Does Kate Know? Prince William ‘Tried Desperately To Woo’ American Heiress

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Aug. 16 2017, Updated 9:55 a.m. ET

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Prince William is hiding a secret romance with a dazzling blond Southern belle, can reveal in a world exclusive.

American beauty Anna Sloan Smith is heiress to a Tennessee department store fortune — and Buckingham Palace insiders claimed William’s wife, Kate, would be furious if she learned Smith’s captured his heart!

Like the British duke, Smith is 35 years old. But the two share an even stronger bond — both lost parents under tragic circumstances at a young age. As the world knows, William’s mother, Princess Diana, perished in a car crash when he was just 15. Smith was 19 when her father, a world-class steeplechase racer, died in a shooting accident on the family farm in 2001.

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During the summer of 2004, the future King of England shacked up with Smith for an entire week at her family’s 360-acre estate in Franklin, Tenn.

At the time, friends told Radar William was head over heels for the perky horse lover.

Smith now heads an interior design firm with a friend in London, but Radar tracked her down during a getaway to her family home, and asked whether she remains close to the Duke of Cambridge.

Smith nodded, blushed and confessed: “Yes, but I can’t tell you about him.”

Sources told Radar the couple first bonded when William attended St. Andrews University in Scotland and Smith was at the nearby University of Edinburgh.

At the time, William’s romance with Kate, also a St. Andrews student, was rocky.

Although Smith — and Buckingham Palace — have long insisted the pair were only good friends, the British press has reported far more passed between them.

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Even Smith’s husband, Eddie Smith — a childhood playmate of William’s — hinted as much, telling Radar: “It’s not embarrassing to discuss Anna and Will. It was just before my time. I’m sorry, but we can’t talk about it.”

An insider revealed to Radar: “William had a real soft spot for Anna and tried desperately to woo her, even making the effort to visit her in Tennessee.”

“She turned him down and he was left heartbroken, but he still wanted her in his life. He even sent her an invite to his wedding, in order to show she still means a lot to him,” continued the insider.

Kate isn’t happy about their friendship. If Anna had started dating him, Kate might never have made it down the aisle with William.”

The source added: “With Anna being American, William’s relationship with her would probably not have worked out. But who knows? Anna could be the one that got away.”

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