William, Prince of Wales, is a member of the British royal family and the heir apparent to the British throne. He is the elder son of King Charles III and Diana, Princess of Wales and a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II.
Prince William was born as William Arthur Philip Louis on Monday, 21 June 1982 (age 40 years; as of 2022) in St Mary’s Hospital, London.
He grew up at Kensington Palace in London and Highgrove House in Gloucestershire along with her younger brother Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. His parents divorced in 1996. He did his schooling at independent schools starting at Jane Mynors’ nursery school in London.
Later, he was enrolled in Wetherby School in Notting Hill and then in Ludgrove School in Wokingham. During summers, he was privately tutored by the British academic Rory Stewart. Thereafter, he appeared in the entrance exam to Eton College, Windsor, and was admitted to it. At Eton, he was awarded an A in Geography, a B in History of Art, and a C in Biology. Born to Diana, whose activism and glamour made her an international icon, William was in the spotlight since his childhood with the paparazzi chasing him wherever he went. In their mother’s company, William and Harry used gained life experiences than those usually available to royal children. Not only they went to McDonald’s and Disneyland, but also to AIDS clinics and homeless shelters with their mother.
He spent parts of his gap year in Belize and Chile. In 2001, William came back to the United Kingdom. Thereafter, he enrolled at the University of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, where he embarked on a degree course in Art History, but later changed his main subject to Geography. He wrote his thesis on the coral reefs of Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean and earned a Master of Arts in geography in 2005. The Telegraph In 2006, he received training at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) and went on to serve in Blues and Royals, the cavalry regiment of the British Army. In April 2008, William graduated from Royal Air Force College Cranwell. In his capacity as Air Chief Marshal, Prince Charles bestowed RAF wings on Prince William upon his completion of the course at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire in 2008.
He pursued an accelerated Naval Officer training course at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. Getty Images In January 2010, he graduated from the Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury. The Royal Family Soon after, he started training on the Sea King, a search and rescue helicopter, at the Search and Rescue Training Unit at RAF Valley, Anglesey; he completed the training in September 2010. In 2014, he enrolled in a vocational agricultural management course at Cambridge to prepare for his eventual management of the Duchy of Cornwall. The course was organised by the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL), of which his father is a patron. BBC Despite his qualifications as a military helicopter pilot, William needed a civil pilot’s licence and further training for serving as a pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA). Therefore, he underwent a training programme at Norwich airport. Eastern Daily Press
Weight (approx.): 92 kg
Hair Colour: Golden Brown (half bald)
Eye Colour: Blue
William is a member of the House of Windsor, the reigning royal house of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. From his father’s side, he descends from the House of Oldenburg, a German dynasty and one of Europe’s oldest royal houses. More specifically, he descends from the cadet branch known as the House of Glücksburg. From his mother’s side, he descends from the renowned English noble family The Spencer family.
Parents & Siblings
Prince William was born to Charles, Prince of Wales, who was then the heir apparent to Queen Elizabeth II, and Diana, Princess of Wales. Prince William’s younger brother, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, was born on 15 September 1984.
Charles and Diana divorced in 1996. After the death of Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September 2022, Charles acceded to the throne and assumed the title of King Charles III, making Prince William the heir apparent to the British throne. On 31 August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales died in a car accident while being chased by paparazzi.
Wife & Children
On 29 April 2011, Prince William got married to Catherine Middleton (popularly known as Kate Middleton).
The couple has three children, Prince George (born on 22 July 2013), Princess Charlotte (born on 2 May 2015), and Prince Louis (born on 23 April 2018). The wedding ceremony took place in Westminster Abbey, London. As a wedding gift, the Queen gave the country home Anmer Hall on the Sandringham Estate to William and Kate.
Prince William is the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Prince Harry is married to Meghan Markle. Together, they have two children, a son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, and a daughter, Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.
British model and aristocrat Lady Kitty Spencer is Prince William’s first cousin; She is the eldest child of Diana’s brother Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer.
William is the godfather of Prince Constantine Alexios of Greece and Denmark, a distant relation through his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh. He is also the godfather of Mia Tindall, the eldest child of his paternal cousin Zara Tindall.
