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Wills visits the home of country music

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Prince William has been indulging in a little southern comfort by taking a break in Tennessee. The 22-year-old has spent a week enjoying the hospitality of American heiress Anna Sloan at her family estate in Nashville.

Wills and Anna first became friends at St Andrews University last year. He shares a class with the American beauty, whose father George was a friend of the Queen's.

In recent weeks royal watchers have been wondering whether the Prince would opt to spend his summer break with Jecca Craig in Kenya, or go travelling with rumoured girlfriend Kate Middleton. But in the end the young royal surprised everyone by heading for the home of country music instead.

"They've known each other for a few years because her father used to ride with the Queen," revealed a friend of the Sloan family. "William was here for a leisure vacation in their beautiful house, which has a lovely pool and a very relaxed atmosphere. Theirs is strictly a friendship – there was nothing romantic going on. He was here with a few classmates."

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The future Prince of Wales spent a week at Anna Sloan's family estate in Nashville. A friend of the family said he was accompanied by a number of classmates from St Andrews