Is Lola Based on Prince William’s Real Girlfriend? Where is She Now?

The second half of the final season of ‘The Crown’ focuses on the romance between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Having recently lost his mother, William finds himself at the center of a spotlight that shines almost as brightly as it did on his mother. This popularity comes mainly from the young women who see him as “Prince Charming.” William doesn’t enjoy this attention, but he does enjoy it when it comes from specific people. In the Netflix series, we see William dating a girl named Lola, which is also when his friendship with Kate starts to evolve, and he wonders if it could be something more. Eventually, the focus turns entirely towards William and Kate, but it does leave the audience wondering who was Lola and what became of her.

Lola Airdale-Cavendish-Kincaid is Based on Prince William’s Real Ex

The name “Lola” in the series is fictional, but the character is based on William’s real-life ex-girlfriend, Carly Massy-Birch. Hailing from Devon, her parents ran a farm and a camping park in Axminster. She met Prince William in 2001 at St. Andrews where she was studying English and creative writing and was one year above the prince. Their meeting took place during an audition for the play ‘Franny and Zooey’ by JD Salinger.

Reportedly, William and Carly got involved with each other pretty quickly and were in a relationship for about six to eight weeks, during which she is said to have made a lot of pasta for him during their dinner dates. As shown in the Netflix series, this was also around the time that William and Kate had become friends and were getting romantically interested in each other. Soon after, William and Carly split up during Raisin Weekend, which is also briefly portrayed on the screen.

It is also rumored that the close timing of William dating Carly and Kate led to bitterness between the two women. According to an incident mentioned in Katie Nicholl’s ‘The Making of a Royal Romance,’ it was Carly who outed William and Kate as a couple when they had recently gotten together and were still keeping their relationship a secret. Apparently, during a dinner party with friends, which was attended by William, Kate and Carly, they played the “Never Have I Ever” game. On her turn, Carly is said to have said something like, “Never have I ever dated two people in this room.” This was a direct reference to William, who everyone knew had been with Carly.

As suspected by others, the second relationship he had was with Kate. Whatever doubt remained about it was erased when William “shot a thunderous look” at Carly, and it all but confirmed his relationship status, which was the first time to have been confirmed for the public. It is also alleged that Kate didn’t like Carly very much and is once said to have spoken that her presence was “grating.” William’s ex lived quite close to him, which isn’t something that Kate liked very much.

Despite the drama surrounding William, Kate, and Carly, none of the parties have ever publicly addressed the issue or spoken about any kind of animosity towards each other. In fact, people close to Carly have claimed that she and the now-Princess of Wales had been on good terms even after William and Kate got together.

Where is Carly Massy-Birch Today?

Unlike her ex-boyfriend, who remains a public figure and is continuously in the spotlight, Carly Massy-Birch has receded into a private life and stayed away from the media frenzy that surrounded her when she was dating Prince William. Nothing much is known about her current life, but it is believed that she is married now and resides somewhere in France. Considering that she has never appeared beside the royals and wasn’t present at their wedding, it’s safe to say that she is not in touch with William and Kate anymore.

While Carly doesn’t indulge in interviews and has not been public about her affairs, she did talk with author Katie Nicholl. Calling herself “a real country bumpkin,” she said: “[St. Andrews is] such a small place that it was impossible not to bump into William, and after a while, there was nothing weird about seeing him around. We got on well, but I think we would have got on well even if nothing had been going on romantically. It was very much a university thing, just a regular university romance.” The Netflix series seems to have picked up on this and refrains from featuring any unnecessary drama surrounding her and William.

Read More: The Crown: Did Prince William Really Go Missing?