The Prince of Wales enjoyed his formative years studying at the University of St Andrews, where he coincidentally met his future wife Kate. And during those four years in Scotland, "inappropriate" stories about the future King were never leaked to the press.
Dr Brian Lang was the Principal and Vice Chancellor of the university during William's time there, and speaking exclusively to HELLO!, he explained how the university had an agreement with the press, so that William could go about enjoying his time like any other student.
"Andrew Neil, the Lord Rector of the university, being a very experienced newspaper man, helped us negotiate a deal with the British press, whereupon they would leave William alone in return for a photo opportunity once a semester," Dr Lang said. "And on the whole, that worked."
The Principal also emphasized the importance of privacy of information to all students.
"One thing that I did as soon as we knew that William was going to be a student, was to warn the student body that we expected them to respect privacy of information," Dr Lang said.
"So, I made it quite clear to the students by doing an interview to the student newspaper, in which I made it quite clear that we would take a very, very dim view of any inappropriate information being passed on. Not just about William, but about any other student.
"This was not just a privacy issue for William, but for his fellow students as well. The privacy warning and the privacy injunctions were applied to the whole student body. We needed to take care of the privacy of all of the students, all of the staff, as well as William, and again on the whole that worked."
Dr Lang continued: "After William had gone, a newspaper editor told me that he was astonished by just how disciplined and how secure the student body had been during William's time. They behaved extremely well.
"I think that says a great deal for the student body and staff of St Andrews that nothing inappropriate, nothing significant, was passed on."
A royal education
Rumour has it that students were offered – "not by UK newspapers but by overseas newspapers," Dr Lang said – £3,000 for a story about William.
"Now that's a lot for an undergraduate," the Principal said. "The story also is that none of these offers were accepted. I don't know whether that's true, but it shows the excellent behaviour of the students during that period."
Helen Davies, editor of the 2024 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, also shared that the location of St Andrews was a likely factor contributing to William – and Kate's – privacy.
"Security will always be a concern," Davies told HELLO! "Going to a campus university in the centre of London might have been quite tricky. But somewhere in Scotland, slightly further away from the limelight that is much harder to get to… It's located almost out on a limb.
"I think in choosing a smaller university like that, they had a greater chance of enjoying a student experience like everyone else. They're not on parade as such."
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