Kate Middleton and Prince William first met at St. Andrews University in 2001, and started dating within two years. They have been together for 18 years since then, but before their love story started, Kate had been pining for her childhood boyfriend.

Kate had enrolled the same year as Prince William after deferring her university place to take a gap year. Some questioned if this was a deliberate attempt to be in the same batch as the future King of England, but a friend said that the reason behind the gap year was her first love, Harry Blakelock.

The pal told the Mail on Sunday last year that Kate was quite hung up on Blakelock, her first boyfriend from her school, Marlborough College. It has been claimed that Blakelock "messed her around," and she was pining for him when she took a three-month trip to Florence to study Italian and History of Art before joining the university.

"When Kate arrived in Florence, she was really hung up about Harry. She spoke about him all the time and he seemed to have messed her around quite a bit," the friend said.

The source claimed that Blakelock had "blown hot and cold" with Kate when they were at school and she was always talking about how she could get him back. He was also in Florence when she took the course, but "nothing happened" between the pair.

The friend also claimed that Kate would attract a lot of "male attention" but she was always shy around them and would get "embarrassed and bashful."

Meanwhile, she wouldn't have joined the same class as William if the British royal also did not defer for a year. He had taken a gap year to travel through Kenya, teach English in a Patagonian mountain village, and was "roughing it with the Welsh Guards in the Belize jungle." Kate also did the same Patagonian trip with Raleigh International, but a month apart from her future husband.

Apart from Harry and William, it is rumoured that the Duchess had one more boyfriend. During her brief split with the royal in 2007, she was reportedly dating Henry Ropner, son of baronet Sir John Ropner who was on hand to cheer her up. While Kate got back together with William and joined the British royal family after their marriage in 2011, Ropner married a businessman's daughter, Natasha Sinclair.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, at the Earthshot Prize awards on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Photo by: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images