Prince William of Wales

From Academic Kids

HRH Prince William of Wales William Arthur Philip Louis
HRH Prince William of Wales
William Arthur Philip Louis

His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales (William Arthur Philip Louis Mountbatten-Windsor), born 21 June 1982, is a member of the British Royal Family, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and first son of the Prince of Wales and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Prince William is second in the line of succession to the British throne, after his father and before his brother, Prince Harry.

Prince William is expected to ascend the thrones of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth Realms.



Template:British Royal Family Prince William was born on June 21, 1982 at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, West London. He was christened on August 4, 1982 in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace. His father is HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His mother was Diana, Princess of Wales, a daughter of the 8th Earl Spencer. He has a younger brother, HRH Prince Harry of Wales. As a grandchild of the British monarch in the male line, he is styled His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales. He is sometimes known as Wills.

The prince's official surname is Windsor, according to legal documentation, but all the descendants of Queen Elizabeth II utilize the surname Mountbatten-Windsor as personal preference. At university he was known by the surname Wales.

Through his mother, Prince William is descended from both the Duke of Grafton and the Duke of Richmond, two illegitimate sons of King Charles II of England. Thus, upon his expected ascension as King, he will be the first British monarch descended from Charles II, as well as the first descended from Charles I since the death of Queen Anne in 1714.

Death of Diana, Princess of Wales

On 31 August 1997 Prince William's mother, Diana, Princess of Wales and her companion, Dodi Al-Fayed, were killed in a car accident in Paris, France. Her death came days after she spent a holiday in southern France with both Prince William and Prince Harry. Both princes were staying with the Queen at Balmoral Castle at the time and were woken from their sleep by their father, Charles, to be told the tragic news.

At Diana's funeral, Prince William accompanied his father and brother and his grandfather Prince Philip and his uncle the 9th Earl Spencer to walk behind Diana's funeral cortege from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. During his eulogy, the Earl Spencer promised that the Spencer family would take an active interest in looking after Diana's children, although William saw little of him and Diana's mother in future years.


Prince William attended the Mrs Jane Mynors' nursery school and the pre-prep Wetherby School both in West London. He later attended Ludgrove School in Berkshire. William was the first British prince to attend a primary school. He later attended the prestigious Eton College in Eton, Berkshire. He studied geography, biology and history of art at A-level.

After his gap year, Prince William chose to attend the University of St Andrews in Fife from 2001 until 2005. He embarked on a degree course in Arts History, although he later changed his main subject to Geography and gained a Scottish master's degree with upper-second class honours. At St Andrews, William used the name William Wales.

Gap year

Like many British teenagers, Prince William chose to take a gap year after finishing Eton College. He took part in British Army training in Belize. He spent the final stage of his gap year in southern Chile as a volunteer with Raleigh International. Pictures of the prince cleaning a toilet were broadcast around the world.


Prince William is known to be wary of the media and tries to avoid the spotlight. When Paul Burrell was publishing his story of his time working with Diana, Princess of Wales, William issued a statement with his brother condemning those people who disrespect her memory. His uncle Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex was also criticised for breaking media guidelines on reporting on Prince William during his education at St Andrews by sending a TV crew to film him.


As the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, it is expected that William will ascend the throne in the future. The Queen is known to spend time with William, tutoring him on his future role. If William decides to use his first name as King, he will be known as King William V.

At the present, however, Prince William is relatively free of royal responsibility. He currently does not carry out official engagements on behalf of the Queen. He also announced his intention not to use the style His Royal Highness while at university, however this is still his official style as reported in the Court Circular.

William's love life has been the subject of speculation. Many young and eligible women have been linked to the prince, most recently Kate Middleton, but he has insisted that he will not marry until he is older.

As with many of his predecessors, Prince William has expressed a desire to enter the Armed Forces; he has stated that he wishes to join his brother at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to train as an Officer Cadet. He has also expressed a desire to be a 'proper officer', and go wherever his men go. Given his position, and the reluctance of previous British governments to allow the Heir to the Throne into dangerous situations, it seems unlikely that this wish will be fully realised.

Missing image
The Standard of Prince William

Like his mother, William is said to possess a strong dislike for excessive royal protocol, and desires greater personal independence. Some journalists have even speculated that William may choose not to become king at all, so frustrated by the monarchy's restraints is he. Needless to say, such claims are largely empty speculation at this point, as the Prince, like all members of the immediate royal family, does not give open interviews.

Prince William's 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle was marred by a breach of security which saw the self styled Comedy Terrorist Aaron Barschak scale the walls of the castle and enter William's party, storming the stage where William was giving a speech; Barschak was then arrested.

Style and arms

Missing image
Coat of Arms of HRH Prince William of Wales

Prince William is styled as a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with the style His Royal Highness. As the eldest son of the future monarch, it is likely that he will be created Prince of Wales after his father's accession, although this is not automatic. He will, however, become Duke of Cornwall upon his father's accession.

On his 18th birthday, his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II granted Prince William his own personalised coat of arms. His arms are those of the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom with a label for difference: Quarterly 1st and 4th, Gules three Lions passant guardant in pale Or (England) 2nd, Or a Lion rampant within a Double Tressure flory counterflory Gules (Scotland) 3rd, Azure a Harp Or stringed Argent (Ireland) the whole differenced by a Label of three points Argent the central point charged with an Escallop Gules. The Escallop Gules is in reference to his mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, as the Escallop appears in the Spencer coat of arms.

See also

Preceded by:
HRH The Prince of Wales
Line of Succession to the British throne Succeeded by:
HRH Prince Henry of Wales
de:William Mountbatten-Windsor

et:William Mountbatten-Windsor fr:William de Galles he:ויליאם, הנסיך מווילס nl:William Mountbatten-Windsor ja:ウィリアム・マウントバッテン=ウィンザー pt:Prncipe William de Gales zh:威廉王子 (威爾斯)


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