Was Prince William the Real ‘Playboy’ of the Royal Family, Not Prince Harry?

For as long as anyone can remember, Prince Harry has retained the eternal bachelor, naughty playboy reputation while his older brother Prince William was painted as the more responsible of the two. Prince Harry liked to party, sometimes nude, and cycled through blonde girlfriends like he changed his loafers. Meanwhile, Prince William quietly devoted himself to Kate Middleton from an early age and barely dated anyone else.

But that story might not be entirely accurate. Back before William and Harry became married men, both of them behaved a little recklessly. One news outlet is even reporting that it was Prince William who really should have had the ‘playboy’ reputation, not Prince Harry.

Prince William and Prince Harrry
Prince William and Prince Harry in 2007 | Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Neither Prince William nor Prince Harry was ready for marriage in 2007

This latest development comes from an interview which appeared in Daily Mail in 2007, a wild year for both young men. Prince William was 23 and while he’d been dating Kate Middleton for three years by this point, he wasn’t anywhere near ready to propose. Even though that’s apparently what she wanted.

Meanwhile, Prince Harry was well-known at this point for making several disastrous decisions, including showing up at a costume party dressed as a Nazi and partying with celebrities like P. Diddy and Kanye. He’d been dating long-term girlfriend Chelsy Davy off and on, but definitely wasn’t making a serious commitment to her or anyone else yet.

Prince Harry
Prince Harry, P. Diddy, and Kanye | Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images

One person said Prince William had a ‘roving eye’

Even though Prince William was always seen as the more grown-up and responsible older brother, that didn’t make him perfect. And Kate Middleton’s friends knew that she was hoping to get engaged when suddenly everything came to a grinding halt. In 2007, Prince William broke up with Kate in a short and painful conversation, saying it wasn’t “fair to her” to stay together.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Handout/Getty Images

The source claiming to be Middleton’s friend told Daily Mail at the time, “He has always had a roving eye, far more so than Harry, who is meant to be the family playboy,” they said. “That’s something Kate has always known and accepted—it was part of the deal, if you like. I suppose in that respect, she would have made a perfect Princess of Wales.”

William and Kate didn’t stay broken up for long

Prince William enjoyed his singlehood for a short time, engaging in drunken revelry in a London nightclub and telling friends, “I’m free!” But his elation didn’t last long. After going to the movies by himself, Prince William realized he was deeply lonely and partying with different girls wasn’t going to change that.

Before long, Prince William and Kate Middleton were back together and even though they didn’t get engaged until 2010, no one doubted his devotion to her ever again. Or did they?

Rumors of Prince William’s womanizing ways are still around

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Stephen Pond/Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are happily married with three gorgeous children now. Any inklings of that party boy life are gone, except for one thing – earlier this year, Prince William was accused of cheating on Kate Middleton with her friend Rose Hanbury.

The Palace and Prince William denied these rumors by failing to address them at all. Clearly their marriage has survived the scandal intact. But it’s enough to make some royal fans wonder if Prince William still has a bit of that ‘roving eye’ he displayed in 2007.

Perhaps we’ll never know!