She spoke about him all the time and he seemed to have messed her around quite a bit. He seemed to have blown hot and cold with her when they were at school, and she was always talking about how she could get him back. He was also in Florence at the same time but from what I can remember, nothing happened.”
Kate and Harry went their separate ways, but he would still be a part of her life in a small way. As reported by the Mirror, her ex-boyfriend went on to marry one of Kate’s friends. He became a partner at Lockton Companies, one of the world’s largest independent insurance brokerage firms.
Prince William and Kate Middleton didn’t start dating at once after they moved to St. Andrews, which the former attended after a gap year following his education at Eton.
The two remained good friends for about a year. Before they found love, Kate dated another person at the prestigious school.
Kate Middleton & William attended her ex-boyfriend’s wedding.
Rupert Finch was studying his final year of law school when he and Kate Middleton began dating in 2001.
Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter said that Finch, who left St. Andrews the year after, “by all accounts was a nice man.” At the time, Finch wasn’t the only man showing interest in her.
“Prince William, he kind of expressed a bit of interest, but I think Kate was still playing hard to get. She wasn’t terribly sure if she was interested,” Arbiter told The Sun.
Kate Middleton and Finch – a solicitor – only dated for less than a year, but the two remain on good terms. He was invited to the royal wedding in 2011, and William and Kate attended his and Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs’ wedding two years later.
William and his wife were also accompanied by his cousin Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson.
Kate Middleton invited her ex-boyfriend Rupert Finch to her wedding with Prince William. However, he wasn’t the only ex-boyfriend to be in attendance.
In fact, Kate Middleton invited another guy she had been dating, one that was dubbed her “first love.”
The Princess of Wales began dating her first known boyfriend, Willem Marx while attending Marlborough College in 2000. That was before she headed to St Andrews University, where she would meet her future husband.
Kate’s ‘first love’ Willem Marx
Though not much is known about her “first love,” Willem, it’s been reported that the two stayed on good terms after their split. In fact, Willem was even invited to William and Kate’s 2011 wedding at Westminster Abbey.
“While Prince William’s first university girlfriend, Carly Massy-Birch, is still waiting for her invitation to his royal wedding, Kate Middleton’s former beau, Willem Marx, has had more success,” The Telegraph reported a month before the Prince and Princess of Wales tied the knot.
“Mandrake [Telegraph insider] hears that Marx is the only male chum from Kate’s school days to have been invited to the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.”
The Telegraph managed to get a hold of Willem Marx at the time. However, he was not interested in talking too much about the relationship or the invitation to his ex-girlfriend’s wedding.
“Who told you that I had been invited?” he replied, adding that it was a “false assertion.”
Meanwhile, a friend of Kate Middleton’s told the newspaper that Marx was still essential in her life.
“Willem means a lot to Kate,” the friend stated.
So, what happened with Willem Marx?
Willem Marx went on to study at Oxford University and began working for the business television channel CNBC.
Willem Marx today – work, family, wife, children
Today, he is reportedly married to television presenter Johanna Botta. As reported by HoneyNine, Marx, based in London, recently worked as a reporter for CNBC. He has covered geopolitical news in Europe and reportedly has dual citizenship in the UK and Netherlands.
Moreover, Willem is said to speak French and Italian besides English. Most likely, he also knows Spanish, as his wife Johanna Bota is of Peruvian-American descent.
Johanna Botta appeared in several seasons of the MTV reality show The Challenge, also known as Real World/Road Rules Challenge. She has over 26 thousand followers on Instagram and shares lovely pictures of their happy family life with their son, Diego.
A while ago, in an Instagram post, Botta shared some insight about her life as a freelancing present, saying that it helps her balance her life between working and being a mother.
“Being freelance means always being ready to work and drop plans in a moment’s notice, not ideal I know!” Botta wrote. “But I get to spend so much time with my son, it makes it all worth it. I’m lucky to be in the position to make that choice.”
In another Instagram post, Botta revealed a typical day when London was in lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic. And it appeared that their married life was just like any other.
“Day: childcare. Night: Shoot show. Everything in between: fight with Husband, resent him and then thank him for helping me shoot at night,” Botta wrote.
The latest picture of Willem
During the last year, Botta has decided to share pictures of her children only, and if something happens between her and Marx, we don’t know. However, she posted an image of him for their wedding anniversary last year.
“Sorry no refunds! Happy 8th wedding anniversary to us,” she wrote together with a picture of the two of them.
Kate and Willem didn’t last. But in the end, Prince William and Kate Middleton found each other.
First, they moved into the same residence halls, St Salvator’s Hall, and attended the same lectures and classes. Then, during their second year, the two moved in with a couple of friends at a private home – where their love blossomed.
By all accounts, they had the same sense of humor, which was one of the factors that helped them click.
“She’s got a really naughty sense of humour, which really helps me because I’ve got a really dirty sense of humour so it was good fun, we had a really good laugh, and then things happened,” William said in their engagement video.
William and Kate dated for many years despite keeping relatively quiet during their University years to focus on their respective studies.
They both graduated in 2005; William has a master of arts degree in geography, and Kate has a master of arts degree in art history. While their relationship flourished, they were to go through some very tough times, and they even split up a bit.
Prince William proposed to Kate in Kenya
Fortunately, William and Kate’s 2007 split didn’t last for long. At the time, they could not have possibly imagined how great their relationship would be now, 16 years later, with their three wonderful children.
On holiday in Kenya in 2010, William proposed to Kate with his late mother Princess Diana’s sapphire engagement ring. He had carried it for three weeks and never let it out of sight.
“It was very romantic, Kate said. “There’s a true romantic in there.”
William recalled, “I went I was keeping hold of it because I knew this thing, if it disappeared, I would be in a lot of trouble, and because I’d planned it, it went fine.2
“You hear a lot of horror stories about proposing and things going horribly wrong. It went really, really well, and I was really pleased she said yes,” he added. “It’s my mother’s engagement ring so I thought it was quite nice because obviously she’s not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all – this was my way of keeping her close to it all.”
The ring was exceptional and, of course, fitting for a future queen or Queen Consort, as it belonged to William’s mother, Princess Diana. On April 29, 2011, William and Kate tied the knot at Westminster Abbey in London.
Katee’s two ex-boyfriends were in attendance. And if that doesn’t say anything about how she is as a person, what will?