Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Prince William Through the Years: His Royal Life in Photos

Prince William has known since he was young that one day he will become the king of England, but in the meantime, he has made his own way as a high-ranking member of the British royal family.

The eldest son of King Charles III and Princess Diana, William was born in June 1982. His brother, Prince Harry, arrived in September 1984. The brothers suffered two childhood tragedies: first, their parents’ divorce in August 1996 and then, their mother’s death in August 1997.

William went on to marry his wife, Princess Kate Middleton, in April 2011. The couple share three children: Prince George, born in July 2013, Princess Charlotte, born in May 2015, and Prince Louis, born in April 2018.

Scroll through the gallery below to relive William’s life in photos:

Diana gave birth to Prince William Arthur Philip Louis at St Mary’s Hospital in London on June 21, 1982. Upon his arrival, he became the second in line to the British throne after the late Queen Elizabeth II and her heir apparent, Charles. 
Jsh Tour/Shutterstock
William went on his first royal tour in 1983 at just 9 months old when Charles and Diana traveled to Australia and New Zealand. The trip marked his first time overseas. 
William attended Mrs. Mynors’ Nursery School from 1985 to 1987 and Wetherby School from 1987 to 1990. He enrolled at Ludgrove School in 1990 and studied there until 1995 when he began going to Eton College. He was known for his athleticism and good grades.    
Mike Forster/Daily Mail/Shutterstock
Charles and Diana’s separation was confirmed in December 1992. They finalized their divorce in August 1996.  
Times Newspapers/Shutterstock
Diana died in August 1997 at age 36 following a car accident in Paris. William was 15 at the time. “When you have something as traumatic as the death of your mother when you’re 15 … it will either make or break you,” he explained in the 2017 documentary Diana, 7 Days. “And I wouldn’t let it break me. I wanted it to make me. I wanted her to be proud of the person I would become, and I didn’t want her worried or her legacy to be that William or Harry were completely and utterly devastated by it and that all the hard work and all the love and all the energy she put into us when we were younger would go to waste.”  
After William graduated from Eton in 2000, he took a gap year, traveling to Belize, Africa and Chile and doing volunteer work. He began attending the University of St Andrews in 2001. He majored in art history before changing his focus to geography.  
William met Kate in 2001 while they were both students at St Andrews. They were friends first and later started dating in 2003. They briefly broke up in 2007 but ultimately reconciled.  
The prince graduated from college in 2005 and subsequently held internships in land management and banking. In July of that year, he leaned into his royal duties by going on his first solo overseas tour to New Zealand.  
Tim Rooke/Shutterstock
William gained admittance to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in January 2006. He became a lieutenant and was a troop commander with the Blues and Royals. He trained with the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. 
David Hartley/Shutterstock
The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry was created in 2009 and has since focused on supporting multiple causes, including those involving mental health, children and veterans. The organization became The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2019. 
William transferred to the Royal Air Force in 2009 to be a flight lieutenant. He became a helicopter pilot with the Search and Rescue Force in 2010. 
Eddie Mulholland/Shutterstock
Clarence House announced William and Kate’s engagement in November 2010 after he proposed in Kenya one month earlier. Her ring previously belonged to Diana. 
Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard/Shutterstock
The couple tied the knot at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011, with 1,900 guests in attendance.  
Tim Rooke/Shutterstock
The newlyweds undertook their first royal tour in June and July 2011 when they visited Canada.  
David Fisher/Shutterstock
William and Kate’s first child, son George, arrived on July 22, 2013. They introduced their baby boy on the steps of the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital shortly after, as they did with Charlotte and Louis in the years that followed.  
William’s active service as a search-and-rescue pilot with the Royal Air Force ended in September 2013. He left the military to focus on his royal duties and charitable work. 
Alan Davidson/Shutterstock
William and Kate’s second child, daughter Charlotte, made her debut on May 2, 2015. The Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 ensured that Charlotte’s place in the line of succession did not change based on her gender. 