In 1999, Prince William was linked with Davina Duckworth-Chad after she once accompanied him on a cruise in the Aegean Sea. However, the two weren’t alone on the trip as Prince Charles and Camilla were also on board as chaperones. Interestingly, William and Davina are also technically related, as Davina’s mother was a second cousin of Princess Diana. Evening Standard
Before Kate, Prince William briefly dated Olivia Hunt, an aspiring writer, during his first year at the University of St Andrews. Later, Olivia Hunt married Nicholas Wilkinson. Olivia Hunt and Nicholas Wilkinson. Evening Standard
The engagement ring given by William to Kate belonged to his mother, Diana. Prince William was also rumoured to date his childhood friend Rose Farquhar for a short time in college. Evening Standard
Reportedly, Prince William romanced Carly Massy-Birch during his first semester for six or seven weeks when they first arrived at St Andrews. Their story surfaced the media after the release of Katie Nicholl’s 2011 book, ‘The Making of a Royal Romance’ in which Nicholl mentioned a dinner party at which Carly Massy-Birch made Prince William and Kate Middleton awkward while playing the game “never have I ever.” According to the book, at the dinner party, Massy-Birch was one of the people who knew Will and Kate had been secretly dating. When it was her turn to play the game she said, “I’ve never dated two people in this room,” knowing that William was the only one in the room who had dated two people in the room, Carly and Kate. As the book mentions, William “shot a thunderous look” at Massy-Birch before whispering, “I can’t believe you just said that.” Marie Claire
Environmental conservationist Jecca Craig is also among the list of former girlfriends of the Prince of Wales. Apparently, Wills made acquaintance with Jecca in 1998 in Kenya during a school holiday. Prince William and Jessica Craig reportedly carried out a “pretend engagement” while he was staying at her family’s estate in Kenya before going to university. However, in 2003, the Prince of Wales’ staff issued a statement in which it was denied that the couple were involved in a romantic relationship. Interestingly, such a step was never taken for any of William’s other alleged girlfriends. The Telegraph
Prince William also dated Isabella Calthorpe an English socialite, actress and model, who first met him in 2001 when he was still a teen and hadn’t met Kate. Additionally, Isabella’s half-sister Cressida Bonas famously dated Prince Harry from 2012 to 2014. Reportedly, she turned Prince William down in 2007, during his brief split with Kate Middleton. Marie Claire Katie Nicholl mentioned Isabella in her 2010 book William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls, which read,
He [William] had fallen for her [Isabella] in a huge way and wanted to be with her. He propositioned her several times that summer and although Isabella was single, she knocked William back and said it would be too damaging for her and her career.”
Prince William and Catherine Middleton first made acquaintance in 2001 while they were attending the University of St Andrews and began dating in 2003. Reportedly, she caught William’s eye at a charity fashion show on campus in 2002. She walked the ramp wearing a see-through knitted lace dress.
Reportedly, William shared a flat with Middleton and two other friends during their second year at the university. Although the couple split for a while in 2004 and 2007, they rekindled their relationship.
The couple finally got engaged during a private holiday in Kenya in October 2010. In July 2022, Prince William’s alleged affair with a long-time friend named Rose Hanbury, Marchioness of Cholmondeley surfaced on the internet and media. Bustle
William (Prince of Wales) follows Christianity. Prince William and Catherine Middleton are members of the Church of England and regularly attend church. When in Scotland, he attends the Church of Scotland, and when travelling abroad, he attends Anglican churches.
Prince of Wales
He resides at Kensington Palace in London, England.
Upon graduation from university, William interned in land management at Chatsworth House and in banking at HSBC. After completing his studies at Eton, William took a gap year, during which he took part in British Army training exercises in Belize. At 21, William was appointed as a Counsellor of State. He first served in that capacity when the Queen attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2003. Graduating from Royal Air Force College Cranwell in 2008, he joined RAF Search and Rescue Force in early 2009. For two years, he served as a full-time pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance, starting in July 2015. For seven-and-a-half years, he was on full-time military service.
Military and Air Ambulance Services
After receiving training at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), he joined the Blues and Royals regiment of the British Army in 2007 which was based at Combermere Barracks, Windsor.
