Engaging Facts About Prince William, The Duke Of Cambridge

March 6, 2022 | Kyle Climans

Engaging Facts About Prince William, The Duke Of Cambridge

There’s growing up in the public eye—and then there’s Prince William. His birth was celebrated the world over, and that attention only intensified during his parents’ divorce and after his mother’s tragic death. The scrutiny has been relentless—but there’s still more to him than meets the eye. From his marriage to that rift with his family, Prince William’s story is a lot darker than people know.

1. He Was Born To Rule

From the moment Prince William was born, the pressure was on. As second in line to the British throne after his father Prince Charles, William was quite literally born to be king. But the pressure went much deeper than just his royal duty. His parents had been married for all of four months when Princess Diana got pregnant with him.

Diana was thrilled—but behind the scenes, she was hiding a desperate secret.

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2. He Was Born Into A Tense Situation

Princess Diana knew about Prince Charles’s deep and abiding love for his ex, Camilla Parker Bowles, even before she’d married him. During what should’ve been the honeymoon period, Diana found herself feeling rejected by her husband and obsessed with her romantic rival. Luckily, her pregnancy with William served as a great distraction from her woes—or at least, it did temporarily.

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3. They Nearly Lost Him

Princess Diana’s pregnancy wasn’t easy on her, and it ravaged her already-fragile body. Just a few months into her pregnancy, Diana gave herself and the court the shock of a lifetime when she suffered a horrible fall down the stairs. Luckily, she and the fetus were fine. However, few remember the dark truth about her “accident.”

Years later, Diana confessed that she’d purposely thrown herself down the stairs that day after a fight with Charles. Miraculously, both Diana and the baby were fine—but his birth would bring new complications.

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4. His Birth Was Momentous

As the months of her pregnancy wore on, Princess Diana couldn’t take it anymore, and asked for an induction to be scheduled. Prince William was born healthy and happy in June of 1982—but both post-partum depression and the growing tension between Diana and her in-laws cut short the bliss she should’ve enjoyed as a new mother.

Prince William was too young to realize it, but he was in the middle of a family so divided, they were notorious for it.

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5. He Became A Jetsetter

As you can imagine, a conventional childhood was never in the cards for Prince William. Though Princess Diana became known for attempting to give her sons a sense of normalcy, it wasn’t always that way. When William was first born, Diana was still struggling with her royal duties. When it came time for her and Prince Charles to make a visit to Australia and New Zealand, she went completely against protocol.

Diana insisted on bringing William with them, even though he was only nine months old. It doesn’t seem like that controversial of a decision, but for many reasons, it was…

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6. His Trip Put The Line Of Succession In Danger

Prince William was, after all, one of the heirs to the throne, and he was traveling with the heir, his father. Decades earlier in 1954, when the roles were reversed and Queen Elizabeth was supposed to travel to Australia, she had left Prince Charles behind. This way, if something terrible had happened, only one royal would’ve been lost.

Either way, Princess Diana’s choice was a bold one—and it wouldn’t be the last time that she or William went against the rest of the family.

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7. He Became A Big Brother

In 1984, Princess Diana got pregnant again and little Prince William prepared to become a big brother. This time, Diana’s pregnancy marked a happy moment for her and Charles. Sadly, it came to an end all too quickly. The moment that Prince Harry was born, Charles retreated from Diana again. He even expressed his disappointment to the queen, who snapped back that he should be happy to have a healthy child.

Prince William’s early bond with his little brother Harry would later come in handy as the tension within his family mounted to unbearable heights.

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8. They Spoiled Him

Princess Diana’s childhood had been no picnic either, and she was determined to not only maintain a close presence in William’s life, but also to shower him with all the affection that her parents had denied her. But, at the same time, these things can backfire. With constant attention from his mother and his nannies, William could occasionally be a little bit of a brat.

He caused his fair share of trouble in the palace—sneakily pressing a button that immediately called Scotland Yard, for instance—but that wasn’t all he did.

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9. He Was Full Of Himself

Toddlers are hard enough to deal with, but what about ones that are smart enough to realize that one day they’ll have incredible power? There were stories about Prince William terrorizing palace staff and yelling things like “When I’m King, I’m going to send all my knights around to kill you!” Yikes. It was definitely a far cry from the reserved William that the world got to know in later years…but as we’ll see, it may have also been a sign of strife under the surface.

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10. She Had To Let Go

When it came to raising William, Princess Diana was known for bucking tradition—but there was one that she couldn’t escape. Princes in the royal family always went to boarding school, and they weren’t about to let William be the exception. When he was just 8 years old, his parents brought him to the Ludgrove School, where Diana bade him a tearful farewell.

