Kate Middleton’s ‘first love’ boyfriend, rocky patch with William and ex who ‘broke her heart’

By Staff

Prince William and Princess Kate’s love story has flourished over the years, from meeting at university to marriage and three beautiful children. And before their paths crossed, the Princess was reportedly wooed by some very eligible bachelors

Kate Middleton dated a string of eligible bachelors before she fell for her future husband Prince William.

The royal couple met at the University of St. Andrews, becoming close friends and flatmates before their relationship took a romantic turn. They wed in 2011 and have three children, George, Charlotte and Louis.

When Kate met William she was said to still be hung up on an ex-boyfriend she met at her school, Marlborough College. From a journalist to a shipping heir, we take a look at her previous loves…

Willem Marx

Before packing up her bags and moving to Scotland to study at St Andrews, Kate had a college boyfriend. Willem Marx was described as her “first love” and the couple dated at Marlborough College in Wiltshire. Willem still lives in London and works as a special correspondent for the PBS NewsHour.

He previously worked as a journalist for news organisations CNBC and Bloomberg. The dad-of-one is married to Italian TV presenter Johanna Botta.

Harry Blakelock

Harry Blakelock is known as “the one that got away”. It appears that before William was on the scene, Kate was “hung up” over her “hot and cold” romance with the now-insurance broker who is said to have “broken her heart”.

They met at Marlborough College, where Kate reportedly fell hard but their relationship didn’t last long, despite both studying abroad in Florence, Italy, at the same time. A friend told the Mail on Sunday: “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. 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.” Harry later married a school friend of Kate’s and is now a partner at Lockton – the world’s largest independent insurance broker.

Rupert Finch

While it is well known that Kate met William at St Andrews, there was reportedly another university boyfriend before him – Rupert Finch. He was a little older, in his final year of studying law, when they dated for just under a year in 2001.

Speaking about their relationship, a source said: “Kate actually had another boyfriend when she first got to St Andrews, Rupert Finch, who by all accounts was a nice man.” Rupert, now a solicitor, and Kate ended on good terms and he was even invited to their wedding in 2011. The royal couple saw him say his vows to Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs at their wedding in 2013.

Henry Ropner

Like all couples, Kate and William have had their rocky patches. They went through two break-ups, one early on in their relationship and a further shock split in 2007. The latter was a huge surprise as after six years of dating, royalists were longing for a royal engagement.

Although their time apart was short-lived, single Kate apparently made the most of her time on the London dating scene. She was reportedly seeing Henry Ropner – another tall and handsome wealthy man whose family own a £33.7million shipping management firm. Henry has since married Natasha Sinclair and the couple live in Somerset.

A version of this story was first published on December 12, 2023

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