The 鈥90s were a confusing time. I binge-listened to the Spice Girls , learned the choreography to 鈥淓verybody (Backstreet鈥檚 Back)鈥 and caked myself in glitter and camouflage, praying I鈥檇 cross paths with the casting director of Sabrina the Teenage Witch to cement my path to stardom. (It didn鈥檛 happen.)

However, one thing was not confusing at all: my obsession with Prince William. It was the only crush that came close to rivaling my feelings for Leo, and the only crush slightly more unattainable.

Or was it? On this, the #blessed day of his birth, here are five things I鈥檓 willing to admit about my Prince William crush 鈥 which I secretly hope he reads and thinks, 鈥淢an alive, Anne 鈥 me too.鈥

1. I truly believed we鈥檇 meet skiing.Which almost makes sense鈥 up to a certain point. At 13, I鈥檇 only ever been skiing once, and I hated every second of it. (See: The horrors of a school trip, including a horrible instructor who wouldn鈥檛 let me hang out with my friends until I knew how to 鈥渟top鈥 and 鈥渟low down鈥 and 鈥渘ot fall down.鈥) But I knew William loved skiing. I knew he skiied often. And, as a resident of the Commonwealth (Canada), it seemed obvious to me that William would visit the terrible town directly next to mine, and ski down the worst hills in the province to be a 鈥済reat future king.鈥

Then, I would make him laugh, he would be charmed by my ability to keep a cool head, and our destiny would be cemented. Especially after he noticed how great I could pull off a butterfly clip (or several simultaneously).

2. I owned several fan books. It was 1998. The Internet was a baby, and the only website I knew how to visit was the official Titanic one. (Ask me about streaming the trailer for an hour at the public library.) But I knew books. Which is why I, upon seeing any/all/every book about the Royal Family, treated myself accordingly, shelling out my hard-earned babysitting money for a chance I鈥檇 discover a piece of William trivia that would secure my path to the throne and/or his heart.

And I learned a lot. I learned that he regularly e-mailed the Queen. I learned that his nickname was 鈥淲ills.鈥 I learned that he was 鈥渘ice鈥 and 鈥渒ind.鈥 And I learned, based on my own deductions, that we鈥檇 make a wonderful couple 鈥 especially since he could 鈥渂e shy,鈥 and I was never. We鈥檇 balance each other out (I figured), making our coupledom unstoppable.

3. I bought every magazine he was on the cover of. And I read the stories and features in full, and then held up the covers next to my face in front of the mirror to determine just how great we鈥檇 look next to each other. (Even though, to be honest, we didn鈥檛 look all that good 鈥 but I blamed the bangs I was trying to grow out. Which, in all fairness, were tragic.)


3b. I also bought every Princess Diana book I was allowed to. But, between you and I, that had less to do with me trying to delve into his character and childhood stories and more to do with Princess Diana being the first celebrity death I cared about it. Therefore, I spent the first half of seventh grade completely devastated. And not a single plebe in my class cared.

4. I practiced my William meet-cute regularly. Which involved turning the radio up as loud as my parents would let me, and practicing how I would say hi to him when we inevitably bumped into each other. Then, when this routine was finished, I鈥檇 practice my conversations with each and every one of his family members, just to be sure I鈥檇 make a dazzling impression upon our first exchange. (Note: This exchange has yet to happen.)

5. I intentionally pursued boys with the same haircut. I鈥檓 only human. And as a 12 (and 13)-year-old in Cambridge, Ontario, my real-life options were limited. So, in the spirit of school dances and reasons to wear copious amounts of Gap Dream, I tried to do William justice 鈥 particularly by liking boys with hair similar to his. Inevitably, this failed because no one middle schooler in 1997/1998 had access to this much product. But for a few fleeting months, I did my best.

6. I asked every British person I met if they knew him. And what else was I supposed to do? I鈥檇 bought and read the books, I memorized his outfits, I planned our inevitable meet-and-greet on the shallow hills of Chicopee 鈥 but I also needed to take matters into my own hands. So, every time I met any British person 鈥 whether store attendants, friends of family, people at church, or my aunt鈥檚 mother I cut to the chase. 鈥淒o you know Prince William?鈥 I鈥檇 ask, determinedly. And they never did.

So from there, my crush slowly began to fade. He was unattainable. He lived an ocean away. Nobody I knew had even spoken to him. And, from the popularity of the fan books and magazines, I obviously wasn鈥檛 the only fan. So, come the winter of 1998, I began to move on. Because where William was royalty, my new crush was Hollywood royalty. And this meant that we lived on the same continent, that I wouldn鈥檛 have to be vetted by family and that more boys I knew would have his haircut.

Which I guess is the story of how I began my decades-spanning love affair with Leonardo DiCaprio鈥 but that鈥檚 a story for another time.

Do you have a royal crush? Tell us about it @BritandCo .

(Featured photo via Karwai Tang/Getty)