Prince William Adopted a Fake First Name When He Was in College So He Wouldn’t Attract Too Much Attention

When Prince William attended the University of St. Andrews in Scotland he wanted to have a college experience just like any other student. The only problem with that is the future king wasn’t like any other student so he went to great lengths to protect his identity including coming up with a fake name.

Prince William poses on the pier at University of St. Andrews in Scotland
Prince William poses on the pier at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland | David Cheskin – Pool/Getty Images

Read on to find out the name the prince used at school. Plus, how he and Kate Middleton tried to keep their relationship a secret when they began dating.

The name Prince William used to protect his identity

In order to try and keep a low profile at St. Andrews, William decided to go by the name “Steve.”

While the prince did enroll in the school under the name William Wales, he asked his friends when speaking about him to refer to him as “Steve” so anyone outside their inner circle wouldn’t know they were actually talking about the royal.

As the Mirror reported: “His classmates used the nickname so he didn’t receive any unwanted attention.”

Prince William dressed Casually in jeans arriving at St. Andrews University In Scotland
Prince William dressed Casually in jeans arriving at St. Andrews University In Scotland | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

William and Kate used ‘decoys’ to keep their relationship a secret

St. Andrews is also where William met Kate. The prince knew there would be a ton of media interest in who he was dating so the couple tried a few different things to keep their relationship under wraps.

They moved into an off-campus apartment together but in the same flat as some other students so no one would read too much into it.

“Their bedrooms were on separate landings, but by this stage, it was nothing more than pretense,” royal biographer Katie Nicholl told Vanity Fair. “William and Kate had fallen in love and were enjoying a conventional university romance, albeit one involving elaborate cover-ups and decoys.

“In a bid to keep their relationship below the radar for as long as possible, they would leave the house at different times and arrive at dinner parties separately, and made a pact never to hold hands in public.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton visit their alma mater University of St. Andrews in 2011
Prince William and Kate Middleton visit their alma mater University of St. Andrews | Samir Hussein / Contributor/ WireImage/ Getty

Kate had 2 different nicknames

According to Nicholl, the now-duchess had a nickname of her own at the college. The Making of a Royal Romance author said that the moniker William’s future bride was given during Freshers Week was “Beautiful Kate.” Nicholl added that years later after dating the prince for as long as she had without a marriage proposal from the heir, the press gave her a name that wasn’t as flattering when she was dubbed “Waity Katy.”

“The British press did label Kate ‘Waity Katy’ which she absolutely hated,” Nicholl wrote in her book.

The royal expert explained that one of the reasons the prince refrained from asking Kate to marry him too early is because he “witnessed his parents’ marriage crumble under pressure” and he wanted to make sure his didn’t “endure a similar fate. He was reluctant to bow to similar pressure and vowed not to be hurried to the altar.”

Of course Kate’s “waiting” paid off and in 2010, William proposed. They tied the knot on April 29, 2011, and today are living their happily ever after with their three children.

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