Prince William used a fake name at university, with Kate using it in public too
Royal Editor Russell Myers on Prince William and Kate’s popularity
From the day he was born, Prince William’s face was known around the world.
The future King’s image has been beamed across the world, from images of his mother cradling him hours after his birth, to pictures of him standing on the balcony at Buckingham Palace when he was just four years old, to pictures of him and Prince Harry walking solemnly behind their mother’s coffin.
Yet when he went to university, Prince William wanted to have as normal a life as possible — and to this end, he sought to conceal his royal heritage and hide his identity from his fellow students.
When he went to study at St Andrews in Scotland in 2001, the media agreed that he would be able to go about his days without constant attention.
But the now-40-year-old sought to add an extra layer of privacy by using a fake name as a student when among his university peer group, including during his courtship with then-Kate Middleton.
Although when he registered at St Andrews to study geography, he went by the name “William Windsor”, according to the Mirror, The Prince of Wales chose an unsuspecting, simple name that was used among his friends and classmates: “Steve”.
It is believed that Kate, Princess of Wales, called her royal boyfriend Steve too when they were in public, as she was within the heir to the throne’s circle of friends before they began dating.
The pair first laid eyes on each other in the dorm hallway at the university and then became friends, moving into a shared house as roommates in their second year in the autumn of 2002.
It appears that the use of the name “Steve” and the media backing off worked to some extent, as he told AP in a rare interview at university in 2004 that he had been given a level of privacy while studying.
He said: “It has been three and half years where I’ve been very independent and been left alone to study to do my own thing.
“People say that it is impossible to do your own thing but actually, up here, and with the media out of it, it’s amazing how people get on with their lives and not bother you.”
Although occasionally when out and about he would be recognised, with the prince revealing a young girl once proposed to him in the street.
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However, an older lady did not appear to recognise who she was speaking to as the Prince said she asked him where to buy underwear, something he joked that he could not help with.
It seems “Steve” is not the only surprising name Kate has called William when they were studying at university.
The Princess of Wales would also call the future King “Big Willy”, according to the Mirror. But William is not the only one to have had odd nicknames in the past.
Kate was infamously called “Doors to Manual” allegedly by her now husband’s aristocratic friends who were making a dig at her mother’s former profession working as an airline hostess.
Not only that but it is reported that William also teases her and jokingly calls her Duchess of Dolittle, said to be a reference to the late Queen commenting on Kate’s career.
But Kate is said to dish out the banter too as she calls him “baldy”, particularly when he fusses over her long locks.
Nicknames are common in the Royal Family with William fondly being called “Wombat” by his mother from a young age.
A royal insider explained to the Sun that names help take the “family tension” out of things. They continued: “They can also be a rather playful family. They love to play games and they give each other silly presents.
“I think it’s because they have to be so earnest in their public lives. Royals have always played in private. It’s done with affection usually and there are grains of truth about what one feels about another.”
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