As their love story has been known to be told, Kate Middleton and Prince William met during college (university if you’re fancy), dated, then briefly broke up in 2007 before getting hitched in 2011. But there’s a caveat that’s usually left out of their Disney-like relationship timeline. Before the breakup, Will had a monster crush on another woman that reportedly influenced the couple’s brief separation.
Her name is Isabella Calthorpe, and she hasn’t shed a tear since turning down William’s advances more than a decade ago. The 38-year-old went on to marry the son of business magnate and Virgin founder Richard Branson. Sam Branson is a different kind of heir. They type that’s going to inherit billions of dollars when his pops either passes away or retires. Whichever comes first.
But Isabella’s pedigree isn’t too shabby. She’s the daughter of banking heiress Lady Mary Gaye Curzon and John Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, (the son of Sir Richard Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, 2nd Baronet). According to Marie Claire:
Royal expert Katie Nicholl wrote in her 2010 book William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls that William visited the Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe family home in Chelsea to see Isabella that summer and even contributed to Will and Kate’s decision to take a trial break from their relationship at that time.
Will reportedly tried very hard to woo Isabella, but was unsuccessful. She turned him down.
Doesn’t look like she’s too upset.
Back in 2007, a royal source told the Daily Mail:
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. 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.
Did we mention Isabella is an actress? She can’t let some “royal” ruin her rep. Her IMDB isn’t long, but she’s starred in a decent number of films such as How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, Night Wolf and the TV series Trinity.
You may actually be more familiar with her half-sister, Cressida Bonas, who famously dated Prince Harry from 2012 to 2014. It runs in the family! Isabella also runs with other royals. She’s BFF with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, both of whom attended her 2013 wedding.
It’s been reported the Isabella is the only woman Kate has ever really been jealous of because she knew how much William was into her. Going back to royal expert Katie Nicholl, she revealed in her book that Kate actually banned Will from contacting Isabella after their short break-up.
It was obviously the break that William needed, and by Christmas they were back together again, although Kate had a condition. Word had reached her of William’s visits to Isabella, and Kate insisted that William was not to contact her again.
But none of that shade stopped Isabella from attending Kate and Will’s royal wedding. That’s right. Just like Prince Harry’s exes (Cressida and Chelsy Davy) witnessed his vows to Meghan Markle, Isabella also watched her former suitor wed another woman.
If this isn’t a royal fairytale, nothing is.