Britney Spears at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland in 2001.

Prince William & Britney Spears Reportedly Had A Romance Over…Email?

Would not have guessed this one.

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Of course Britney Spears, ever the trendsetter, tried online dating years before the rest of us did. And her e-love interest was reportedly… Prince William? “[William and Britney] tried to get together back when they were young, and he also had a similar kind of cyber relationship with Lauren Bush, the model and the niece of President [George W.] Bush,” author and royal expert Christopher Andersen claimed to Us Weekly on Nov. 30.

He didn’t elaborate on what their relationship entailed, exactly, aside from the fact that they never met IRL. “There may have been phone conversations, but I don’t recall that they ever actually managed to get together during that period,” Andersen added.

Years ago, Britney admitted to emailing the prince, but claimed things never got serious. “Oh, it was just like, all blown out of proportion,” she told ITV1's Frank Skinner in 2002. “We exchanged emails for a little bit and he was supposed to come and see me somewhere, but it didn't work out.” Is it possible that the royal inspired her divisive 1999 song “Email My Heart”? (For the record, he didn’t — the track was written by Eric Foster White, who told Slate in 2019 that he regrets ever writing it.)

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William didn’t have too many publicized relationships before he met now-wife Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. In 2000, he dated his childhood friend Rose Farquhar; later that same year, he was linked to environmental conservationist Jecca Craig. While at St. Andrews University, William dated Olivia Hunt before starting up a relationship with Middleton in 2003.

Spears, meanwhile, has a much more public romantic history. At the time of her cyber-friendship with William, she was dating Justin Timberlake, but the two called it quits in 2002. He then came under fire for revealing inappropriate and personal information about their sex life, and nearly two decades later, apologized and shared his support for Spears amid her conservatorship battle. Today, Spears and Timberlake are on great terms, and Spears is happily engaged to Sam Asghari. It seems like everything definitely worked out for the best — Spears already dealt with enough scrutiny as a non-royal — but still, I’d kind of love to read those emails.