The Cruel Nickname Kate Middleton Got When She Started Dating Prince William

It's no secret that members of the British royal family — subject to some of the most intense scrutiny in public life — have been the victims of numerous campaigns of harassment and name-calling. Although it may be Prince Harry's wife, Meghan Markle, who has borne the brunt of this vitriol in recent years, Kate Middleton had to endure her fair share of negative sentiment in the beginning, when she first started dating Prince William

Although William, Prince of Wales, and Kate, Princess of Wales, may be highly-regarded and very popular amongst the public today — even considered by some to be a prime example of a modern-day "fairytale" — there were reportedly people in higher circles who at first were disappointed at the prince's choice in girlfriend. Allegedly, it was members of the aristocracy who bestowed upon Kate a cruel nickname in the early years of her relationship with William, one which proved to not age well.

Kate and Pippa Middleton were nicknamed The Wisteria Sisters

When Prince William and Kate Middleton first met in 2001 and began dating the following year, some people in royal circles looked upon their relationship cynically, and even gave Kate a cruel nickname to boot.

According to Express, Kate, and by extension her sister Pippa Middleton, who is a little under two years her junior, were originally referred to as the "Wisteria Sisters" by members of the British aristocracy. "Wisteria" refers to the flower, also known as a "climbing plant" — a crude reference to the idea that the Middleton sisters were, in essence, social climbers, and that Kate was only dating William for the enhanced prestige. A source close to William's inner circle told the Daily Mail in 2007, around the time of Kate and William's headline-garnering break-up, that the nickname grew out of a perception that the sisters were "highly decorative, terribly fragrant, and have a ferocious ability to climb."

Prince William's friends were among Kate Middleton's detractors

Apparently, it wasn't all stodgy old members of the aristocracy who referred to Kate and Pippa Middleton as the "Wisteria Sisters." According to Yahoo!, among the people who used this cruel nickname were Prince William's friends, who allegedly thought little of his girlfriend at the time. Furthermore, the media soon caught on to this phrase and started using it themselves.

It's worth mentioning that it was not even Kate who originally sought William out, but the other way around. According to ABC News, Kate, Princess of Wales, was originally dating someone else — "a fourth-year student" by the name of Rupert Finch — when she first caught William's eye in 2001. It wasn't until a student fashion show in 2002, after she was single, that William, Prince of Wales, finally made a move on her. Apparently, when Kate arrived at the event in a tantalizing and see-through dress, William turned to his friend and said, "Wow, Kate's hot!" Later that night, William reportedly made his move and kissed her for the first time, thus beginning their relationship. 

In the end, Kate may have made her way up the social ladder, but there's no doubt she's proven that there's more to her relationship with the prince than that. A relationship that turned out to endure much longer than any skeptic originally thought.