Royal ultimatum: Where Kate drew line with William exposed

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrated nine years of marriage at the end of last month, after their unforgettable 2011 royal wedding. Now the proud parents of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, Prince William and Kate seem happily settled in family life, and in their senior royal duties. However, when the couple were dating they faced a rocky patch  in 2004 when they were about to finish university and leave their carefree student days behind them. 

Veteran royal editor Robert Jobson, in his 2006 book “William’s Princess” takes a look at the early days of the royal pair’s romance – and how Kate’s patience was tested on one key issue with William.

Mr Jobson writes how Kate was level-headed as she faced the relationship crisis.

He writes: “She played it cool.

“She gave him the time and space he wanted, but she put her foot down just enough and no more.”

He adds: “She was naturally upset and fearful that William was trying to extricate himself from the relationship, but she is said to have told him that she valued his friendship so highly that she was prepared to accept his rather unreasonable terms.

”She was even said to have considered quitting their shared student house in an effort to embrace William’s expressed need for time and space.”

However, Kate had a firm boundary, where she definitively drew the line with William.

Mr Jobson continues: “It all seemed terribly grown up and reasonable. But others sensed that William’s protestations of feeling trapped, of wanting to focus on exams and of increasingly regarding Kate as a friend, told only half the story.

“Equally, Kate’s surprising tolerance went only part of the way towards explaining the real situation.

“According to some there was another topic up for debate – Jecca Craig.”

The author goes on: “Among William’s travel plans [after finals] was a trip to Kenya to visit Jecca on her parents’ wildlife reserve in the foothills of Mount Kenya.

“The enigmatic and beautiful Miss Craig was always a bone of contention for Kate.

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“She did not want to appear desperate, but nor was she about to allow William to walk all over her – or to walk away from her.

“Everybody has their limit when it comes to tolerance and understanding: Kate’s seemed to stretch as far as Jecca.

“After a volatile debate, William scrapped his plans to return to Kenya.”

However, the Craig family’s Kenyan reserve would be the scene of much happier memories for Kate some years later.

William took her to stay at Lewa Downs in 2010, and it was on a romantic excursion from the reserve into the remote foothills that he finally asked Kate to marry him.

Conservationist Jecca was a guest at the pair’s royal wedding in 2011, and married her husband Jonathan Baillie at Lewa in 2016.

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