Strange Things About William & Kate's Marriage

We're always eager for more news about the royal family, largely because they're so hard to know. The family famously operates with a "never complain, never explain" motto, which means they're not prone to spill secrets like we're used to from other high-profile figures. Thanks to the star power of Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, we're even more invested in gleaning what details we can about their lives. Thankfully, they are active enough in the public sphere that we can get a pretty solid look at their personalities and their ways of interacting with each other and the public.

As the modern face of the royal family, Catherine and William have also made themselves more transparent than their predecessors. For example, the late Queen Elizabeth II only gave one interview during her lifetime, whereas William and Catherine have often spoken to journalists, joined podcast hosts, and more. During these sit-downs, the royal couple has been refreshingly honest about their relationship. However, there are a few unusual — not all bad — things about their marriage. Some are cute and quirky, while others are, well, just downright weird.

They invited their exes to their wedding

When it came time to plan the guest list for their royal wedding, Prince William and Princess Catherine decided to invite their exes. Mind you, there were 1,900 people in attendance, so it wasn't exactly an intimate event. Nevertheless, Buckingham Palace confirmed to People that William's invited exes included Arabella Musgrave, Jecca Craig, Olivia Hunt, and Carly Massy-Birch, and Catherine's included two casual exes. 

William and Musgrave briefly dated back in 2001, while William and Craig initially met before that, in 2000, when he was staying at her parents' ranch in Kenya. Allegedly, William's continued friendship with Jecca caused contention in his relationship with Catherine. As for Olivia Hunt, she and William dated during his early days at the University of St. Andrews, but she remained close with both William and Catherine. William also briefly dated Massy-Birch while studying at the university.

On Catherine's side, Rupert Finch, a lawyer whom the princess met at St. Andrews and briefly dated during her early time there, made the guest list. She also invited William Marks, whom she met and dated while at Marlborough College. Interstingly, William and Catherine have jointly attended many of their exes' weddings, too.

Wearing a wedding band apparently isn't Prince William's thing

Prince William famously does not wear a wedding band. However, Catherine, Princess of Wales, wears the iconic sapphire and diamond ring that formerly belonged to Princess Diana. In addition, she wears an 18-karat wedding band of Welsh gold. William has apparently opted out due to personal preference. Royal biographer Penny Junor told Vogue in 2017, "He doesn't like jewelry, and the Palace issued a statement before their wedding saying so."

While it is not uncommon for aristocratic English men to forgo a wedding band, other men in his family have made different choices. Notably, King Charles III wears a wedding band on the pinkie finger of his left hand tucked under his signet ring. Meanwhile, Prince Harry went with the more common tradition of wearing a wedding band on his ring finger when he married Meghan Markle. 

According to a palace insider, this was something William and Catherine talked about ahead of their wedding. "It was something the couple discussed but Prince William isn't one for jewellery – he doesn't even wear a signet ring — and decided he didn't want to," one St James's Palace aide told the Daily Mail. "It really is just down to personal preference." It is just not William's style, apparently.

Princess Catherine spent a lot of time 'isolated' in the early years of her marriage

Catherine, Princess of Wales, and Prince William moved to the island of Anglesey, in Wales in 2011, shortly after their wedding, and lived there until 2013. It was here that they brought home their first child, Prince George, who was born on July 22, 2013. The couple lived here because William was working with the Royal Air Force. This job sometimes kept him away from home for long stretches at a time, even overnight. This meant that Catherine was often home alone with her little one, and it led to feelings of loneliness and isolation. 

Years later, in 2020, Catherine visited the Ely and Careau Children's Centre in Cardiff, Wales, and shared her support for a space like that for parents. She would have loved one in the early years of her motherhood. "It's nice to be back in Wales," Catherine said at the center, as People reported. "I was chatting to some of the mums. It was the first year and I'd just had George — William was still working with search and rescue — and we came up here and I had a tiny, tiny baby in the middle of Anglesey. It was so isolated, so cut off. I didn't have any family around, and he was doing night shifts. So ... if only I had had a center like this." 

