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‘The Crown’ season 6 shows Prince William and Kate Middleton’s relationships before they got together. Here’s what you need to know about their real-life exes.

The beginnings of Kate Middleton and Prince William's romance is depicted in season six of "The Crown" — including their relationships with other people.The beginnings of Kate Middleton and Prince William’s romance is depicted in season six of “The Crown” — including their relationships with other people.

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  • The second part of “The Crown” season six shifts focus to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s university romance.
  • The two began a relationship while they were both students at St. Andrews University in the early 2000s.
  • However, as shown in the drama, they dated other people before getting together.

The final batch of episodes of “The Crown” shifts focus to the next generation of royals, namely the future heir to the throne, Prince William.

Following the tragic death of Princess Diana in part one, the second part spends two episodes on the prince’s time at university in Scotland, and the beginnings of his romance with his future wife, Kate Middleton.

These episodes take on a sort of rom-com narrative as, despite fancying each other very much, Kate and Wills can’t get their timings quite right and whenever one is ready to make a move, the other is dating someone else.

In “The Crown,” Prince William (Ed McVey) is shown to initially have some trouble getting to know girls at university. It’s only after his younger brother Harry’s (Luther Ford) encouragement that he makes a move on a girl at a house party and they begin dating.

Prince William is shown to be dating a student named Lola (Honor Swinton Byrne).Prince William (Ed McVey) is shown to be dating a student named Lola (Honor Swinton Byrne).


On the show, the fictional character Lola Airedale-Cavendish-Kinkade (Honor Swinton Byrne) and William’s romance quickly fizzled out when she realized that William was “bracing and outdoorsy.”

In real life, Prince William reportedly had several girlfriends before Kate Middleton

In real life, William reportedly had several girlfriends at university before he began dating Kate (and a few more before he started university) and it seems that Lola may be inspired by a few people, rather than just one.

According to an article published Saturday by Tatler, the prince dated a student of Edinburgh University in his wider friendship group named Olivia Hunt. Despite calling things off, she remained on good terms with William and was even invited to his and Kate’s 2011 nuptials.

William also reportedly dated Carly Massy-Birch while at St. Andrews and it seems possible that the character of Lola was in some ways based on her. In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2010, she said that she and William crossed paths through the “general St. Andrews melee.”

She told the outlet their relationship was “a regular university romance” and recalled how they spent their time drinking pints of cider at pubs, playing board games with friends, and going to dinner parties.

William’s fictional girlfriend on the show and her humorously long and hyphenated name could also be a nod toward one of his other famous exes, Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe. However, she didn’t come onto the scene until 2004 when William and Kate briefly broke up, according to a 2020 report by Marie Claire.

Kate’s boyfriend on the show is named Finchey — and it’s very likely he’s based on Kate’s most famous ex

While William is dating Lola, Kate (Meg Bellamy) embarks on a romance with another student too: a law student named Finchy (Oli Green). When Kate invites him to dinner with her family during the Christmas holidays, she tells her mom (Eve Best) that things are “quite” serious between them.

Per Tatler, Finchy is very likely based on Kate’s first boyfriend, Rupert Finch, a fourth-year student whom she met in her first year of university. The couple reportedly met as students in the St. Andrews’ residence halls and dated for under a year.

Kate Middleton (Meg Bellamy) and her university boyfriend, Finchy (Oli Green).Kate Middleton (Meg Bellamy) and her university boyfriend, Finchy (Oli Green).


According to a 2010 report by Vanity Fair, Kate was still dating the aspiring lawyer the night of the famed university fashion show where William and Kate connected and almost shared their first kiss.

While it’s not known how things ended between Kate and Rupert, it seems they eventually became good friends. When Kate and William wed in 2011, he was among the revelers and they in turn attended his nuptials two years later to Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs, per Tatler.

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