Can College Love Make It in the Real World? Just like KATE Middleton, Rosie Green Met Her 'For Ever' Man at University - but Real Life Soon Got in the Way of the Fairy Tale

Article excerpt

In all the brouhaha that has surrounded the announcement of Prince William's engagement to Kate Middleton, it's the snatched glimpses of their college days that most resonate with me.

Just like them, my very own 'for ever' relationship started in the cider-soaked haze of the first term of university, and just like them it survived the transition into the real world and almost a decade of opposing pressures to play the field/get married immediately. Imagining them pink-cheeked and clutching their lecture notes across their fleecy chests transports me back to 1992, to freshers' week and the day I met the man who was to be my husband.

There was no thunderbolt. No racing heart. Instead, across the college bar, I caught my first glimpse of him. I took in the alpha-male good looks, the first XV rugby shirt and the braying mates and decided he was exactly the sort of person I did not want to associate with. Ever. My friend, on the other hand, was transfixed. They got it on. And then they split up. She hated him. Ergo I hated him. Easy.

Except. Except... Turns out he wasn't that person. Yes, he was a permanent fixture in the union bar, downing flaming sambucas that had been meted out as a 'punishment' by his mates, and his cheesy CD collection made me weep with embarrassment. But he was kind and strong; quietly self-assured and morally upstanding. For his part he seemed unperturbed by my too-cool-for-school facade and naive political rants. Plus he liked my legs in hot pants.

Like William and Kate, we went out with each other throughout university. We were as goofy and innocent as their snapshots show them to be. He loved me for who I was then: the girl who still wore Snoopy knickers and thought a Pot Noodle was a rounded meal.

Like Kate, I was in the college fashion show, wearing an outfit equally dubious, with similarly hideous hair and make-up (those plaits, that eyeshadow!) with my friends cheering on from the front row.

We survived the move to London, living almost separate lives. He got a job in a bank and saved money for a deposit by renting the utility room of his friend's house, sleeping with his toes poking out past the door. I got a longed-for job on a fashion magazine and danced through the Britpop days with an abundance of Champagne and borrowed designer dresses. …