As a troop commander in an armoured reconnaissance unit, he spent five months training for the post at Bovington Camp, Dorset. Being second-in-line to the British throne never allowed William to see combat or put himself into dangerous situations as advised by the convention of ministers. Consequently, William went on to obtain his commission as a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Navy and a flying officer in Royal Air Force.
He undertook an attachment with the Royal Air Force at RAF Cranwell after completing his training; his attachment was completed in 2008. During this secondment, William flew to Afghanistan in a C-17 Globemaster to repatriate the body of Trooper Robert Pearson. William was then seconded to train with the Royal Navy. After training at Britannia Royal Naval College, he served on HMS Iron Duke in June 2008 during which he was involved in a drug raid that seized a large amount of cocaine in the Atlantic, northeast of Barbados. He was also a part of the crew on the Lynx helicopter which helped seize 900 kg of cocaine from a speedboat.
In 2009, William was promoted to Flight Lieutenant, and he transferred his commission to the RAF, where he trained to become a helicopter pilot with its Search and Rescue Force. In October 2010, after his Sea King search and rescue training, helped rescue a seriously ill man working on a gas rig in Morecambe Bay. In November 2011, he spearheaded a search-and-rescue mission involving a cargo ship that was sinking in the Irish Sea; William, as a co-pilot, helped rescue two sailors. In June 2012, Prince William gained a qualification to be captain (pilot in command) of Sea King.
His service as an RAF search-and-rescue pilot came to an end in September 2013 after which he became patron of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. On 13 July 2015, William started serving as a pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA). In July 2017, he left his position with EAAA to assume full-time royal duties on behalf of his grandmother.
Ranks in the British army
- 8 January 2006: Officer cadet
- 16 December 2006: Cornet (Second Lieutenant), The Blues and Royals (short service commission)
- 16 December 2006: Lieutenant, The Blues and Royals
- 1 January 2009: Captain, The Blues and Royals (and transferred to a full regular commission)
- 1 January 2016: Major
Ranks in Royal Navy
- 1 January 2008: Sub-lieutenant
- 1 January 2009: Lieutenant
- 1 January 2016: Lieutenant Commander
Ranks in Royal Air Force
- 1 January 2008: Flying Officer
- 1 January 2009: Flight Lieutenant
- 1 January 2016: Squadron Leader
Honorary Military Appointments
- 10 November 2009: Honorary Canadian Ranger
- 8 August 2006: Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Navy Submarine Service
- 8 August 2006: Commodore-in-Chief of Scotland
- 3 October 2008: Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Coningsby
- 10 February 2011: Colonel of the Irish Guards
Duchy of Cambridge
On Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s wedding day in 2011, Queen Elizabeth II conferred a Dukedom on Prince William of Wales. She also bestowed the titles of Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus on him. As the Duke of Cambridge, he undertook a number of charitable activities and projects and carried out public and official duties in support of The Queen, in the UK and overseas. After the demise of Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September 2022, Prince William started performing official duties and engagements on behalf of King Charles III. He holds patronage with over 30 charitable and military organisations, including the Tusk Trust, Centrepoint, and London’s Air Ambulance Charity.
Duchy of Cornwall
William became Duke of Cornwall in 2022 following the accession of his father Charles III to the monarchy. Duke of Cornwall is a title in the Peerage of England, traditionally held by the eldest son of the reigning British monarch. The principal activity of the duchy is the management of its land holdings in England of 135,000 acres which includes 70,000 acres in Devon, 18,000 acres in Cornwall, 15,000 acres in Somerset and practically all of the Isles of Scilly. The Duchy also has a portfolio of financial investments including the company Duchy Originals which sells premium-priced organic biscuits, jams, and sausages. The entire operation was valued at over £463m in 2005. The Guardian
- Earl of Strathearn (2011-Present)
- Baron Carrickfergus (2011-Present)
- Prince of Wales (2022- Present)
- Earl of Chester (2022- Present)
- Duke of Rothesay (2022- Present)
- Earl of Carrick (2022- Present)
- Baron of Renfrew (2022- Present)
- Lord of the Isles (2022- Present)
- Prince and Great Steward of Scotland (2022- Present)
- 6 July 2009: Honorary Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
- 23 June 2010: Royal Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)
- 17 March 2013: Personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty The Queen (ADC)
- 9 June 2016: Member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council (PC)
- 1 March 2017: Royal Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (HonFRSE)
- 17 January 2018: Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (FRSM)
- 25 January 2020, 22 March 2021: Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
The Royal Foundation
A genuine vein of philanthropy has always existed in Prince William. In 2009, the foundation was set up to enable the brothers to take forward their charitable ambitions. Later, Catherine and Meghan joined as patrons of the Foundation upon their marriage. In 2019, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left the Foundation to carry out their projects independently. The Royal Foundation is a charity which supports the work of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Their projects revolves around environmental conservation, the early years of childhood, mental health, and emergency medical services.
