Prince William Arthur Phillip Louis Windsor was born on June 21st 1982. The eldest son of Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles broke with strict Royal tradition from an early age.
He was born at St. Mary’s Hospital, London and was the first direct heir to the throne to be born outside the palace walls. And unlike his father, Charles and grandfather, Prince Phillip, he attended nursery school rather than having private tutors.
He attended Wetherby and Ludgrove Prep Schools before starting at the prestgious Eton College in Windsor in 1995.
His teenage years weren’t easy- his parents divorced in 1996 and the next year he was hit by more tragedy when his mother, Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris. William walked behind the hearse in the funeral procession. In 1998, he issued a joint statement with Prince Harry asking the press and public to give them space and let them get on with their lives in peace.
William left Eton with 12 GCSES and three A-levels and decided to take a year abroad before going to study art history at University of St Andrews. He registered under the name William Wales.
His gap year took him to Chile, Kenya and New Zealand. He slept in a hammock in the Belize jungle wearing combats and eating rations. He also worked on a farm in the UK before travelling to a remote part of Chile. He volunteered for charity Raleigh International to help build walkways and teach English in a mountain village in the south of the country.
Starting university in 2001, William was keen to have no special treatment so he could enjoy being like every other student. In an interview before his course began, he said: “I just want to go to university and have fun. I want to be an ordinary student. I’m only going to university. It’s not like I’m getting married.”
Although little did he realise at the time he would meet his future wife, Kate Middleton while attending the Scottish college.
The pair became friends are they were both on the same course although William eventually switched to study Geography. It was Kate, who is five months older than William, persuaded him to stick at his studies when he considered quitting during his freshers year.
Eighteen months into his studies, the Prince confessed the adjustment to life in Fife had been difficult. He said: “It’s a new surroundings, new scenery and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.”
Despite his pep talk from Kate, he admitted he was feeling a “little uneasy” and unsure whether to drop out but his father gave him solid advice over the holidays.
He said: “My father was very understanding about it and realised I had the same problems he probably had… In the end I definitely realised I had to come back.”
After spotting Kate modelling at a fashion show, Will and Kate’s friendship blossomed. The pair were first flat mates before their relationship turned romantic.
By 2007, she was a constant presence in his life and it seemed like an engagement announcement was imminent but then it was announced they had broken up.
Despite big money offers for interviews and even an invitation to go on I’m A Celebrity, Kate kept a dignified silence and it paid off as three months later, she was back with William. They were spotted kissing and dancing at a party at William’s Army barracks.
Speaking at their engagement, Will admitted he thinks the break did them good. He said: “We were both very young … and we were both defining ourselves as such and being different characters, it was very much trying to find our way and we were growing up, it was just a bit of space, things like that and things worked out for the better.”
While Kate added: “I, at the time, wasn’t very happy about it but actually it made me a stronger person, you find out things bout yourself that maybe you hadn’t realised. You can get quite consumed by a relationship when you are younger. I really valued that time, for me as well although I didn’t think it at the time, looking back on it.”
During their break, William focussed on his army career. Having graduated from Sandhurst military academy, he went to RAF Cranwell where he earned his pilot’s wings before joining the search and rescue service.
Insiders speculated about possible proposal when Kate’s parents visited Prince Charles’ private residence, Birkhall in 2010.
On 16th November 2010, Clarence House announced Prince William had popped the question to Kate Middleton using his late mother’s iconic sapphire ring while on holiday in Kenya.
He followed tradition and asked Kate’s father, Michael for his daughter’s hand after an eight-year-relationship.
In an interview with Tom Bradbury, William admitted he was anxious about losing the priceless engagement ring before he got the chance to put it on Kate’s finger.
He said: “It is a family ring, yes. It’s my mother’s engagement ring so I thought it was quite nice because obviously she’s not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all – this was my way of keeping her close to it all.
“I had been carrying it around with me in my rucksack for about three weeks before that and I literally would not let it go, everywhere I went I was keeping hold of it because I knew this thing, if it disappeared I would be in a lot of trouble and because I’d planned it, it went fine. You hear a lot of horror stories about proposing and things going horribly wrong – it went really, really well and I was really pleased when she said yes.”
Kate added: “It was very romantic.”
The following year, April 29 2011, the couple married in an magnificent ceremony at Westminster Abbey in front of 1,900 guests.
Among them were university friends, world leaders including David Cameron, Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and celebrities such as Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish, Sir Clive Woodward and David and Victoria Beckham.
The bride wore an ivory long sleeved lace dress by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. The Prince wore the red tunic of an Irish Guards colonel.
But it was Kate’s sister and bridesmaid Pippa Middleton who stole the show with her tight fitting dress.
A lip-reading expert said Prince Harry said to William: “What til you see her” as she arrived at the church while Prince William told Kate she looked “beautiful” as she arrived at the altar.