William later described his time at Ludgrove as some of the happiest years of his life. After all, it was there that he sheltered from the storm at home.

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11. His Nature Changed

Before Ludgrove, Prince William had been a pretty boisterous kid—but something happened to him there that changed everything. It’s unknown whether it was his homesickness, the strict routine, or something else, but William grew more reserved, thoughtful, and serious in his time at the school. However, his time there was not without incident…

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12. He Had A Terrible Accident

Not long after William began attending Ludgrove, Princess Diana got the phone call that every mother lives in fear of. During a sporting event, a classmate accidentally struck William in the head while he was swinging a golf club. He suffered a depressed fracture on his skull—but the doctors immediately realized it was worse than it looked. The pressure on his skull necessitated surgery, and Diana was right by his side.

Luckily, the operation was successful, and it left William with only a small scar. Sadly, the emotional scars were about to multiply...

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13. She Suspected His Nanny

There had long been one constant in the marriage between Diana and Charles—and her name was Camilla. However, in 1993, Diana began to suspect he was hiding an even darker secret. As mentioned earlier, she believed that he was also having an affair with his personal assistant (and William’s former nanny) Tiggy Legge-Bourke, and that he wanted to marry her—but that’s not all.

Diana also believed that Charles wanted the firm to have her taken out, so that he could “make the path clear for him” to be with Tiggy. It was a dire moment—but it was about to get worse.

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14. They Were At A Breaking Point

William’s parents’ marriage had been on the rocks for a long time. For years, tabloids had been publishing reports about their marital strife, cheating allegations, and worse. Diana had never expected to get out of her marriage to Charles, and she’d vowed to herself and her in-laws to never end it. But the situation was so much worse than anyone had expected.

In 1992, Diana visited William at Ludgrove—and she had terrible news.

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15. It Broke His Heart

On that visit, Diana told William and his younger brother Harry that she and Charles were separating. While Harry was confused, William was devastated and broke down in tears. From that moment on, the boys either spent time with their mother or their father—rarely all together. Luckily, the family made sure that the boys were sheltered from the tabloid covers’ breathless reports about Diana and Charles…but they were definitely getting to the age where that would soon be unavoidable.

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16. He Resented The Press

Kids are smart, and even though his family did their best to shelter William from too much gossip about his parents, he was able to understand the immense amount of pressure that media attention put on them, especially his mother. He grew to hate the spotlight as a result, and resented the attention on his parents’ relationship.

A little normalcy probably would’ve helped, but even after he went from Ludgrove to the prestigious Eton College, it remained out of his reach…

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17. He Couldn’t Live Freely

Eton had its fair share of famous students—but none quite like William. He had to have a security detail at the school, but they did their best to be discreet and keep their distance where possible. Luckily, they rarely had to deal with paparazzi, as there was something of an agreement between them and the palace—they wouldn’t stalk William, as long as the palace kept them abreast of developments in the prince’s life.

It was a much-needed arrangement, as the attention surrounding his family was about to intensify exponentially.

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18. They Shared Too Much For Him

In August of 1996, just as it was time for William to return to Eton, his parents finalized their divorce. Luckily, he had the support of his friends at school, many of whom had divorced parents themselves. But despite his facade, William was hiding immense pain. His mother’s revelation a year earlier that she’d cheated on his father with a cavalryman who’d helped William with his polo skills had left him with deep scars.

While he wanted them both to find happiness, he hated hearing about their dirty laundry.

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19. He Stood Up For Her

It wasn’t just hearing about his parents’ darker moments that bothered William. As the tension grew between Diana and his father’s side of the family, he grew resentful of the way the Windsors yielded their power over her. During one of the nastier moments of their divorce, Prince Charles and the Queen insisted on taking away Diana’s royal title.

In protest, William made a heartbreaking promise to his mother. He vowed he’d restore her title when he became king. In fact, William and Diana were quite the dynamic duo.

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20. He Made It Into Something Positive

No one knew about the dark side of Diana’s fame better than William—but he also understood that her celebrity could be used for good. It was William who came up with the idea to sell some of her most iconic outfits in an auction for charity. They made over 2 million pounds, and Diana was sure that everyone knew it had been William’s labor of love.

That summer, William took a sunny vacation in Saint-Tropez with Diana and Harry. Sadly, it would be the last trip they ever took together.

