Prince William of Wales
Prince William of Wales (William Arthur Philip Louis Mountbatten-Windsor), (born 21 June 1982) is second in the line of succession to the British throne and thrones of each of the other Commonwealth Realms. He is the elder son of The Prince of Wales and his first wife, the late Lady Diana Spencer. As the son of The Prince of Wales and grandson of Queen Elizabeth II Prince William is a member of the British Royal Family.
Birth, family, and childhood
Prince William was born on 21 June 1982 at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, West London. His father is Charles, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His mother was Lady Diana Spencer, youngest daughter of the 8th Earl Spencer. As a grandchild of the British monarch and son of the Prince of Wales, he is styled His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales. As a child, his parents affectionately called him Wombat.
He was christened on his great-grandmother's 82nd birthday on 4 August 1982 in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Robert Runcie. His godparents were: King Constantine II of the Hellenes, Sir Laurens van der Post, Princess Alexandra, the Duchess of Westminster, Lord Romsey and Lady Susan Hussey.
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. He will also be the first monarch descended from James II since the death of Queen Anne in 1714.
He has a younger brother, Prince Harry. His father's second wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is their stepmother, giving the princes a step-brother, Tom Parker Bowles, and step-sister, Laura Lopes.
On 1st March (St. David's Day) 1991, Prince William made his first official public appearance during a visit to Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. After arriving by plane, the eight-year-old prince was taken by his parents to Llandaff Cathedral. After a tour of the cathedral, he signed its visitors book, demonstrating that he was left-handed. Photographs of the Prince taken during his visit are on permanent display at the cathedral. On his departure, numerous school children and local residents from the surrounding area presented gifts to him, which he received with a smile and the whispered words "thank you."
On 3 June 1991 Prince William was admitted to the Royal Berkshire Hospital after being hit on the side of the forehead by another pupil wielding a golf club. The Prince did not lose consciousness, but suffered a depressed fracture of the skull and was operated on at the Great Ormond Street Hospital. A scar is still visible today.
The prince has been a keen fan of the Aston Villa football (soccer) club since childhood.
Death of Diana, Princess of Wales
On 31 August 1997 Prince William's mother, Diana, 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. Their father, Charles, woke them from their sleep to tell them the news.
At Diana's funeral, Prince William accompanied his father, brother, 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 has seen little of him since then or of Diana's mother before her death.
Prince William has been educated entirely in the English public school system. He attended the Mrs Jane Mynors' nursery school and the pre-prep Wetherby School both in West London, and later attended Ludgrove School in Berkshire, a preparatory school. After passing an entrance exam he went on to attend Eton College in Berkshire. Whilst there he studied geography, biology and history of art at A-level. The prince is left handed.
Like a growing number of 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.
After his gap year, Prince William attended the University of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland from 2001, graduating in 2005. He embarked on a degree course in Arts History, but later changed his main subject to Geography. William gained a Scottish Master of Arts degree with upper-second class honours, the highest academic achievement of any heir to the British and other Commonwealth Realm thrones. At St Andrews, the prince used the name William Wales.
In January 2006, Prince William began his cadet course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to train as an Army Officer. William joined his brother who had been there since May 2005.
Royal duties and career
HRH Prince William of Wales
|Reference style||His Royal Highness|
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In July 2005, William carried out his first official engagements representing Elizabeth II, as Queen of New Zealand, at World War II commemorations in New Zealand. In September of the same year, it was announced that William would become president of The Football Association from May 2006 and patron to the UK charity Centrepoint,  which works with homeless young people. Centrepoint is the first organization to which William is patron. During his mother's patronage, William would occasionally accompany her on visits.
In October of 2005, the prince worked in land management at Chatsworth House, a Peak District estate of the Duke of Devonshire. William's second work placement was with the HSBC Group in London, which he completed in November 2005.
As with many of his predecessors, Prince William has chosen to serve in the Armed Forces. Following his education and officer training at Sandhurst, he has expressed a desire to serve as an active soldier and to fight on the frontline. Given his position in the succession and the reluctance of previous British governments to allow the Heir to the Throne to be put into dangerous situations, it remains to be seen if this wish will be fully realised.
As the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, it is currently expected that William will ascend the throne of the United Kingdom, as well as those of the other Commonwealth Realms. If William decides to use his first name as his regnal name, he will be known as King William V. Prince William might well choose another name, as did Prince Albert Edward in 1901 and Prince Albert in 1936. Like his mother, William is said to possess a strong dislike for excessive royal protocol, and desires greater personal independence.
Prince William with Kate Middleton