William made his next career move in 2014 when he accepted a full-time role in the private sector as a pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. He received further training and officially began the job in July 2015. His position was paid, but he donated his salary to charity.  
Sean Gallup/Pool/EPA/Shutterstock
William left his job as an air ambulance pilot in July 2017 to assume his royal duties full time.  
Tim Rooke/Shutterstock
Kate gave birth to her third child with William, son Louis, on April 23, 2018.
Harry confirmed his rift with William in the October 2019 documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey. “Part of this role and part of this job, this family, being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably stuff happens,” the Duke of Sussex explained. “But look, we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers. We’re certainly on different paths at the moment but I’ll always be there for him and as I know he’ll always be there for me.”  
Harry gave an update on their relationship during his and wife Meghan Markle’s March 2021 CBS interview, revealing that the siblings were taking “space” from each other.
Owen Humphreys/WPA Pool/Shutterstock
William and Kate celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in April 2021. “We are enormously grateful for the 10 years of support we have received in our lives as a family,” they wrote via Instagram at the time.  
Tim Rooke/Shutterstock
The Cambridges marked the queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a Caribbean tour, visiting Belize and Caribbean islands that are members of the British Commonwealth.
James Veysey/Shutterstock
During the sovereign’s Jubilee celebrations, William and Charles received the official Trooping the Colour salute for the first time. Elizabeth, who has previously received the military honor throughout her reign, sat out amid previous health concerns and watched from the Buckingham Palace balcony.
Jonathan Brady/WPA Pool/Shutterstock
William rushed to be by his grandmother Elizabeth’s side at Balmoral in Scotland in September 2022 as doctors grew concerned for her health. He was joined by his father, Camilla and other members of the royal family before the palace confirmed the queen’s death at age 96 on September 8, 2022.
After the queen’s death, Charles confirmed that his eldest son would be known henceforth as the Prince of Wales, which is the title reserved for the heir apparent. William also gained the title Duke of Cornwall, which was held by his father before he acceded to the throne. 
“As my heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me. He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and takes on the responsibilities, which I have undertaken for more than five decades,” Charles said during his first speech as king. “Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty. With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the center ground where vital help can be given.”
William continued to do royal engagements solo and with Kate ahead of his dad’s coronation in May 2023. His relationship with Harry, meanwhile, remained strained as the younger sibling dropped the tell-all book Spare.
“William feels that Harry is all smoke and mirrors and is not to be trusted. He’s trying to move on with his life,” a source told Us, adding that “there has been a massive breach of trust” between the brothers.
WPA Pool/Shutterstock
William attended his father’s coronation in May 2023 alongside his wife, Kate, their children — George, Charlotte, and Louis — and other royal family members. He presented Charles with the Stole Royal and Robe Royal during the ceremony, after which he gave his dad an emotional kiss on the cheek.
“I, William, Prince of Wales, pledge my loyalty to you, and faith and truth I will bear unto you as your liege man of life and limb, so help me God,” William said at the historic event.
Tim Rooke/Shutterstock
William accompanied Charles in the Trooping the Colour parade in June, where they both rode on horses.
Kin Cheung – WPA Pool/Getty Images
February 2024
The future king spoke out after his father was diagnosed with cancer.
“We really appreciate everyone’s kindness,” William said at a gala for London’s Air Ambulance Charity. 
Samir Hussein/WireImage
March 2024
William stood by Kate’s side when she revealed her cancer diagnosis after months of speculation about her whereabouts.
“Having William by my side is a great source of comfort and reassurance too, as is the love, support and kindness that has been shown by so many of you. It means so much to us both,” Kate said in a video shared via Instagram.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
June 2024
William jumped for joy with his three kids in a playful photo shared by Kate in honor of his 42nd birthday.
“Happy birthday Papa, we all love you so much!” she captioned the snap, shared via X.

By Michael

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