How I "Almost" Became a Princess

Click Image to go to my CultureMap ArticleWhen I woke up this morning, the Internet was abuzz with T-Mobile's Royal Wedding Dance video. The funny clip took me back to my time spent studying at the University of St. Andrews, where, for one semester, Prince William and Kate Middleton were my schoolmates.

Why did I study abroad in Scotland? I had a theory that Scotland was the Texas of Great Britain: awesome accents, fried food, lots of cows. And I was a Texas girl with Scottish heritage; I d be right at home. It also didn't hurt that: a) I already spoke English and b) I'd get a two week spring break in Europe. Sure, a lot of American girls applied to University of St. Andrews with dreams of snagging the prince. But that wasn't my intention. It was my father's.

My dad was giddy with the prospect. It'd give him the perfect excuse to play the Scottish golf courses. And, he was desperate to have a prince for a son-in-law. If Prince William gets one look at an American blond like you Right, Dad. But I let my father dream. He had tried his best to shape me into a woman worthy of the Royal Family. He sent me off to a Ritz-Carlton Manners Weekend for Girls when I was seven. By high school, he defined all my actions as: Classy or Not Classy. Lilly Pulitzer sundress with cardigan (Classy). Boyfriend with backwards baseball cap (Not Classy). Most things fell into the latter category. But, University of St. Andrews was definitely classy.

Life at St. Andrews was fantastic and different from American college life in every way. I arranged my class schedule in order to have four-day weekends. I took golf lessons on the course where golf was invented. I was an enthusiast of Hendrick s Gin and Talisker whisky. I followed a boisterous and very naked student body into the freezing North Sea in celebration of May Day. My study abroad friends lived in St. Salvator's Hall, a gothic Harry Potter dorm where Kate and William had met two years before. When William ducked into a bar, students would text friends and the place would be packed within minutes. St. Andrews students didn t raise money for charities by selling T-shirts like we did back home. They threw full-on galas like the Kate Kennedy May Charity Ball. (Prince William was in attendance). The poshest students dressed up for class like they were in a Town & Country fashion spread. Pashminas were all the rage. Herve Chapelier totes (classy). North Face backpacks (not classy). Sneakers, or trainers, were reserved for the gym only.

And instead of throwing keg parties, students threw fancy dinner parties. I was actually invited to one. I sat next to a guy named Fergus who wore pink socks. I thought that was funny. He did not find me funny.

And yes, Fergus is invited to the Royal Wedding.