Here is proof some people have too much money.
In 2011, in the feverish run-up to Kate Middleton's wedding to Prince William, a person, identity unknown, forked out more than $175,000 to buy possibly the ugliest piece of royal memorabilia in living memory — namely, the iconic Charlotte Todd "dress" Kate wore in a 2002 charity fashion show at St Andrews.
While the dress in question might be considered highly questionable in terms of its sartorial value, the see-through piece (which was actually a skirt, Kate just chose to wear it that way at the last minute) played a pivotal role in royal history.
The story goes Wills reportedly noticed Kate for the first time while she was strutting her stuff on the catwalk, offering these immortal and deeply romantic words: "Wow, Kate's hot!" (Who needs Shakespearean sonnets right?)
At which point our Future King, Future Head of the Armed Forces and Defender of the Faith set out about wooing the very sporty, very popular Kate, thus beginning the Greatest Romance of Our Time. (Well, at least before Prince Harry set his cap in the direction of a particular actress and blogger who can wear the hell out of some Jimmy Choos.)
But what if we have gotten it all wrong?
What if, when teenage Kate and Wills pitched up to icy St Andrews to try their hands at higher learning and student living they both had a bit of a secret: They had met, at least once if not twice before? However, that's exactly what royal biographer Katie Nicholl says happened.
In her book, Kate: The Future Queen, Nicholl reveals that while the future Duchess was attending the exclusive girls boarding school Marlborough, she was good friends with one Emilia d'Erlanger who was "fantastically well-connected" and a good chum of Wills.
As part of the Wales brothers' "Glosse Posse", d'Erlanger would have been invited to "Club H", the 'den' Prince Charles created in the basement of his Gloucestershire pile, Highgrove, Nicholls says.
She writes: "Being so close to Emilia and Alice, who was also a member of the exclusive group, it was only a matter of time before Kate met William, and that summer they were introduced."
One of Kate's Marlborough teachers described her as "on the fringe of the royal set".
Another, Mrs Patching, said: "We all knew as teachers that that year group was moving in royal circles, they were friends."
Oh to have been a fly on the wall when Wills laid eyes on Kate for the first time! Did he offer her a Ribena or a Diet Coke? (The fridge at Club H was only stocked with non-alcoholic drinks, though given Prince Harry's penchant later in life for booze, I'd be surprised if he didn't sneak in a bottle of Jack Daniels pilfered when Camilla was doing the Cheltenham form guide.) Did they have a bop to Steps or NSync? Did either realise they were setting in motion a romance that would captivate the world and produce thousands of commemorative tea towels and three perfect sproglets?
When Kate took off on her post-school gap year to hang out in Florence, she is said to have kept totally schtum about her royal introduction. Nicholls says even when the topic of the hottie Prince came up among the "connected posh English girls straight out of boarding school" who were enjoying an Italian Eat Pray Love jaunt, "Kate, however, appeared nonchalant and didn't tell a soul that she had already met William."
Later, when she returned to Old Blighty, Kate took a part-time job as a deckhand at a local marina. First Mate Paul Horsford told Nicholls when the topic of St Andrews and the uni's most famous pupil came up, Kate said: "I've already met him once or twice before."
And then, they both landed at St Andrews University in Scotland, both enrolled in art history (though Will later changed to a geography major), and Sloane-y sparks flew long before Kate donned the sheer fashion crime that will live on in infamy.
Nicholls reports it was actually over bowls of cereal in their college cafeteria that they got to know each other: "It took William a couple of weeks to summon up the courage to ask Kate to join him and his friends for breakfast. He immediately remembered her, and they quickly discovered they had plenty in common besides their mutual friends. They were both health conscious, always opting for a breakfast of muesli and fruit over the cooked option; they discussed sports and skiing trips; they compared notes on their gap-year experiences."
So there you have it: Muesli helped make Kate a Duchess.
Intriguingly, the identity of the person who bought the Todd dress has never been revealed, however if it was purchased by say a Mr W Wales from Anmer Hall in Norfolk, it would come in very handy to keep things spicy in a marriage after eight years of wedded bliss. Just saying …