People from your past sometimes have an unsettling way of popping up in your life when you least expect it.
When your circle is small, it happens more than you’d like. Sometimes, that means grinning and bearing it. You might remember when people were shocked that two of Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriends attended his royal wedding to Meghan Markle. It turns out that Prince William has been in a similar situation himself. The woman in question even has a connection to one of Harry’s exes!
Her name is Isabella Calthorpe. To Prince William, she may be the one who got away.
William reportedly found himself infatuated with the actress and friend of the royal family. Isabella didn’t feel the same, however, and turned down William’s advances, in the very early days of the prince’s relationship with Kate Middleton. Isabella was in attendance when William and Kate eventually exchanged vows, but that doesn’t mean the Duchess of Cambridge is particularly fond of her.
William and Kate are one of the most adored couples in the royal family. So many people are looking forward to the day when the two will take the throne.
Their sweet love story contributes to that, of course. William and Kate are college sweethearts who, save for a few short splits, have been together almost that entire time since.
William and Kate’s relationship first hit the public eye in 2004. But according to Marie Claire, Kate isn’t the only woman William had his eye on that year.
Enter Isabella Calthorpe, a British heiress and actress. Isabella is the daughter of Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon, banking heiress, and John Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe.
Isabella has a few ties to the royal family. She is friends with Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
Isabella is also the half-sister of Cressida Bonas, one of Harry’s most prominent ex-girlfriends. Cressida and Harry dated from 2012 until 2014.
Fans first learned of William’s crush on Isabella in royal expert Katie Nicholl’s 2010 book William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls. William reportedly visited Isabella’s family home in 2004 after she caught his eye.
According to the book, William and Kate, who had started seeing each other in late 2003 after Kate broke up with her previous boyfriend, were taking a trial break during this time. The book suggests Isabella may have been part of William’s motivation for separating from Kate.
Isabella just wasn’t that into William, however. A royal source told the Daily Mail this of the situation back in 2007: “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.”
Katie Nicholl’s book also says that Kate got word of William’s attempt and made it clear he wasn’t to contact Isabella once they got back together. It doesn’t seem that’s exactly how things worked out, however, as Isabella eventually attended William and Kate’s wedding a few years later.
Isabella went on to have a successful career as an actress in the UK. After she finished up at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 2005, she worked on stage and television.
And as far as her romantic life goes, she’s doing just fine. In 2013, Isabella tied the knot with Sam Branson. He’s the son of business mogul Sir Richard Branson.
Isabella and Sam now have two children. Daughter Eva-Deia is 4 years old, and son Bluey is 2 years old.
Isabella continues to maintain a relationship with the royal family. She attended Princess Eugenie’s wedding last October.
It seems like Kate’s purported chilliness toward Isabella has cooled off in the years since they were rivals for William’s affections! At least publicly.