The Stunning Transformation Of Prince William
It would be easy to assume that people like Prince William or anyone in the royal family have had easy, charmed lives. And while they certainly have been afforded certain privileges other people could only dream about, that doesn’t mean their lives have been smooth sailing.
Consider Prince William; from the time he was a young boy all the way until he became a father himself, there have been intense pressures, media scrutiny, and personal tragedies that have followed him around everywhere he went. Still, the royal has managed to make the best out of it and has come such a long way over the years, in more ways than one.
Yes, Prince William has really evolved as he’s gotten older, both personally and professionally. From a young prince just living his best life to a grown man with a family of his own, Prince William has undergone quite the transformation. So, read on to see just how much he’s changed since he was first born.
Prince William was the first-born child of the people's princess
Obviously, Prince William’s mother was Princess Diana. And while being born into the royal family would always mean Prince William was a bit of a celebrity, he was likely a little more beloved because of who his mother was. Yes, Princess Diana was known as the “people’s princess” because the public absolutely loved her and felt connected to her. So, when she had her first child, people everywhere were thrilled.
Prince William was actually born at the exact same hospital where he and his wife would eventually welcome their children together as well. The royal was born at the beloved-by-royals Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in London on June 21, 1982; according to Express, his full name — William Arthur Philip Louis — wasn’t announced until a week later, on June 28, 1982.
Additionally, Prince William was born to Prince Charles and Princess Diana of Wales, making Prince William the first child born to a prince and princess of Wales since 1905. So, to say his birth was pretty historic would be quite the understatement.
Prince William had a charmed childhood
Though Prince William might not have had the kind of childhood most people can relate to, he did have quite a charmed upbringing. After all, he was only two years old when his younger brother, Prince Harry was born on September 15, 1984, at the same hospital where he was born. Fortunately, it seems as though the two young boys had quite a fun time together. Former palace chef Darren McGrady answered some fan questions on his YouTube channel and explained that Prince William and Prince Harry had a good time eating as a family. “At Kensington Palace the food was always served on the sideboard buffet-style, so the boys could go back for more and more and more,” he explained. “But it was always the desserts that they went back for!”
But lest you worry that Prince William grew up too spoiled, fear not. According to Britannica, Princess Diana wanted her children to “have an understanding of people’s emotions, their insecurities, people’s distress, and their hopes and dreams.” To that end, she made it a point to take the boys on public transportation, and to visit orphanages, hospitals, and homeless shelters. Basically, Prince William’s childhood was as normal as you would expect a prince’s life to be.
Prince William coped with his parents' divorce
Prince Charles and Princess Diana separated in 1992, and finalized their divorce in 1996 (via History). Obviously, for young Prince William, who would have been only 10 when his parents first separated, it wasn’t an easy time. In fact, Former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond said that Prince William especially had to deal with a lot when his mother and father were going through their separation. “It was all the wrong way round for William,” Bond shared, according to Express. “He was having to comfort his mother when she should have been looking after him — he was just a little boy.”
Obviously, that impacted Prince William greatly. British historian Robert Lacey told Page Six that Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s divorce even affected Prince William later in life. “When he meets Kate Middleton at university, he actually makes the poor young woman wait nine years to effectively audition her for the job as wife to the head of state,” Lacey declared. “He took the lesson of duty.” Prince William definitely had to find ways to cope with his parents’ divorce.
Prince William tragically lost his mother
Just one year after her divorce from Prince Charles was finalized, Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997. According to History, Princess Diana had just had dinner with her new love interest, Egyptian filmmaker Dodi Al-Fayed, when they had to flee the restaurant because of paparazzi. As they drove through the streets of Paris, their car crashed, killing Al-Fayed and sending Princess Diana to the hospital where she later died of her injuries.
When Prince William learned of his mother’s passing, when he was just 15 years old, he was actually at Balmoral Castle. “Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning,” William recalled, according to Insider. “And in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors. As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep.”
Losing his mother was obviously devastating to Prince William, and likely affected him in more ways than one.
How did Prince William feel about his father remarrying?
With all that Prince William had been through in his youth, after his parents’ divorce and his mother’s death, it would make sense that he would have a hard time adjusting to any more changes. So how did he react when his father remarried in 2005? And how did he feel that Prince Charles married the woman who was known to be having an affair with him while he was still married to Princess Diana, Camilla Parker-Bowles? Needless to say, that was pretty big news at the time.
Penny Junor, author of “The Firm” wrote that things behind the scenes were pretty complicated. “The official line was that both boys were ‘delighted’ at their father’s happiness,” Junor wrote, via Express. But, Junor added that that official line was greatly exaggerated. “Sure enough, privately, their mood was more one of ‘acceptance’ than undiluted joy at the prospect of having Camilla as their stepmother,” Junor continued. Additionally, body language experts explained that Prince William showed signs of unease during Prince Charles’ wedding to Camilla. Apparently things weren’t all peachy behind the scenes, and Prince William wasn’t all that thrilled that his dad remarried.
Prince William had a relatively normal college experience
Like many high school graduates, Prince William went on to college. And according to Vanity Fair, when Prince William went to college at St. Andrew’s University, he was actually able to have a pretty normal college experience. Specifically, the media and the royal family came to an agreement that the press wouldn’t follow Prince William around at college if he gave an interview on his first day, which he did. So, Prince William was free to live his life at university, and it was there that he met his future wife, Kate Middleton.
