EntertainmentThe one that got away: William's unrequited interest in Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe

The one that got away: William's unrequited interest in Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe

Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe rejected the advances of William.
Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe rejected the advances of William.
Images source: © Getty Images

7:33 AM EST, November 7, 2023

It might seem hard to believe, but there was a time when Prince William, the charming heir to the British throne, was rejected by a woman he was interested in. This happened during a break in his relationship with Kate, and the woman in question was the stunning Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe.

Today, Kate and William are seen as a well-aligned and admirable couple. Many fans of the British monarchy see the son of Charles III and Princess Diana as the next in line to the throne. It's challenging to imagine that they've had ups and downs in their relationship, especially given their polished public image.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met in 2001 at the University of St Andrews. As William struggled to dissuade his many admirers, Kate, being his friend, started acting like his girlfriend to help ward them off. Gradually, a real romantic relationship developed between them.

A couple of years down the line, their relationship hit a rough patch. In 2007, William decided to end things with Kate. The British tabloids simultaneously reported another severe crisis in 2004. Following these events, a lady entered the prince's life who caught his uninhibited attention. However, it turns out that Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe did not reciprocate his affections.

The woman who resisted William's charm

Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe comes from a wealthy and influential aristocratic family, being the daughter of the banking heiress, Lady Mary Gaye Curzon, and Baron John Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe. Her half-sister, Cressidy Bones, was among Prince William's close acquaintances and even dated Prince Harry.

Isabella and William's paths crossed in 2004 during a trip to Greece. The attractive blonde was more than a socialite and heiress to a real estate and banking fortune; she was also an emerging actress. In 2005, she graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Polish viewers may recognize her from films "The Queen of the Stage", "How to Lose Friends & Alienate People", and the series "Trinity".

Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, 2007.
Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, 2007.© Getty Images | Jorge Herrera

As Tina Brown stated in her book "The Palace Papers", "William was captivated by her, but Isabella, blessed with beauty and high birth, did not find the role of his girlfriend sufficiently appealing".

In March 2013, Isabella married Sam Branson, a director, and son of business mogul Sir Richard Branson. The couple wed in a private ceremony on a family-owned safari estate near the Kruger National Park in South Africa, with Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie among the guests.

Together with her husband Sam, Isabella regularly takes part in charity events on behalf of the Big Change Charity organization, co-founded by Princess Beatrice.

  • Guy Ritchie, Arthur Landon and Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe at the wedding of William and Kate.
  • Guy Ritchie, Arthur Landon, and Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe at William and Kate's wedding.
  • Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe and Sam Branson at Princess Eugenie's wedding.
  • Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, 2016.
[1/4] Guy Ritchie, Arthur Landon and Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe at the wedding of William and Kate.Images source: © Getty Images | Jasper Juinen
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