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21. They Had One Last Happy Moment Together

That summer, William, Diana, and Harry were guests of Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed. While in the South of France, she met his son Dodi, and they began seeing each other afterward. Unfortunately, this set off a dark sequence of events. When the press realized that Diana had a new boyfriend, they went into overdrive following them all over France.

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22. He Lost His Mother

On the night of August 30, 1997, paparazzi chased Diana and Dodi’s car after they attempted to evade them at a Paris hotel. They entered the Pont d’Alma tunnel—but they never made it to the other side. After the crash, Diana was still conscious, but she soon went into cardiac arrest. Emergency personnel rushed her to hospital, but the damage was too bad.

Three hours after her initial rescue, doctors pronounced her dead—and William’s life would never be the same again.

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23. They Had No Time To Process It

Just before dawn, Prince Charles woke up William and Harry at Balmoral Castle to give them the devastating news. There was little time for William, or any of them, to let it sink in. Within hours, they were in all black, attending church services with the queen. On the way back to the castle, they stopped and looked at the flowers that people were already leaving out in tribute.

Not long after that, Charles flew to Paris with Diana’s two sisters to retrieve her body—leaving William and Harry behind at Balmoral. It was just the beginning of a very, very long nightmare.

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24. He Never Got To Grieve

While the public sentiment turned from shock to grief (not to mention anger at the paparazzi), the same cannot be said for William. The young prince, only 15, was stuck in a state of confusion. How could the mother who’d been such a force of nature—and who’d been so full of love for him—be gone? For William, the initial jolt of the loss did not dissipate for days…or years.

Reflecting on it years later, he said that the shock was so strong and hard to shake that he didn’t really get to grieve publicly. And the fact that he was more in the public eye than ever didn’t help things.

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25. He Didn’t Know What His Duties Were

In the panic after Diana’s untimely death, the palace hastily arranged a funeral, basing some of their plans on what they had prepared for the Queen Mother. As such, there was a question over what roles William and Harry might play in it all—a question that their grandfather quickly shut down, saying: “They’ve just lost their mother. You’re talking about them as if they are commodities.”

As we’ll see, having his strong presence during that difficult time would be incredibly important.

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26. He Was In The Middle Of A Storm

While William and Harry may have been too young to realize it, people were furious with the rest of the family’s response—or seeming lack thereof—to Diana’s loss. As the boys sheltered at Balmoral with their father, the British public began wondering where the queen was. Finally, she appeared with Charles, William, and Harry for a remembrance service near Balmoral.

As they drove back, they stopped so that William and Harry could look at the flowers people had left in tribute to their mother—but as William later said, it still didn’t sink in.

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27. He Didn’t Know Why They Cared So Much

Finally, five days after the loss of his mother, William and his family returned to London, where they stopped to see the piles of flowers, five feet deep in some places, in front of Diana’s home. The mourners—both the sheer number of them, and the dramatic nature of some of their antics—confused William and his brother. After all, none of them had really known their mother.

The next day, the confounding nature of it all only intensified.

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28. He Surprised Everyone

The next day, as Diana’s coffin left Kensington Palace, a small white envelope could be spotted lying on top of it. On it was written one heartbreaking word: “Mummy.” As William and Harry followed the coffin, people could be openly heard gasping and weeping. When they all reached Westminster Abbey, the funeral began, with Diana’s brother giving a eulogy—one that would cause gasps of its own.

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29. It Tore His Family Apart

During Charles Spencer’s eulogy for his sister, Princess Diana, he made a dire—and controversial—promise to William and Harry. In what seemed like a direct reference to Diana’s bad blood with the Windsors and her outspoken nature, he pledged that her “blood family” would make sure that William and his brother would be able to “sing as openly as you planned.”

William and Harry had gone from being pulled between their parents, to being pulled between the Spencers and the House of Windsor.

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30. They Met The Other Woman

After the funeral, Princes William and Harry returned to Eton, where they were able to lean on each other and their friends and regain a sense of normalcy. But they were in for a bit of a surprise. Just nine months after they lost Diana, Prince Charles arranged for them to meet one of his oldest—and most controversial—friends.

Until that moment, William had never met Camilla Parker Bowles. And what happened that day wasn’t really what anyone expected.

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31. He Put His Pain Aside For The Greater Good

Exhibiting a maturity and grace that few boys his age might have been able to muster, Prince William was friendly and welcoming to Camilla, despite her notorious status as “the other woman” in his parents’ marriage. He knew how much she meant to his father—the only parent he had left. It had the potential for disaster, but because of William, it went off without a hitch.

William and Harry then invited Camilla to the surprise 50th birthday party that they’d planned for Charles—and the whole family was able to take the first steps toward moving on from the horrible tragedy they’d been through.

