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Since 1st March, 1999
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Jecca on royal recce

London, June 15 (PTI): Prince William has fallen in love with a girl from Kenya and even had a “pretend engagement” with her, media reported today.

Despite living 6,400 km apart, William and 21-year-old Jessica Craig have enjoyed a secret long-distance relationship for the past two years, the Mail on Sunday reported.

This weekend, Jessica, daughter of a wealthy Kenyan conservationist, is staying with William at highgrove as he prepares for his 21st birthday party at Windsor castle where he will introduce her to the Queen. Significantly, the theme for the celebrations is “out of Africa”.

According to the report, William is also planning to return to Kenya after completing university and has told his father he is thinking of buying a home there.

Since meeting Jessica in May 2001 — his gap year — William has secretly returned on three occasions to Lewa, a remote place close to Mount Kenya, where her father, Ian, runs a safari reserve.

Jecca, as she is affectionately called by her friends, has also travelled to UK several times. Earlier this month, she attended a fundraising dinner in London in aid of the conservation charity tusk. She has also been staying at the cottage on Balmoral estate that the Queen gave her grandson as a bolthole from his studies at St Andrews University.

The Prince hinted at his plans to return to Africa when he revealed in a recent interview that he was learning Swahili.

Royal officials, however, denied reports of William’s romance, insisting they were just friends. “St James’ Palace denies that there is or ever has been any romantic liaison between Prince William and Jessica Craig,” said a spokeswoman for the office of Williams’ father, Prince Charles.

“They also ask the media to leave her and her family alone,” she added.

Prince in road rage

William was involved in a road rage incident last night as he drove home from playing in a polo match at Cirencester in Gloucestershire, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The Prince was at the wheel of his VW Golf around 5.30 pm when he overtook an elderly man driving slowly in a Land Rover Discovery. A second car containing the Prince’s royal protection officers also overtook the Land Rover.

Angry words were exchanged before the elderly driver calmed down, and the Prince continued to his home at Highgrove.

The driver of the Land Rover is understood to have taken exception and to have followed the Prince’s car, blowing his horn and swerving onto the verge until he forced the William to pull over.

The incident took place on private land, and last night police were referring all inquiries to the Palace.

"It was a minor incident and no one was hurt," said a spokesman for St James's Palace.

The incident occurred hours after Prince William took his place beside the Queen on the balcony at Buckingham Palace for the Trooping the Colour on the occasion of the Queen's official birthday.

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