Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, is the elder son of The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer, and second in the line of succession to the British throne. He was born Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, at 9:03pm on June 21, 1982, in the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London. He is the 3rd grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh. Prince William was the first future British king to be born in a hospital.
He was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace on August 4, 1982. His godparents are:
Unlike previous generations of British royals, William began his public life at a very young age. He accompanied his parents on a tour of Australia and New Zealand at just 9 months old. He began his schooling at Jane Mynors’ nursery school, followed by pre-preparatory schooling at Wetherby School, both in London. From 1990-1995, he attended Ludgrove School in Wokingham, and then studied Geography, Biology and History of Art at Eton College.
Following a gap year during which he visited Belize, Chile, worked on dairy farms in England, and visited Africa, he enrolled at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Initially studying Art History, he changed his course to Geography, and graduated in 2005 with honours. Following an internship at HSBC, he entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst at the beginning of 2006. He graduated in December of the same year, and joined the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals) as a Second Lieutenant (promoted to Lieutenant a year later). He also trained with the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, and took an attachment to the Royal Air Force in 2008. Following a two-month attachment to the Royal Navy, he formally transferred his commission to the RAF, with the rank of Flight Lieutenant, and trained as a helicopter pilot with the RAF’s Search and Rescue Force.
photo: The Telegraph/MOD/PA
Following his training, he transferred to the Search and Rescue Training Unit at RAF Valley, in Angelsey, Wales. Here he trained on the Sea King helicopter, graduating in September 2010. He remained at RAF Valley, assigned to C Flight No. 22 Squadron, until stepping down from active service in September 2013.
At that time, it was announced that the Duke would be undertaking more official duties, while still evaluating his role and future plans. In January 2014, he enrolled in a 10-week course in Agricultural Management at the University of Cambridge. As he will one day take over control of the Duchy of Cornwall, this was intended to help prepare him for that role. Later in 2014, it was announced that he would be taking a full-time position with the East Anglian Air Ambulance service.
From an early age, Prince William was exposed to the struggles and challenges faced by many people. To this day, he continues to support many of the charities and causes once very dear to his mother, and has developed a strong interest in conservation and protection of our natural resources. This is just a small list of organizations with which he is involved:
- Patron, Centrepoint
- Patron, The Royal Marsden Hospital
- Patron, Mountain Rescue England & Wales
- Patron, The Tusk Trust
- President, England Football Association
- Vice Royal Patron of the Welsh Rugby Union
- Patron, English Schools Swimming Association
- President, British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)
In addition to his many organizations, The Duke of Cambridge is an avid polo player, and along with his brother, often takes part in charity polo matches.
Prince William and Catherine Middleton, 2003. photo: ABCNews
While a student at St Andrews, William met his future wife, Catherine Middleton. First as friends, and then flat-mates along with some other friends, the relationship soon turned romantic. After years of speculation, and intense media scrutiny, the couple became engaged while on a vacation in Kenya. Prince William gave her his mother’s famous engagement ring – a large sapphire surrounded by diamonds.
photo: Daily Mail/Getty Images
The engagement was formally announced by Clarence House on November 16, 2010. Following the announcement, the couple met the press and photographers at St. James’ Palace, followed by a television interview.
On April 29, 2011, Prince William and Catherine Middleton married at Westminster Abbey. Earlier that morning, The Queen had created him Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus. You can read more about their wedding here!
On December 3, 2012, it was announced that the Duke and Duchess were expecting their first child. Legislation had already begun to ensure that their firstborn child, regardless of gender, would become next in line for the throne. This legislation has been approved in the UK, and once approved in all of the other realms, will go into effect. Under the existing Letters Patent regarding titles and styles, a son would become HRH Prince X, but a daughter would simply become Lady X. The Queen issued Letters Patent in December 2013, declaring that all children born to The Duke and Duchess would be Prince and Princess, with the style of Royal Highness. On July 22, 2013, The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a son, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, at 4:24pm.
The following day, the proud parents emerged from the doors of the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital the following day, and presented their son to the crowds and media waiting outside. For many, it brought back memories of a similar scene, 31 years earlier, when The Prince and Princess of Wales first emerged from the hospital with the newborn Prince William.
On September 8, 2014, it was announced from Clarence House that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child. Kensington Palace has confirmed that the baby is due in April 2015.
photo: Daily Mail/National News and Pictures
Prince William was made a Knight of the Order of the Garter on April 23, 2008 – as the 1,000th member of the Order. This was the first time a grandchild of the sovereign had been appointed to the order since 1894. He was later, in May 2012, made a Knight of the Order of the Thistle. He was also made Personal Aide-de-Camp To Her Majesty The Queen in March 2013.
Following their marriage, the couple resided in Angelsey, Wales, where Prince William was stationed at RAF Valley. In London, they moved to Nottingham Cottage – a small residence on the grounds of Kensington Palace. It was later announced that they would move to Apartment 1A within Kensington Palace, the former home of Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. After extensive renovations, they took up residence in 2014. In addition, the Queen has given them use of Anmer Hall on the Sandringham Estate as their country home. It is at Anmer Hall where they will be based primarily for the next several years, as this is closer to Prince William’s work at the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
Read more about your favorite royals here!