Rumors Surrounding Prince William’s Crush On Isabella Calthorpe
It might be hard to imagine a world in which Prince William is not with Kate Middleton and vice-versa, but once upon a time the pair were young college students who had no idea they would end up married and parents of three children. Both William and Kate were in a number of relationships before they got married in 2011, and some of those relationships have continued to intrigue royal watchers and the public in general.
William and Kate were broken up in 2004 when the future king met and reportedly began pursuing Isabella Calthorpe, an actress. While it seemed that William was pretty smitten with Calthorpe, the feelings weren’t necessarily returned — the actress reportedly thought a relationship with William would be bad for her career, and didn’t pursue anything serious. William then returned to Kate, and the pair were together until they broke up again in 2007.
Here is a look at all the facts and rumors surrounding Isabella Calthorpe and Prince William’s short-lived fling.
Prince William and Isabella Calthorpe were linked in 2004
It’s never been clear exactly how Prince William and Isabella Calthorpe were first introduced, but it stands to reason that the future king and the actress and socialite moved in the same circles and likely crossed paths organically. As reported by The Daily Express, whatever their origin story, it was clear that William had a thing for Calthorpe back in 2004, when the pair began spending a lot of time together — and when he and future wife Kate Middleton happened to be on a break.
In her book William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls, author Katie Nicholl offers insight into the triangle that existed between William, Calthorpe, and Middleton. Nicholl even appears to believe that Calthorpe was the cause of William and Middleton’s 2004 split. She writes that William reportedly pursued Calthorpe intently and explains, "He had fallen for her in a huge way and wanted to be with her. He propositioned her several times that summer and although Isabella was single, she knocked William back and said it would be too damaging for her and her career."
Isabella Calthorpe showed up on Prince William’s boys only trip
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2007 break-up has been discussed a number of times, but for years, only a few people knew the pair split up over Isabella Calthorpe in 2004 — or only a few people still remember these days. Back in 2004 Katie Nicholl reported that The Mail On Sunday revealed Middleton and William were in "a trial separation" and that part of that separation included a so-called boys-only trip to Greece.
The trip took place in the summer of 2004 and was the catalyst for the pair’s initial split. Nicholl writes that William and six friends went sailing. William reportedly asked to have a crew made up entirely of females, a request that frustrated his estranged girlfriend. Her article explains, "William had a great holiday with the boys. There was a lot of drinking and a lot of fun. It was Wills’s idea to request an all-female crew … He had specifically said when he planned the trip that it was to be a boys-only holiday and Kate was not invited."
Despite the insistence that the trip was only for William and his male friends, a few other friends also happened to be in the area that summer. As a source told The Mail On Sunday at the time "Isabella was very much on the scene that summer. I would go so far as to say that William dumped Kate because he thought he had a chance with Isabella and Kate knew that" (via The Daily Express).
Kate Middleton was jealous of Isabella Calthorpe
Kate Middleton likely knew when she met Prince William that anyone who entered a relationship with the future king would have to learn to be comfortable with a certain degree of attention from women, whether that means women that William knows or those who he’s never met. A 2007 piece published by The Daily Mail appears to confirm this, and writer Katie Nicholl explained that Middleton put up with a lot of the attention without so much as a complaint to her boyfriend.
But when it came to Isabella Calthorpe, Middleton was reportedly very jealous and unable to cope with rumors that suggested Calthorpe and William were involved. As Nicholl put it, just Calthorpe’s name coming up in conversation could put Middleton in a panicked state; the writer added, "Kate was very aware of his obsession with Isabella and she was incredibly threatened by her. Isabella is drop-dead beautiful and would leave any girl in the shade."
This jealously went up a notch in 2005, when William spent most of his time at an event engaged in conversation with Calthorpe — despite the fact that Middleton was also at the event. Nicholl wrote that William’s future wife "stormed out of the ball in a fury."
Prince William was obsessed with Isabella Calthorpe
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One of the rumors that has always circulated around Prince William and Isabella Calthorpe is that the prince was completely infatuated with the socialite — even to the point of considering leaving Kate Middleton for good if Calthorpe had been open to a relationship. As a source close to the couple eventually explained to the Daily Mail, William was intent on attracting Calthorpe, something that Middleton knew and was forced to wait out.
The source explained Middleton "stood aside and waited for William to come back to her which eventually he did. Before that, though, he did everything he could to woo Isabella."
While the outlet also explained that Calthorpe was far from the only woman who expressed interest in William during that time, and she wasn’t the only person that Middleton had to deal with. However, The Daily Mail also wrote that Middleton found a way to be friendly with some of William’s exes, including Jecca Craig and Arabella Musgrave. A source said of Musgrave, "Kate has inherited most of William’s friends so Bella was to be no exception."
Isabella Calthorpe turned Prince William down
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Despite his apparent big feelings for her, Isabella Calthorpe reportedly turned down Prince William a number of times during that 2004 summer trip. Author Kate Nicholl has examined the dynamic between the two and wrote that William approached Calthorpe "a number of times" about being together, but that Calthorpe rebuffed his advances each time. As it turns out, Calthorpe had her sights set on something bigger than a crown: her own successful career.
As a source told Nicholl for The Daily Mail, "He propositioned her several times that summer and although Isabella was single, she knocked William back and said it would be too damaging for her and her career. She is a name in her own right and on her way to becoming hugely successful. In her view, being affiliated with William in a girlfriend capacity would be damaging for her."
Calthorpe later told The Daily Mail that while she appreciated the attention she received for being an "it girl" at the time, fully taking on the role never would have been enough for her. Calthorpe explained, "The thing about all that It-girl stuff is that it would never satisfy me. Looking back I think I could have slipped into that world when I was 17 or 18 and there was this press attention and pressure, but I felt strongly when I was quite young that it is dangerous to exploit yourself in that way."
Kate Middleton banned Prince William from talking to Isabella Calthorpe
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Eventually Kate Middleton and Prince William got back together — in fact, the pair were said to have been reunited by Christmas following his summer fling with Isabella Calthorpe. And while Middleton might have forgiven her boyfriend for any perceived (or actual) transgressions, it seemed that she wasn’t prepared to allow him the opportunity to reunite with Calthorpe in any way, at least not if she could help it.
A source who spoke to The Daily Mail told the outlet that William understood that if he and Calthorpe got together that summer things would be over between himself and Middleton. So it likely came as no surprise to him when Middleton outright banned him from having a friendship with Calthorpe once they reunited. As the source said, "William was madly in love with her but when he knew there was no chance of them getting together he went back to Kate … Kate accepted William back again but on the condition that he would not speak to Isabella again."
Calthorpe did score an invite to a major event a few years after her so-called fling with Prince William: an invitation to his wedding to Middleton.