ENG: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, KG (William Arthur Philip Louis; born 21 June 1982) is the elder son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, and third eldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is second in the line of succession, behind his father, to the thrones of sixteen independent sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. Consequently, he is also second in line, again behind his father, to the position of Head of the Commonwealth (figurehead of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations) and, in England only, Supreme Governor of the Church of England. He was educated at four schools in the United Kingdom and obtained a degree from the University of St Andrews. He spent parts of a gap year in Chile, Belize, and countries in Africa, most notably Kenya where he has lived and holidayed several times. Besides his engagement to Kate whilst living in Kenya, Prince William has also taken Kiswahili studies at universities in Kenya and Tanzania. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry—serving with his brother Prince Harry—and, two years later, earned his wings by completing pilot training at Royal Air Force College Cranwell. In 2009, the Prince transferred to the Royal Air Force, was promoted to flight lieutenant and underwent helicopter flying training in order to become a full time pilot with the Search and Rescue Force. In Autumn 2010, he completed his general and special-to-type helicopter training and he is now at RAF Valley on No. 22 Squadron performing co-pilot duties on board a Sea King search and rescue helicopter. Prince William married his long-term girlfriend, the former Catherine Middleton, on 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey. Hours prior to his wedding, Prince William was created Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus.
Prince William was born at St Mary's Hospital, London on 21 June 1982. He was baptised in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace on 4 August 1982 (the 82nd birthday of his paternal great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother) by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie. William's godparents are: former King Constantine II of Greece (his paternal cousin); Princess Alexandra, The Hon Mrs Angus Ogilvy (his paternal cousin); the Duchess of Westminster; the Lady Susan Hussey; Lord Romsey (his paternal cousin); and Sir Laurens van der Post.
As a male-line grandchild of the sovereign and son of the Prince of Wales, William was styled 'His Royal Highness' 'Prince William of Wales', though he was affectionately called 'Wombat' by his parents or 'Wills' (the latter a name coined by the press by which he is still known by the general public). It was reported that, at age seven, the Prince said to his mother that he desired to be a police officer when he was older, so that he might be able to protect her; a statement to which his brother responded: "Oh, no you can't. You've got to be King." William's first public appearance was on 1 March 1991 (Saint David's Day), during an official visit of his parents to Cardiff, Wales.
After arriving by aeroplane, the Prince was taken to Llandaff Cathedral, where he signed the visitors' book, thereby demonstrating that he was left-handed. On 3 June 1991, William was admitted to Royal Berkshire Hospital after having been hit on the side of the forehead by a fellow student wielding a golf club. The Prince did not lose consciousness, but did suffer a depressed fracture of the skull and was operated on at the Great Ormond Street Hospital, resulting in a permanent scar.
William's mother desired her two sons should have wider experiences than are usual for royal children. Diana took William and his brother to Walt Disney World and McDonald's; in addition they visited AIDS clinics and shelters for the homeless. She also bought them things typical teenagers used, such as video games.
Diana, Princess of Wales, who was by then divorced from the Prince of Wales, died in a car accident in 1997. William, along with his brother and father, was staying at Balmoral Castle at the time, and the Prince of Wales waited until early the following morning to tell his sons about their mother's death. At his mother's funeral, William accompanied his father, brother, paternal grandfather, and maternal uncle in walking behind the funeral cortège from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.
William was educated at independent schools, starting at Jane Mynors' nursery school and the pre-preparatory Wetherby School, both in London. Following this, he attended Ludgrove School and was privately tutored during summers by Rory Stewart. At Ludgrove he also participated in football—along with swimming, basketball, clay pigeon shooting, and cross-country running.
