POPSUGAR Celebrity

Prince William Leaves Town With Harry and a Former Flame

Feb 10 2014 - 5:05pm
Source: Ramey [1]

Prince William is in some hot water [2] over a hunting trip he took this week, but not because he was joined by former love interest Jecca Craig. The group that included the South African beauty and Prince Harry headed to Spain for the getaway, and William reportedly went hunting for wild boar hours before recording a video pleading for an end to poaching.

The wildlife appeal featuring William and Prince Charles, who is president of WWF UK, aired in the UK on Sunday night. After critics called out the bad timing, a spokesman said, "The Duke of Cambridge has for many years been a passionate advocate for endangered wildlife and has campaigned tirelessly to help stop the illegal poaching of rhino horn and elephant tusk. His track record in this area speaks for itself."

As for his love-life track record, Kate likely didn't mind a bit that William got away with Jecca while she was vacationing with Prince George in the Caribbean [3]. The prince and Jecca's relationship was the subject of much reporting when Kate first met the prince in college. William had gotten to know Jecca during a gap-year trip to Kenya. But apparently William and Jecca were ultimately meant to be just friends. Scroll down for more on that below.

Source: Getty/Max Mumby/Indigo [4]

A 2008 Vanity Fair piece reported on the Jecca and Wills backstory [5]:

In 2000, after graduating from Eton, William spent some of his gap year working in Latin America with the British charity group Raleigh International. Then he went to Kenya, where, it was rumored, he grew close to the beautiful Jessica (Jecca) Craig, daughter of Ian and Jane Craig, who run the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

The piece continued:

William had apparently had a secret crush on Jecca since the first time he met her. She was beautiful, with long blond hair, deep-blue eyes, and legs like a gazelle's.

In 2010, Vanity Fair picked up the story again [6], prior to the royal engagement. When it was reported in British papers that Jecca and William had staged a mock engagement to pledge their love to each other before William left Africa, he told his aides to deny it. But, as Vanity Fair explained, Jecca and William were still close on his 21st birthday:

The denial did little to quash the rumors of a romance, however, and as Kate raised her champagne flute to toast the birthday prince at the aptly themed Out of Africa celebration, it was Jecca who had pride of place next to William at the head table.

But by the time Prince William and Kate graduated, there was no mistaking who held his heart:

Following graduation, William traveled to New Zealand, where he represented the queen at events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and spent time with the British & Irish Lions rugby team, who were there on tour. Then he visited Jecca in Kenya, but this time he took Kate with him. He wanted her to experience the wild beauty of the country and reassure her that she had no cause to worry about Jecca. William whisked Kate off for a romantic holiday where they stayed at the £1,500-a-night, Masai-owned Il Ngwesi Lodge, in the Mukogodo Hills of central Kenya. During the day William worked on the Craig family's Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. In the evenings he and Kate would sip cocktails and dine alfresco. The post-graduation holiday had been a blissful fortnight.

And Will and Kate lived happily ever after . . . with Jecca attending the royal wedding with a boyfriend of her own.

Source: Ramey [7]

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