The unexpected way King Charles made sure his son Prince William met Kate Middleton - and he could never have guessed how important the ‘fatherly’ advice would be

Without some stern advice from his father, Prince William may never have met his future wife

King Charles, Prince William and Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage and Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

A new royal book has revealed the 'fatherly' advice King Charles gave his son Prince William while he was at university - and if hadn't headed his father's words of warning, William may never have met his future wife Kate Middleton.

Prince William and King Charles have always shared a close bond as father and son, even if there are some regrets the King has about the way he raised his children. But the pair rely on each other for both personal and professional support, being some of the only people in the world who understand what it means to be the heir to the throne and hold such a prominent position in the royal line of succession

We're sure they often confide in one another but a new royal book has now revealed perhaps the most important advice King Charles ever gave his son - and without his words of wisdom, Prince William may have never met his wife, Kate Middleton, whom he married back in 2011

Writing in his new book Battle of Brothers, royal author Robert Lacey takes us back to William's university days, detailing the struggle the young prince had adjusting to life in the 'small Scottish seaside town' of St Andrews. 

He writes that William "had not anticipated quite how 'boring' - his word - life in a small Scottish seaside town could be." The author claims that he spent most of his time "shopping in the local Tesco", as he avoided going out to clubs, pubs and bars where other students would fuss over him in a way that made him feel both uncomfortable and 'unhappy'. He was also reportedly not enjoying his choice of course, history of art, and made regular trips back home on the weekends during his first term to be around his family.

He was so unhappy in fact, that he even asked his dad to help him drop out of the prestigious university and transfer somewhere else. But the King's trusted aides told him that it would be a PR disaster for William to be 'seen as a quitter' and urged Charles to talk his son out of it. 

Charles's media manager, Mark Bolland, told Lacey during his research for the book, "It was no different from what many first-year students go through. We approached the whole thing as a wobble, which was entirely normal. St Andrews had a flexible course structure and when they heard that William might be happier majoring in geography, they made sure there were no roadblocks."

He added that the aides told Charles to 'demonstrate more fatherly backbone,' and convince his son to stick it out - though  a parenting expert has recently shared it's ok to let your child be a quitter and revealed how to know when quitting is ok and when to encourage a child to stick it out. Still, taking his aides' advice, Charles sat William down and had a serious chat, after which William decided to return to St Andrews and finish his course. 

We're glad that he did because, if he'd transferred to another university, William would never have met Kate Middleton who was also studying there at the time. The couple met in 2001 when they both moved into the university's St. Salvartor's Hall that same year and struck up a friendship. 

Reflecting on the time, William said his 'wobble' came from a place of worry, worry that his father thankfully calmed. "I don't think I was homesick, I was more daunted," he said as per reports in OK! Magazine. "My father was very understanding about it and realised I had the same problem he probably had. We chatted a lot, and in the end we both realised - I definitely realised - that I had to come back."

In other royal news, Carole Middleton has become a real-life ‘Mary Poppins’ says family friend as she goes the golden mile with her grandparenting duties. And Prince William and Kate Middleton likely 'sugarcoated' The Princess of Wales' cancer diagnosis for younger son Louis . Plus, the sweet way Prince George, Charlotte and Louis are helping Kate Middleton through her recovery proves they have inherited this important trait from their mum.

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.