They are extremely competitive

Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, are actually quite competitive with each other. As they're both athletic and active, they tend to vie for power as soon as the running shoes come on. Along with the Princess Royal, the couple sat down for an episode of the podcast "The Good, The Bad & The Rugby," hosted by former rugby players Mike Tindall (husband of Zara Tindall, daughter of Princess Anne), James Haskell, and Alex Payne. 

The podcasters addressed Catherine and William, saying, "I'm not going to lie ... but Mike has made out both of you are super, super competitive, a bit like Monica and Chandler from Friends, and if you guys play table tennis it will go on for hours and hours, and be like double or quits." Catherine admitted that when she and William play tennis, they can't seem to stop. "I don't think we've managed to finish a game of tennis, the two of us," she said. "It becomes a mental challenge between the two of us." William admitted that the focus becomes who can "out-mental" the other.

Their response (or lack thereof) to those affair rumors

The royal couple has had to navigate plenty of affair rumors; however, they've oddly chosen to ignore them. In 2019, speculation broke out online that Prince William had been in an affair with Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley, who is married to David Rocksavage, the Marquess of Cholmondeley. The two couples became friends when living in Norfolk.

However, in 2019, The Sun reported that Catherine and Rose had ended their friendship. Naturally, this ramped up the speculation over marital infidelity. Buckingham Palace never issued a statement on the gossip. An insider source did tell Us Weekly, though, that "Kate finds the rumors hurtful, obviously, and hates the thought that one day her children will be able to read about them online." 

It does seem to be water under the bridge at this point. The Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley attended the memorial service for Prince Philip in March 2022 at Westminster Abbey. What's more is that in August 2023, Catherine attended a music festival, Houghton Festival, on the Cholmondeley's estate, near their home Houghton Hall. According to the Daily Mail, Catherine and Rose went together.

Prince William allegedly has temper tantrums that Catherine has to quell

Allegedly, Prince William has a bit of a temper, and this is something that Catherine, Princess of Wales, tries to tone down. In his book "Gilded Youth: An Intimate History of Growing Up in the Royal Family," royal biographer Tom Quinn writes about this dynamic. "Kate is very much the calm one," he divulged (via Marie Claire). "William is the one who's a bit hotheaded. We see an example of that in Harry's book. ... But Kate is very level-headed. She's the one who will pour oil on troubled waters and go, 'Let's not stir things up.'"

While Catherine does try to keep things level and peaceful, the couple can still have the odd fight. "Of course, privately, William and Kate, like all couples, fall out, row, shout at each other and say unkind things to each other, but Kate is an appeaser by instinct and William always gives way as he had more than enough emotional turmoil, divorce and disruption as a child," Quinn went on. "He hates confrontation."

When interviewed by Fox News Digital, Quinn added that their fights are extra tense because there are so many outsiders around them, and William and Catherine rarely get time alone. "Because the big stress for William and Kate is that they're constantly surrounded by [palace aides]," Quinn explained. "It's like a Jane Austen novel." It certainly sounds like a trying situation. 

Their body language shows much more tension as they've climbed the royal ranks

As Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, have climbed the royal ranks, they've had to deal with much more pressure. Body language expert Patti Wood analyzed several photos of the couple, spanning over a decade from their early years of dating to well into their lives as senior working royals. As Wood noted to Insider, there is an affectionate playfulness between William and Catherine in the photos from 2003 to 2014. They appear harmonious and proud to be with each other. However, Wood noted that after the birth of their third child, Prince Louis, in 2018, a shift occurred between the two.

"William's hand should be wrapped more around her, and the typical placement of his fingers is not there," Wood said of a photo of the couple introducing Prince Louis to the world. "He leans in, but not fully with his body. His silhouette is straight up and down. They are looking at the baby, but not leaning in as a couple — there's a slight angle." 

In later photos, Wood noted a distinct tension coming from both William and Catherine. "His chin is pointed up slightly, and there's a lot of tension in his jaw, which shows a suppression of anger," Wood said of an image of the couple at the Chelsea Flower Show. "His upper body is leaning back slightly, away from her." The theory behind this tension is apparently the mutual stress of their work as senior royals and the pressure of constantly being in the public eye. They've had to step up as working royals, and it has taken its toll. 

