In a revealing interview that’s set to rock the monarchy, a member of Prince William’s inner circle exposes the young royal’s darkest secrets: his flings, his loathing of royal duties and the real reason he’s stalling over marrying girlfriend Kate Middleton – he’s still in love with Jessica ‘Jecca’ Craig, the woman named as his ‘true soulmate’.
William’s long-time friend and confidante Tamara tells New Idea exclusively that the 28-year-old heir to the throne is set to repeat his father’s biggest mistake and marry the wrong woman. Just as Prince Charles wed Diana and kept his lover Camilla Parker Bowles waiting in the wings, Wills is caught in a messy love triangle between Kate and his first love, African-born Jecca, 27.
According to Tamara, Wills is in regular contact by phone, text message and email with his ex-girlfriend, who is single after calling off her engagement to British aristocrat Hugh Crossley. He’s also met with her several times in London and her native Kenya. He is ‘definitely’ still in love with her and has been since he was 19.
‘She was his first real true love and he’s not the type of person who gets over that,’ Tamara says, speaking out for the first time.
The Wills-and-Jecca love story seems to be the Charles-and-Camilla saga repeated.
‘It’s sad in a way that Kate Middleton exists, because they’d be a sweet couple,’ Tamara says. She thinks Wills would be making a huge blunder marrying Kate, because it’s obvious to his friends – and brother Prince Harry – that Jecca is ‘definitely his soulmate’.
‘Harry sees how much his brother loves her and cares about her so of course he respects her and likes her as well,’ Tamara adds. ‘[Jecca is] fairly open and incredibly nice and intelligent.’
Wills’ reluctance to propose to Kate, who he’s dated on and off since 2003, comes as no surprise to those who know about Jecca. Even less surprising is news that Jecca didn’t return to Kenya as expected after breaking up with Hugh and has lingered on in London.
Tamara believes protocol is the main thing keeping the pair apart. ‘I’m surprised they aren’t dating right now – I guess because he has to stick with Kate and Jecca has just ended her engagement,’ she says.
‘She kind of broke it off [the contact with Wills] for a while, especially when she was engaged. I think she was expecting him to get engaged soon and she didn’t want to be looped in with the marriage and become a Camilla sort of thing. And of course she thought she’d be getting married.
‘But when [Jecca and Hugh] broke up, a lot of people said: “Well now that she’s free, maybe William will make a move.”
‘About two weeks ago I was in discussion with [a mutual friend] who says Jecca isn’t really keen on taking up a job in London because it’ll be too much publicity, too much of a temptation. And of course William can’t exactly move to Africa.’
In the UK, Jecca is often jokingly called Wills’ ‘former fiancee’ – a reference to a ‘pretend engagement’ game they played when he stayed at her parents’ Lewa wildlife reserve during his 2001 gap year. British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported it was ‘an open secret he had a fairly serious fling’ with Jecca.
When speculation about the relationship heated up in 2003, royal minders took the unusual step of issuing a formal statement insisting the pair had never dated. The palace had never done this for other rumours and the media concluded Wills wanted to protect Jecca from public scrutiny. Shortly after, she was Wills’ guest of honour at his African-themed 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle.