Prince William

Prince William Headshot

Royal

Birth Name: William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor

Birth Date: June 21, 1982

Age: 42 years old

Birth Place: London, England, UK

Spouses: Kate Middleton

Parents: King Charles, Princess Diana

Siblings: Prince Harry

Grandparents: Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip

From the moment he entered the world to much fanfare, Prince William led a storybook life that fascinated millions of people the world over. As the first-born son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, who arrived in the world on on June 21, 1982, Prince William lived a life of privilege and was deeply loved by his parents and family as well as the British public. But in 1997, his charmed life took a tragic turn when he unexpectedly lost his beloved mother in an infamous auto accident when he was just 15 years old.

As a result of the tragedy, Prince William became his country's last great hope for the monarchy. Not surprisingly, he grew up under the watchful eye of a world press that chronicled his accomplishments, military experience, and charitable works. Yet it was Prince William's highly publicized engagement and then wedding to a British commoner, Kate Middleton, that captured the world's imagination, much as his parents' royal wedding had 20 years before.

Amidst all the pomp and circumstance that surrounded him throughout his lifetime, Prince William Windsor never failed to impress royal watchers by keeping the monarchy traditions alive as his father had, but also bringing a touch of humanity to his title as his mother had. William and Kate had their first child, Prince George, on July 22, 2013, who would be third in line to the throne, following Charles and William. His sister, Princess Charlotte, followed on May 2, 2015, and the couple's third child, a boy named Prince Louis, was born on April 23, 2018.

He was born William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor on June 21, 1982 in Paddington, London, England to Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the Prince and Princess of Wales. Nicknamed "Wills" and "The Heir," Prince William automatically became second in line to the British throne, after his father. He attended nursery school at the Mrs. Maynard Academy in West London, Wetherby School in Kensington at age eight, and from 1990 to 1995, attended Ludgrove boarding school in Wokingham.

At the urging of his mother, Prince William attended Eton College, a prestigious public boarding school near London. Princess Diana reportedly objected to sending Prince William to his father's alma mater, a boarding school in Scotland. At Eton, he excelled in academics as well as in sports; particularly swimming as he was co-captain of the swim team. To protect him from the media glare, the Royal Family and the British press struck a deal in which the royals gave the press information on Prince William once every term in exchange for his privacy.

During school breaks, Prince William and his younger brother, Prince Harry Windsor, spent time riding with their father on their Scottish estate, playing polo, skiing, shooting and fishing. In Princess Diana's company, Princes William and Harry did more ordinary activities, including going to McDonald's and Disneyland. And to give them a deeper understanding of the world, she also took her boys to places like AIDS clinics and homeless shelters.

Prince William was reportedly very close to his mother, who considered her eldest son her soulmate and "chief comforter." Even at a young age, Prince William consoled his mother whenever she quarreled with Prince Charles, who reportedly kept seeing his longtime mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, while married to Princess Di. In the early 1990s, the couple's marital woes intensified, resulting in worldwide speculation about how long their marriage would last. After years of highly publicized battled, the couple announced their separation in 1992; two years later, Prince Charles told the BBC that he never loved Princess Di. Their divorce was not finalized until 1996, and the couple agreed to share custody of their sons. In the aftermath of his parents' divorce, Prince William tried to maintain a relatively normal life with his brother as well as spending equal time with both his mum and dad.

On Aug. 31, 1997, Prince William and the rest of the world mourned the sudden death of Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in a road tunnel in Paris, France. The 36-year-old princess was in the car with her then-boyfriend, Dodi Al-Fayed, an Egyptian millionaire and film producer. Paparazzi photographers on motorbike were reportedly pursuing the couple's Mercedes at high speeds when their car hit a pillar and smashed into a wall. Fayed and the driver died at the scene, but Princess Diana was rushed to the hospital, where she died two hours later. During her funeral in Westminster Abbey, Prince William and his brother walked behind their mother's coffin, while more than a million people lined the route of the princess' funeral cortege. After his mother's death, Prince William became very protective of his younger brother and publicly announced his disdain for the press, who many blamed for the Princess' death due to their constant hounding while she was still alive.

When Prince William turned 18, the British media ramped up its coverage of the press-wary prince, especially when he started attending St. Andrew's University in Scotland. The press watched his every move; paying special attention to the times he visited bars with his friends. In 2001, Prince William began dating Kate Middleton, whom he met during a fashion show at the university. The two tried to keep a low profile, but after years of media speculation about their romance, they finally confirmed in 2004 that they were a couple. In June 2005, after graduating with an honors degree in geography from St. Andrews, Prince William devoted much of his time learning financial planning and on his humanitarian work in England, which included becoming Patron of Centrepoint, a youth homelessness charity, and Patron of the Tusk Trust, an African conservation charity. Like his brother, Prince William also joined the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, England and was commissioned as an officer in the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals in December 2006.

By 2007, the media attention on the prince's relationship with Middleton intensified. In April of that year, the couple broke up, but reportedly resumed their relationship a few months later. After reuniting, Prince William took Middleton on a getaway to a secluded island in the Indian Ocean, fueling talks of a royal engagement. In November 2010, Prince William put an end to the rumors by proposing to Middleton with his late mother's engagement ring and announced their plans to wed on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey in London. The announcement triggered a massive media frenzy that included countless royal-themed television shows, a spike in British tourism, and in-depth reports on everything from Middleton's possible wedding dress to who made the famous guest list. The public's newfound fascination with the royal wedding spawned the made-for-TV movie "William and Kate" (Lifetime, 2011), which chronicled highlights of the couple's relationship. The fairy tale dreams of a nation - if not the world - at last came to fruition on April 29, 2011 in the greatest royal spectacle England had enjoyed since William's parents' wedding 30 years prior, when William and Kate were married in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Declared a national banking holiday, the ceremony and celebration boasted a guest list that included luminaries like the Sultan of Brunei, Sir Richard Branson and Sir Elton John, and was covered obsessively on such British television specials as "The Royal Wedding" (BBC, 2011).

After a period of speculation and intense secrecy, it was later revealed that William and Kate had enjoyed a brief honeymoon on the secluded Indian Ocean island of Seychelles before returning home to resume their official duties as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Over the year that followed, William and Kate maintained their profile with a series of scheduled events and promotional trips. The royal couple was named as the official Ambassadors for the 2012 Summer Olympics, held in London, and the Duchess delivered her first public speeches while on a publicity tour of Southeast Asia in the fall of 2012 as part of the ongoing Diamond Jubilee, celebrating the Queen's 60th year on the throne. The festive atmosphere was tarnished somewhat by a minor scandal that erupted while the Duke and Dutchess were still on their publicity tour in September. After expressing their dismay and personal outrage, Prince William and the family successfully filed an injunction against the French tabloid Closer after the magazine published surreptitiously taken photos of Middleton sunbathing topless while the couple vacationed at a chateau near the French Riviera. A tempest in a teapot, the fleeting embarrassment was soon forgotten when in December 2012, it was announced that the couple was expecting their first child. The news was greeted enthusiastically by the global press, with many outlets making mention of the recent reevaluation of royal law by Parliament that would ostensibly allow the couple's firstborn child to be the successor to the throne, regardless of sex. A third child, Louis Arthur Charles, was born on April 23, 2018.

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