The couple were married by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Dr Rowan Williams and said traditional vows although the bride didn’t promise to obey her husband.
A special Bank Holiday was declared so everyone could enjoy the celebrations and a million people lined the procession route from the Abbey to the palace following the wedding.
The couple travelled in an open-topped carriage for the 15 minute journey past famous London landmarks including Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and House Guards Parade.
The newly weds thrilled the 50,000 strong crowd outside Buckingham Palace by kissing twice on the balcony before they watched a fly-past which included a Spitfire and a Hurricane aircraft from RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Prince William then drove his new bride back to Clarence House following a reception at Buckingham Palace at the wheel of his father’s classic blue Aston Martin. The vehicle was decked out in ribbons and balloons and the number place read ‘Just Wed.’
The couple changed for the evening reception with 300 of their closest friends and was hosted by Prince Charles. William wore black tie while Kate dressed in a white satin bazar evening gown with a diamante embroidered detail round the waist which was also designed by Sarah Burton. Ellie Goulding also performed at the party.
They headed off for a 10-day honeymoon in the exclusive Seychelles resort of North Island.
They were then formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and settled down to married life in Wales.
Eighteen months after their wedding, they announced they were expecting their first child.
On 22nd July 2013 at 4:24pm Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born weighing 8lbs 6oz.
He arrived 10 and a half hours after the Duchess arrived at the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London in the early stages of Labour.
Named after the Queen’s father and grandfather, George who is third in line to the throne is expected to reign as George VII.
The official notification of the prince’s birth was placed on an easel at Buckingham Palace.
The Duke and Duchess proudly showed their son off to the world’s media as they left the hospital.
Prince William joked: “He’s got her looks, thankfully. He added his son had been born with “more hair than me, thank God.”
Later that afternoon, the Queen visited Kensington Palace to meet her great-grandchild.
Prince William took two weeks paternity leave from his job at the ambulance service.
Tp prepare for running the Duchy of Cornwall Estate, William enrolled in a vocational agricultural management at Cambridge in 2014. The Duchy of Cornall estate is an £760 million entity established in 1337 to provide a private income for use by the reigning monarch’s eldest son. William will inherit the estate when Charles becomes King.
Despite Kensington Palace being their primary residence, the Cambridges moved to Amner Hall in Norfolk in September 2014.
The ten-bedroom Georgian mansion was a wedding present from the Queen and undergone a complete refurbishment.
William’s new role as a pilot with East Anglia Air Ambulance Service based in Cambridge, is less than an hour’s drive away.
In September 2014, the Royal couple shared more expecting news that they were expecting again.
Princess Charlotte was born on 2nd May 2015 at the Lindo Wing, weighing 8 lbs, 3 oz.
The following day, landmarks including Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square fountains and London Bridge turned pink to celebrate the birth.
On May 4th, gun salutes were fired at Hyde Park and Tower of London and her name was announced.
Named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana after William’s father, Charles, Elizabeth after the Queen and Diana as a tribute to the prince’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. She is fourth in line to the throne.
In March 2015, Prince William visited Beijing, Shanghai and Yunnan in China. The Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed him as he began the first visit to the mainland by a member of the British Royal family in almost three decades.
On 12th May 2016, Prince William made history by being the first Royal to appear on the cover of a gay magazine.
His Royal Highness, the Duke of Cambridge invited Attitude Magazine and members of the LGBT community to Kensington Palace to hear about their experiences of homophobic bullying.
He said: “No-one should be bullied for their sexuality or any other reason..
The nine delegates who attended opened up to the Prince about low self-esteem, suicide attempts, drug addiction and depression.
William added: “No one should have to put up with the kind of hate that these young people have endured in their lives.”
William and Kate as well and Prince Harry launched the Heads Together Campaign on May 16th 2016 to help tackle unresolved mental health problems.
He said: “So let’s all get our heads together and let’s change the conversation, from one of silence and shame to one of optimism and support.”
To mark his third Father’s Day on June 19th 2016, Prince William opened up about being a dad encouraging other parents to discuss mental health with their children.
He said he wanted to use the day to reflect how much he has learned about fatherhood, as well as discussing the issues facing dads in other walks of life.
The father of two met other dads and father-figures at a coffee shop in London for breakfast.
He said: “Today I celebrate my third Father’s Day as a father. For me it is a day not just to celebrate how fortunate I am for my young family, but to reflect on just how much I’ve learned about fatherhood and the issues facing fathers in all walks of life.
“In particular, it is a time to reflect on my responsibility to look after not just the physical health of my two children, but to treat their mental needs as just as important a priority.
“While the circumstances of any one situation are unique, it is clear that many families could have been helped if they had found it easier to talk openly about mental health challenges in the home. It is often said that fathers can often find it hard to talk about their own feelings so there’s no wonder they struggle to speak to their son or daughter about the topic.
“But we don’t really have a choice. I really believe that a child’s mental health is just as important as his or her physical health.”
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