It turns out the British royal family is just like us—at least when it comes to dating. Kate Middleton and Prince William’s relationship wasn’t always as perfect as it appears. According to royal biographer Christopher Anderson, who wrote William and Kate: A Royal Love Story, when the pair met way back in their college days, it was about as awkward as a romantic meeting can get.
Upon meeting William during a party in their freshman dorm, Kate allegedly had a cringe-worthy moment when she curtsied to her future husband. But wait, she wasn’t the most romantically inept one there. After Kate’s curtsy, William allegedly spilled a drink all over himself, promptly ending the brief moment of potential courtship. At that point, Kate bolted, likely assuming she’d never see him again.
In the same interview, Marie Claire noted, Prince William tried to play it cool by pretending he couldn’t remember how they met and had to “wrack his brain” to think about it. Sure, Wills, we totally believe you. Even after the pair got over their individual embarrassment, they still hit a few bumps in the road to royal matrimonial bliss. In 2007, after dating for a few years, the pair split up.
“We both were very young, it was at university, we were sort of both finding ourselves as such and being different characters and stuff, it was very much trying to find our own way and we were growing up, and so it was just sort of a bit of space and a bit of things like that and it worked out for the better,” Prince William shared in an ABC interview in 2010. Luckily, the split didn’t last long and William proposed while the pair was on vacation in Kenya. Of course, they lived happily ever after, just like a duke and duchess should.