William sat for the entrance exam to Eton College and was admitted. There he studied geography, biology and history of art at A-Level, obtaining an A in geography, a C in biology and a B in history of art. At Eton he continued to play football, captaining his house team, and took up water polo. The decision to place William in Eton went against the family tradition of sending royal children to Gordonstoun (William's grandfather, father, two uncles, and two cousins all attended); it did, however, make the Prince follow in the Spencer family footsteps, as both Diana's father and brother had attended Eton. It was also agreed between the Royal Family and the tabloid press that William would be allowed to study free of paparazzi intrusion in exchange for regular updates of the Prince's life. Then chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, John Wakeham, said of the arrangement: "Prince William is not an institution; nor a soap star; nor a football hero. He is a boy: in the next few years, perhaps the most important and sometimes painful part of his life, he will grow up and become a man."
After completing his studies at Eton, the Prince took a gap year, during which he took part in British Army training exercises in Belize, and, for ten weeks, taught children in the town of Tortel, in southern Chile, as part of the Raleigh International programme. It was during his time in the latter location that he lived with other young teachers, sharing in the common household chores, including cleaning the toilet, and also volunteered as the guest radio jockey for the local radio station.
By 2001, William was back in the United Kingdom and had enrolled, under the name William Wales, at the University of St Andrews. News of this caused a temporary increase in the number of applications to St Andrews, mostly from young women who wanted an opportunity to meet the Prince. The extra attention did not deter him, though, and he embarked on a degree course in art history, later changing his main subject to geography, and going on to earn a Scottish Master of Arts degree with upper second class honours in geography—the best degree of any heir to the throne of Britain and the Commonwealth realms. While at university, Prince William also represented the Scottish national universities water polo team at the Celtic Nations tournament in 2004. He was known as “Steve” by other students to avoid any journalists overhearing and realising his identity.
Royal duties and career
William began to accompany his parents on official visits at an early age; his first overseas royal tour was with his parents to Australia and New Zealand in 1983, a decision made by the Princess of Wales that was considered to be unconventional; not only was William so young, but both the first and second in line for the throne would be travelling together. However, he accompanied either both parents or his father on subsequent tours, and, upon graduation from university, began to undertake duties of his own, as well as obtaining experience in the private workforce when he worked with land management at Chatsworth House and interned at HSBC.
Following his parents' examples, William took interest in various causes from a relatively early age. The late Princess of Wales' work with HIV/AIDS aid and prevention, and the Prince of Wales' work with the natural environment and the inner-city disadvantaged, directed William into those areas. He also showed a desire to focus on the needy in Africa, sometimes working with his brother's charity, Sentebale.
On 23 January 2009, it emerged that Prince William had written the foreword to a book for the first time. The cover of Home from War, the autobiography of a soldier from the Prince's regiment who was seriously wounded in a Taliban ambush, notes his contribution.
Relationship with Catherine Middleton
During his years at university, William participated in university life; of himself he said: "I'm not a party animal, despite what some people might think." Like his father before him, William's private life became the subject of tabloid speculation, especially around his relationship with Catherine Middleton, who had been one of William's university flatmates and whom William began dating in 2003. Middleton attended the Prince's passing-out parade at Sandhurst, marking the first high-profile event that she attended as William's guest. The relationship between Prince William and Middleton was followed so closely that bookmakers took bets on the possibility of a Royal Wedding and the retail chain Woolworths produced memorabilia bearing the likenesses of the couple.
Media attention became so intense that William had to make a specific request to the paparazzi that they keep their distance from Middleton and himself. In March 2007, Middleton complained of media harassment by the Daily Mirror. It was reported in April 2007 that the couple had split, though in June, Middleton attended a party at Lulworth Army Barracks as the guest of Prince William, and in July the Concert for Diana, which had been organised by Princes William and Harry. In August, she accompanied William on holiday in the island of Des Roches in the Seychelles, and in October she joined Prince Charles and Prince Harry for a shooting party at Balmoral. In June 2008, along with the Royal Family, Middleton attended William's investiture into the Order of the Garter.
Middleton was formally introduced to publ. c life by William on 24 February 2011 when she and William attended a lifeboat naming ceremony in Trearddur, North Wales.