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32. He Tried To Guard His Privacy

As William graduated from Eton and prepared for university, the seeming détente between the press and the palace meant to give him a measure of privacy during his teen years ended. The prince had always spoken very carefully with the press, revealing few details about his life. He would even refuse to share something as trivial as his favorite pop artists—not wanting the artists he didn’t pick to feel left out.

But as guarded as he tried to be, he was now reaching adulthood—and the press was about to ramp up its attention to him.

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33. He Faced A Backstabber

It certainly didn’t help when a scandal arose over the actions of Princess Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell, in 2002. That year, authorities charged him with theft of some 300 of Diana’s possessions. Although the trial collapsed, the brutal betrayal didn’t end there. Burrell went on to make shocking claims about Diana, even saying that she thought Charles wanted her taken out.

After Burrell published a book about Diana in 2004, Princes William and Harry released a statement condemning Burrell for selling out their mother’s trust in him. Sadly, it would be the last time that something like this happened.

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34. He Changed His Course

During his final years at Eton, William prepared to study art history at university, taking the pre-requisite courses and working at an art dealer. But instead, he took a shocking U-turn after graduation. William decided to take a gap year before beginning his studies at the University of St. Andrews—and not to work at some auction house or gallery.

Instead, he did British Army training courses, volunteered to teach children in Chile, visited Africa, and learned Swahili. While he did eventually find his way back to academia, his time away changed the course of his life.

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35. He Wanted Them To Respect His Privacy

When he began studying at University of St. Andrews, Prince William expected to have the same sort of distance from the media that he’d enjoyed at Eton. He would participate in brief photocalls at the beginning of the semester, but otherwise, they’d leave him alone. So William was surprised to learn that a camera crew had set up in town.

He brought the matter to the university—but he was in for a surprise.

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36. It Came From Within His Family

Prince William had no idea that his complaints about a local film crew would ignite a family controversy. Prince Charles put the pressure on the university and William’s security detail to get rid of the camera crew. They refused to say who they worked for—but upon further investigation, it turned out that the film crew came from a production company owned by his uncle, Prince Andrew.

Both Charles and William were absolutely furious. While the crew eventually left, William felt that his uncle had let him down. And he remained guarded about those he suspected were trying to use him…

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37. He Enthralled His Female Classmates

In an interview during his early months at St. Andrews, a writer asked him about rumors that gaggles of girls were plotting to “bag him as a husband.” William quickly rebuffed the idea, and shared that he had a talent for spotting people who only wanted to use him. But while the rumors about marauding women may not have been true, there were plenty of beautiful women at St. Andrews who could’ve captured his attention…and then, one in particular did.

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38. She Caught His Eye

They shared an interest in art history, a university residence, and a friendship. Then, with one scandalous dress and a confident strut, everything changed. No, it’s not a scene out of a teen movie—it’s the story of how Prince William fell for Catherine Middleton. They’d been friends for a year, but that was it…until a school fashion show.

That day, Middleton sashayed down the runway in a mesh, see-through dress. And for the first time, William realized that she could be more than just a friend.

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39. They Thought She Planned It All

Kate and William were friends and flatmates for a year before the fashion show. That night, William made his move—despite the fact that Kate was seeing someone else. Soon after, they began dating. But when the press got wind of it, brutal rumors began to fly. All sorts of unnamed sources came forward to tell the tabloids that Kate had only gone to St. Andrews to put herself in William’s path.

William could be incredibly suspicious of people’s motivations—but in this case, he didn’t appear to believe the stories about Kate’s intentions.

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40. His Father Spied On Him

In just the first few months at St. Andrew’s, Prince William had already waged a battle for his privacy against his own uncle—but the betrayal didn’t end there. When William had MI5 do a sweep of his room, they found listening devices. They’d been planted by the Royal Protection Service, and his father had approved them. William was furious with his father.

Charles immediately had them removed—only for MI5 to plant devices of their own. Sadly, the safety of the royal family superseded William’s desire for privacy.

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41. He’s Meant To Do One Thing

As the future King, Prince William has been subject to a number of royal duties. But charity functions and state events aside, a king really only has one primary duty that he cannot abscond from—and that is to marry and produce an heir. Despite his desire to live a normal life while he still could, William was always acutely aware of this.

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42. There’s Immense Pressure On Him

He also knew that the palace would have to vet whoever he chose—and that they’d expect certain things. She should be the same age, they should know each other for years before marrying, and that she shouldn’t necessarily be from an aristocratic background. On top of that, his grandmother the Queen wished to avoid another scandal-filled situation similar to his parents’ rocky marriage.