Their nicknames for each other aren't exactly the kindest

Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, have some funny nicknames for each other that also have a little dig to them. Royal biographer Tom Quinn wrote in "Gilded Youth: An Intimate History of Growing Up in the Royal Family" that William and Catherine have both affectionate appellations as well as salty ones (via Marie Claire). Catherine calls William "babe" but she also occasionally calls him "baldy." Very early on in their courtship, Catherine allegedly called him "Big Willy," but it seems like "baldy" has become the term that's stuck around. 

Meanwhile, William calls Catherine "Babykins" but also "Duchess of Doolittle," a nickname that came from the late Queen Elizabeth II's worry that Catherine didn't have a real career before marrying William. According to the 2011 book "The Making of a Royal Romance" by Katie Nicholl, this was a real issue for the late queen. "Privately she (the Queen) had grave concerns and believed that Kate needed to have a job and an identity in her own right before an engagement was announced," Nicholl wrote (via Daily Mail). While the job problem has since become a non-issue, her nickname appears to have stuck.

They famously refrain from PDAs

Famously, Prince William and Princess Catherine don't show much physical affection in public. We rarely see the couple holding hands, and hugs and kisses are even more rare. This came into much starker contrast when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were photographed at royal events showing much more PDAs than audiences had been used to seeing.

Royal etiquette expert Myka Meier spoke to People about the lack of PDA from William and Catherine and explained that it is not coldness or aloofness — nor is it protocol. "There is no actual etiquette or royal protocol that says the couple must refrain from PDA," Meier said. Referencing one of their official trips, she went on: "The likely reasoning is more that while traveling on a tour such as the India trip, technically the couple are working representatives of British Monarchy. The couple are likely to show very little PDA, if any, to remain professional during their designated roles abroad." It all comes down to professionalism and personal preference. 

Although their lack of PDsA may be unusual, it is a smart plan, according to body language expert Judi James. As she told Express, "[One] reason the subtler PDAs are a wise idea is that it bullet proofs the royal body language. Intense affection is great but what if, like all couples, they fall out, argue or go through a bad patch behind the scenes?" If William and Catherine were to lovey-dovey one day and distant the next, that would likely stand out as even more strange.

The two have reportedly had big fights about Harry and Meghan

Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, have faced some internal conflict over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. In Harry's book "Spare," he criticized many in the royal family, including Catherine, and she reportedly felt hurt that William and Buckingham Palace didn't go to bat for her. "Kate felt William should stick up for her more," a palace insider told Radar Online. "Yet William and the palace thought that saying nothing was best." According to the source, they fought about the subject. 

Later, when rumors broke that Harry was hopeful for a reconciliation with William and his family, it was Catherine who was irate about it. "When William told Kate he wants to bury the hatchet with Harry, she was incensed, and she and William got into a big fight," an insider told Life & Style. "She'll never forgive Meghan for what she did." So it is reportedly Catherine who's putting on the brakes there. 

Prince William was caught on camera treating Catherine like a 'naughty child'

In June 2023, Prince William and Princess Catherine traveled to Jordan for the wedding of Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II and architect Rajwa Alseif. While greeting the new couple, William finished greeting the couple and waited off to the side for Catherine to finish exchanging pleasantries. However, as the two women continued talking, William made a motion with his hands to hurry things up and then could be heard saying "chop chop" to Catherine. 

While some felt that this was typical behavior between spouses, others felt as though William was being rude to his wife. Body language expert Judi James found the incident unfortunate and felt that William was very boorish. "This is not one of his finest moments when it comes to either body language or words," James told Express. James also noted that the guest behind Catherine was still very immersed in a conversation with the groom, so no one was waiting. The body language expert was also happy to observe that Catherine didn't pay any attention to William's antics and finished her conversation with the bride. "But it has to be said that his behaviour is overly dominant here, with his critical parent behaviour putting her firmly in the implied role of naughty child," James added. It was certainly an awkward scene to witness.