Conservation of Flora and Fauna
Protecting the environment for future generations is one of Prince William’s key priorities. He has supported various initiatives to fund conservation, community development, and environmental education programmes across Africa. He has also led key programmes such as the United for Wildlife Financial and Transportation Taskforces to end illegal wildlife trafficking on a global scale. Prince William inspired the quote:
Let us not tell our children the sad tale of how we watched as the last elephants, rhinos and tigers died out, but the inspiring story of how we turned the tide and preserved them for all humanity.”
The Earthshot Prize
In October 2020, Prince William launched The Earthshot Prize, a global prize awarded to five winners each year for their contributions to environmentalism. The project is slated to give £50 million in funds over the next decade, in accordance with five categories detailing the restoration and protection of nature, air cleanliness, ocean revival, waste-free living and climate action.
United For Wildlife Taskforces
In 2014, The Duke of Cambridge announced the formation of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce to engage the transport sector in identifying and developing relevant and targeted solutions to wildlife trafficking. In March 2016, the Transport Taskforce developed the Buckingham Palace Declaration, which has been signed by over 100 transport sector companies from across the globe to help stop the trafficking of wildlife products. Later, the United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce was launched to check financial transactions related to the sale of wildlife products. The Financial Taskforce met in October 2018 and 30 institutions signed the Mansion House Declaration.
Moving Parents and Children Together (M-PACT)
In February 2014, the Duchess of Cambridge launched Moving Parents and Children Together, also known as M-PACT Plus, in partnership with Place2Be and Action on Addiction. The initiative aims towards providing early support and counselling for children aged 8-17 years who are impacted by parental drug abuse. In October 2017, the Foundation and the Ministry of Defence signed an agreement to work together on efforts to change the conversation on mental health across the British Armed Forces.
Heads Together is a campaign coordinated by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with an aim to tackle the stigma of mental health and provide supportive resources. In 2017, the campaign launched #OKtoSay, a series of films to encourage the conversation around mental health. Later that year, Heads Together partnered with the 2017 London Marathon with 750 runners participating in the Mental Health Marathon.
In March 2018, the Duchess of Cambridge hosted a symposium at the Royal Society of Medicine, focusing on children’s health. In July 2020, Catherine supported and assisted in the development of BBC’s “Tiny Happy People” initiative and alo launched “5 Big Questions on the Under 5’s”, a nationwide survey on the development of the early years. In June 2021, she launched The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, which focuses on the extraordinary impact of the early years to transform society for the future.
In April 2020, the Foundation launched Our Frontline, a mental health support initiative for emergency workers. It provides digital and online resources, as well as remote counseling, to support workers’ mental health.
Alleged Affair with Rose Hanbury
In 2022, DeuxMoi ran an anonymous post about an alleged royal affair in which the unidentified royal was suspected to be Prince William. The post further claimed that Kate didn’t mind the alleged affair. It read,
At a recent media party, I was told the real reason for the affair was the royal’s love of pegging, which the wife is far too old-fashioned to engage in. The wife doesn’t mind her and in fact prefers her husband getting his sexual needs fulfilled elsewhere, as long as things don’t become emotional, which was the case with the last woman.”
