The internet has recently been in disbelief after learning about “the other Prince William,” who tragically died in a plane crash.
He was born Prince William Henry Andrew Frederick on December 18, 1941, to Prince Henry and Princess Alice, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
At the time of his birth, Prince William was fourth in line to the British throne and a page boy at then-Princess Elizabeth’s wedding in 1947.
The grandson of King George V and the nephew of two other monarchs, Edward VIII and George VI, Prince William would have one day inherited his father’s title.
But his life was cut short when he was killed in a plane crash in 1972 at the age of 30 years old.
The impact of his untimely death is said to have had a great effect on his cousin, Prince Charles, who would later name his firstborn son William.
A clip summarizing the prince’s short life was shared on TikTok by Sarah Lalor under the account @history_withsarah last week. The video has so far amassed over 1.3 million views.
The on-screen text says: “The tragic love story of the “other” Prince William. Prince William of Gloucester was Queen Elizabeth’s cousin.
“A dashing young man, it’s no wonder the women of his time were awed by his charming looks. Not to mention his title…
“But it was Zsuzsi Starkloff that stole his heart. Writing a letter to William asking him to attend a party, she wrote: ‘Dear Prince Charming.
“We heard a party is not a party without you, and besides I’m missing a slipper,’ signed Cinderella.”
Model and former air hostess Starkloff, from Hungary, had a daughter and was divorced, deeming her an unsuitable prospective wife—following the abdication scandal of King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson in 1936.
Commenting on the clip, user MyHauntedLife wrote: “I’m English and I cannot believe I’d never heard of him !”
Lmw5062 said: “I’ve never heard about this before. How tragic he wasn’t allowed to marry the woman he loved and killed in an air accident.”
Eli Clln asked: “Why isn’t this mentioned in The Crown??? I demand answers.”
Vivi M admitted: “I never heard this story.”
Sue Foster47 remarked: “How sad, didn’t know about this, just shows how things can be brushed off.”
An interview with Starkloff from 2015 appeared in a Channel 4 documentary, The Other Prince William: The Tragic Love Story of Prince William & Zsuzi, which aired last year. It echoed claims made in the TikTok video.
The program called William the “playboy prince” who wanted to “rebel against royal protocol,” acknowledging he was the “idol” of a young prince Charles.
William shirked the traditional path of senior royals and instead took a job at the British embassy in Tokyo in 1968.
Passionate about aviation, William is said to be the youngest royal to obtain his pilot’s license and spent 16 days flying himself to his new post in Japan.
It was then he met Starkloff, who lived there, as she said their relationship eventually blossomed into love.
“There isn’t a day that I don’t think about William, not a day,” Starkloff said.
Referring to the party she invited him to as Prince Charming, Starkloff said: “It was really fun. He was obviously very good looking. He was tall. He was more like the movie James Bond and the Sean Connery that I knew.”
Starkloff recalled him telling her a few months into their relationship: “I never thought ever that love can be this beautiful.”
She added: “I get misty-eyed just thinking about that. That’s a beautiful compliment.”
They rented a home and Starkloff claimed the prince cooked her breakfast nearly every day.
There was speculation that Princess Margaret’s visit, the queen’s sister and Prince William’s cousin, to Tokyo in 1969, was to check up on the pair.
The program claims Prince William intended to marry Starkloff, but a centuries-old British law stated anyone in succession to the throne needed the queen’s approval to marry.
“My relationship with William had nothing to do with his title or me wanting to be a princess,” Starkloff said.
Despite the obvious obstacle of the sovereign’s blessing, Starkloff in the documentary showed off a signet ring she said that William had given her, emblazoned with the letter W, which she still wore on a chain.
Wiliam’s father Prince Henry experienced a stroke in 1970, which saw his son recalled to London and Starkloff visited as well. Over the next few years, as duty called, the relationship was tested, seeing them go their separate ways, yet it appears both kept a candle burning for the other.
But in 1972, William’s plane, which he was piloting, came down in a fiery crash at an air race on August 28 that was caught on camera. It’s said he died instantly. His co-pilot Vyrell Mitchell also was killed.
William was laid to rest on September 2 that year at Windsor Castle, with the ceremony attended by the queen and Prince Charles.
Prince William’s title by birthright instead went to his younger brother, Prince Richard, the current Duke of Gloucester.
The British monarchy’s website, Royal.co.uk, stated: “He became heir to his father’s titles following the death of his elder brother, Prince William of Gloucester, in a flying accident on 28 August 1972. He succeeded his father in June 1974.
“Prince Richard had planned a full-time career in architecture but, on the death of his elder brother, he became his father’s heir and took on increased royal duties and the responsibility for the family estate at Barnwell in Northamptonshire.”
The duke currently lives at Kensington Palace and is a “full-time working member of the Royal Family.” He recently attended celebrations for the queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
He appeared on the balcony and also at the National Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, sitting directly in front of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.
Newsweek reached out to Lalor for comment.