Prince William Had a ‘Pretend Engagement’ With His Ex-Girlfriend Before Asking Kate Middleton to Marry Him

Today Prince William and Kate Middleton are married and have three children. The two began dating in the early 2000s and after several years together, William asked Kate to marry him. But once upon a time before he and the Duchess of Cambridge tied the knot the prince was in a relationship with Jecca Craig, who many refer to as “his first love,” and they reportedly carried out a “pretend engagement.”

Here’s more on that and the woman that may have been the Duke of Cambridge’s first fiancée.

(L): Prince William Dressed in a tuxedo for the Royal Variety Performance, (R): Jecca Craig arriving to a friend's wedding in Chippenham, England
(L): Prince William Dressed in a tuxedo for the Royal Variety Performance | Karwai Tang/WireImage, (R): Jecca Craig arriving to a friend’s wedding in Chippenham, England | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

How Prince William and Jecca Craig met

The future king and Craig first met as teenagers when William traveled to Kenya where Craig’s father ran the Lewa Downs conservancy. Because the prince stayed at her family’s estate often, chatter about a romance between the two began to swirl.

Palace courtiers denied at the time that they were anything more than friends, but the rumors did not go away.

However, William and Craig’s relationship came to a halt when the prince began attending St. Andrew’s University.

They had a ‘pretend engagement’ when they were dating

(L) Prince William arriving at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, (R) Jecca Craig attends day 5 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse
(L): Prince William arriving at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum | Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images, (R): Jecca Craig attends day 5 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse | Indigo/Getty Images

After their romance ended the two remained friends and the press dubbed Craig as William’s “first love.” The Daily Mail reported that the prince and his old flame had even entered a “pretend engagement” back when he was staying with her in Kenya.

When William turned 21, he had an African-themed birthday party and Craig was invited. His future bride, Kate, was also there too. According to royal expert Katie Nicholl, who authored the book Kate: Our Future Queen, William was seeing Kate at the time and just invited Craig as a friend. However, Nicholl explained that the prince didn’t spend much time with Kate at the event and they weren’t seated near one another, but Will’s ex-girlfriend was seated quite close to him.

“Kate didn’t know whether they had been romantically involved or not, but she noted that Jecca had been seated at the head table next to William, whereas Kate had to raise her glass to toast the prince from afar,” Nicholl wrote (per Express).

William proposed to Kate at Craig’s home

Prince William and Kate Middleton pose for photographs after announcing engagement
Prince William and Kate Middleton pose for photographs after announcing engagement | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Everything worked out for Kate in the end though and ironically William ended up proposing to her at Craig’s family’s safari reserve in Mount Kenya.

On April 29, 2011, Craig was a guest at the Cambridge’s royal wedding. And five years later, William flew to Africa and attended Craig’s nuptials to Zoological Society expert Jonathan Baillie.

RELATED: Kate Middleton’s Ex-Boyfriend Did Not Respond Well When Asked About Being Invited To Her Royal Wedding