According to Middleton herself, their first meeting was about as normal as you could get — well, minus the fact that Middleton was meeting a literal prince. “Well I actually think I went bright red when I met you and sort of scuttled off, feeling very shy about meeting you,” she revealed in an interview with ABC News. But, Kate added that, “we did become very close friends from quite early.”
Being able to not be stalked by paparazzi and meet a serious girlfriend all in college proves that Prince William really came out of his shell while away at school.
Prince William entered the military after college
As a member of the royal family, it wasn’t shocking that Prince William’s education didn’t end when he graduated college, as he went on to learn about his country’s military. According to Britannica, though Prince William graduated from St. Andrews in 2005, he continued with his education by entering the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. And though his time in the Academy obviously came to an end, Prince William remembers it quite fondly.
In 2018, Prince William attended the annual Sovereign’s Day Parade and gave a speech filled with nostalgia for his time at the Academy. “It is almost 12 years ago to the day that I stood where you are,” he revealed, according to USA Today. “I remember the deep sense of pride that came from passing out of one of the finest military academies in the world.”
But for as much pride as his time in the Academy brought him, Prince William also joked that he was glad when it was over. “I also remember the acute sense of relief that I would no longer be getting thrashed at Sennybridge (a military training area in Wales), or having to dig trenches for five days in Thetford!” he added.
Prince William had a historic wedding
On April 29, 2011, Prince William tied the knot with Kate Middleton in one of the most historic wedding ceremonies to date (via Brides). The nuptials were grand, exquisite, and perfectly lovely; there were celebrity guests, gorgeous flowers, and Kate wore a custom dress from Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton that went on to inspire dozens of wedding looks for future brides. Basically, it was a huge day for Prince William, and during his engagement interview it was clear he was excited to marry the love of his life.
When asked how he felt about having such a public engagement and eventually such a public wedding, Prince William was honest. “Massively excited, quite happy when the interview’s over, (laughter) but no we are hugely excited and we are looking forward to spending the rest of our times, the rest of our lives together and seeing what the future holds,” he gushed to ABC News. Clearly, marrying Kate was a sweet time for Prince William.
Prince William became a father three times over
After Prince William married Kate Middleton, the two went on to live quite the fairytale life — and that fairytale continued when they started their own family together. Their oldest child, Prince George, was born on July 22, 2013. Then came Princess Charlotte, who was born on May 2, 2015. Finally, Prince Louis was born on April 27, 2018. To make everything even sweeter, all three children were born in the same hospital that Prince William himself was born in.
Becoming a father seemed to have had a great impact on Prince William, as he revealed in the BBC documentary, “Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health” (via Town & Country). “Having children is the biggest life-changing moment, it really is,” he gushed. “I think when you’ve been through something traumatic in life … my mother dying when I was younger, the emotions come back, in leaps and bounds.”
For Prince William, having children was both a blessing and a challenge, and something that really helped him deal with his mother’s death as well.
Prince William said goodbye to his grandfather
As we all know, Prince William’s father is Prince Charles, but Prince William has more family than that. His grandmother is Queen Elizabeth, and his grandfather Prince Philip. But Prince William said goodbye to his grandfather in April 2021; a statement from the Palace announced the sad news. “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband,” the Palace said (via the BBC).
Prince Philip definitely lived a long and full life, as he died at the age of 99. Still, it couldn’t have been easy for Prince William to lose his grandfather. “My grandfather was an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation,” Prince William shared in a statement after Prince Philip died (per Town & Country). “Catherine and I will continue to do what he would have wanted and will support the queen in the years ahead. I will miss my grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job.”
Prince William was probably prepared for his grandfather to die, but it was still a huge moment in his life.
Prince William's relationship with his younger brother suffered
Prince William and his younger brother, Prince Harry, grew up pretty close by all accounts. They were only two years apart and seemed to be good friends as well as brothers. But, after Prince Harry branched out more from the royal family and when he married Meghan Markle, their relationship suffered.
All the way back in March 2019, reports surfaced that Prince William and Prince Harry had unfortunately had a falling out. “They are two grown men in their 30s, starting their own families, different wives, they are moving to different parts of the country, different duties,” royal filmmaker Nick Bullen told Fox News.
But that was before Prince Harry and Meghan’s famous interview with Oprah Winfrey, when Prince Harry revealed he and his brother really weren’t getting along. “The relationship is spaced at the moment,” he admitted. The interview also suggested that the royal family had racist tendencies towards Meghan. After the interview aired, Prince William denied that the royal family was racist, but also said he hadn’t yet spoken directly to his brother about it all. Clearly, their brotherly relationship is more strained now than ever before.
Prince William is preparing for the throne
As Prince William gets older, and so do his predecessors to the throne, the day that he will become king grows eminent. Obviously, Queen Elizabeth is on the throne, but the fact of the matter is that she will one day die, as will her son, Prince Charles. They are both elderly, so it’s inevitable that Prince William will ascend to the throne sooner than later.
Additionally, according to royal biographer Ingrid Seward, both Prince William and Kate Middleton are getting ready for the throne when that time comes. “They are being prepared every day,” Seward told People. “There was no school for princesses when Princess Diana was around, and there is no school today for monarchs. They learn by observing and by experience.”
Whenever the time comes for Prince William to become King William, it’s obvious that he’ll be quite ready. He truly has come such a long way since he was born, and has had quite the impressive transformation.
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