Prince William started trending on Twitter after an anonymous post created a spark on social media Although the post didn’t name Prince William, it hinted at his alleged affair with a long-time friend named Rose Hanbury. Bustle
- 23 April 2008: Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (KG)
- 25 May 2012: Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (KT)
- 6 February 2002: Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
- 6 February 2012: Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
- 6 February 2022: Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal
- 30 October 2017: Tuvalu Order of Merit
- His name, William Arthur Philip Louis, was announced by Buckingham Palace on 28 June 1982. He was baptised by Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace on 4 August, the 82nd birthday of his paternal great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. William had six godparents, namely former King Constantine II of Greece (his paternal second cousin); Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Mrs Ogilvy (his paternal first cousin); the Duchess of Westminster, Lady Susan Hussey; Lord Romsey (his paternal second cousin); and Sir Laurens van der Post.
- His family and friends fondly call him “Wills.” His mother nicknamed him “Wombat.” Vouge While talking about “Wombat” as his nickname in an interview, William said,
It began when I was two. I’ve been rightfully told because I can’t remember back that far. But when we went to Australia with our parents, and the wombat, you know, that’s the local animal. So I just basically got called that. Not because I look like a wombat.”
- Prince William is a keen sportsman and over the years has participated in a wide range of sporting activities, mainly team sports. At Ludgrove School he was the rugby and hockey team captain, a stylish swimmer, a useful footballer and basketball player, good at clay pigeon shooting and also represented the school at cross-country running. He became captain of the swimming team at Eton College. He also took up water polo and continued to play football, captaining his house team. At St Andrews University in Fife in April 2004, Prince William represented the Scottish national universities water polo team in the annual Celtic Nations tournament against Wales and Ireland. The Prince was also a keen water polo player during his time at Eton College.
- During his gap year, he was part of the Raleigh International programme in the town of Tortel. At that time, the 18-year-old prince lived with other young volunteers, sharing in the common household chores—including cleaning the toilet—and also volunteered as a guest disc jockey at a local radio station.
- His interest in African culture prompted him to teach himself Swahili, the native language of the Waswahili people who are found along the East African coast and litoral islands.
- In June 1991, when Prince William was attending Ludgrove School, he suffered a depressed fracture of the skull after being accidentally hit on the forehead by a fellow pupil wielding a golf club for which he was operated at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The operation resulted in a permanent scar. Although media reporters eagerly sought the name of the boy who had swung the golf club following the incident, the headmaster of Ludgrove School briefed his pupils and swore them to silence. In an interview in 2009, he talked about the scar and dubbed it as “Harry Potter scar” saying “I call it that because it glows sometimes and some people notice it—other times they don’t notice it at all.”
- The engagement ring given by William to Catherine belonged to his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. Upon their marriage, the couple were given the country home Anmer Hall on the Sandringham Estate, as a wedding gift from the Queen.
- In March 2012, William was deployed to the Falkland Islands for a six-week tour was condemned as a “provocative act” by the Argentine government, citing that “the royal heir will arrive on national soil in the uniform of the conqueror and not with the wisdom of the statesman who works in the service of peace and dialogue among nations.” Apparently, William’s deployment to the islands took place when the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the Falklands War was approaching. The Falklands War was an undeclared war between Argentina and the United Kingdom in 1982 over two British-dependent territories in the South Atlantic.
- On 11 March 2020, he became the official patron of London’s Air Ambulance Charity. In the same year, he granted permission for air ambulances to land and refuel at Kensington Palace’s lawn that would ordinarily be reserved for Royal Family helicopters.
- Prince William received £ 10 million, left by her mother before her death, when he turned 30 in 2012. Two years later, Prince William and Prince Harry inherited Diana’s wedding dress along with many other of her personal possessions including dresses, diamond tiaras, jewels, letters, and paintings. Apart from that, the brothers also received the original lyrics and score of “Candle in the Wind” by Bernie Taupin and Elton John as performed by John at Diana’s funeral.
- He is a non-vegetarian. Chef McGrady, who worked at Kensington Palace for 15 years, during an interview revealed that Prince William and Prince Harry loved cottage pie and roasted chicken while growing up.
- He has been a keen biker from a young age. In 2008, he took part in a gruelling motorcycle rally with Harry across South Africa to raise money for a number of charities. His bike collection includes Triumph Daytona 600 and Ducati 1199. While talking about his love for motorcycles,
I don’t know what it is about bikes, but I’ve always had a passion for motorbikes ever since I was very small. I used to do a lot of go-karting when I was younger and then after that I went on to quadbikes and eventually motorbikes.”