This all hung over his head while dating—and put plenty of pressure on both him and any woman he met.

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43. He Inadvertently Insulted Her

When they first began dating, Prince William did his best to shield Kate from the expectations of the crown and the scrutiny of the press. But it was his own words that may have been the most hurtful. After a night out with Kate and friends, William spoke briefly with a reporter who mentioned speculation about a possible marriage.

William, who was 22 at the time, had a blunt reply. He said “I’m too young to marry […] I don’t want to get married until I am at least 28 or maybe 30.” Kate smiled in the background. If she was hurt, she didn’t show it—at least not in public.

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44. Rumors Spread About Him

Even though they were, by all accounts, a couple, stories would occasionally come out in the tabloids about Prince William sharing kisses with different girls on the dance floor at the clubs he frequented in London. And then, they stopped appearing in public together. Finally, in April of 2007, they broke up. The statements, the stories, and the pressure had been too much for them.

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45. They Called It Quits

Both royal watchers and friends alike were stunned by the split. Many had expected that Kate’s patience with William would eventually pay off, and that they’d get engaged. But considering the strain that they were under, few people could blame them. The press scrutiny on Kate had intensified to the point where lawyers from both his and her families had to intervene.

It seemed like that was it—but as we all know, William was always one to have a surprise up his sleeve.

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46. They Got Back Together

Prince William had to be acutely aware of what had happened to his parents when they rushed into their marriage. Learning from that example, his long courtship with Kate led the press to give her the unflattering nickname “Waity Katie.” However, after they broke up in 2007, she didn’t have to wait long for William to come back to her.

Not long after, they reconciled and began making public appearances together again. But while he was secure in his relationship, he was taking risks in other ways.

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47. He Took Part In Dangerous Missions

After graduation from St. Andrews, Prince William began military training. Because of his high profile and his proximity to the throne, no one thought that he would see much action. Oh, how wrong they were. While on the crew of the HMS Iron Duke, William took part in a joint operation with the United States Coast Guard.

This operation was a drug bust where they captured roughly $40 million of illicit substances. William could be quite deft out in the field—but at home, he still struggled.

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48. They Were Paranoid

In the mid-2010s, it seemed like William and Harry couldn’t sneeze without a tabloid or newspaper reporting on it. Soon enough, both the brothers began to suspect that there was a mole within their social group—someone spying on them and reporting back to the media. The real explanation was much more sinister.

Reports revealed that the News of the World tabloid had tapped both Harry and William’s cellphones. While the revelation was disturbing, both were relieved to learn that none of their friends had betrayed them.

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49. He Finally Made It Official

In 2010, Kate Middleton was finally able to shed her unflattering “Waity Katie” nickname when Prince William popped the question, presenting her with his mother’s sapphire engagement ring. Initially, Harry had inherited it, but the brothers agreed that whoever got engaged first would be able to use the ring. It was an exciting time—but it also opened up a real can of worms when it came to press attention.

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50. The Planning Was Underway

The engagement also meant another name change, as the palace stated that they’d refer to her as Princess Catherine once the couple tied the knot. The wedding was set for April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey. While royal weddings commonly occur there, it was also the location for Princess Diana’s funeral. There were immense expectations for the wedding.

Many predicted that it would be as much of a spectacle as his parent’s wedding was—and William and Kate didn’t disappoint.

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51. He Was A Nervous Groom

In 2011, Prince William and Catherine Middleton were married in a ceremony that millions watched. After the wedding, he made a touching confession about how he spent the night before the big day. He revealed that he hadn’t been able to sleep more than half an hour because he was so nervous. After years of dating on-and-off and constant press scrutiny, who could blame him?

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52. Marriage Made Some Things Better—And Others Worse

Just over nine years after they initially met at university, Prince William and Catherine were now finally husband and wife. Their happily ever after was awaiting them—but, of course, so was the press. Instead of speculating about when they’d get married, they were now questioning when they’d produce an heir.

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53. He Became A Father

In July of 2013, Catherine gave birth to Prince George in the same hospital where William had been born. Before long, they had a heir and a spare, as they subsequently had Princess Charlotte in 2015 and Prince Louis in 2018. And as Prince William’s family grew, so did his fears about their safety…

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54. They Stalked His Son

In recent years, it’s become increasingly standard for paparazzi to avoid photographing the children of public figures when possible, as it’s a danger to their safety. Unfortunately, one paparazzo not only missed the memo in 2014—but he took his surveillance of Prince George to sinister lengths. It got so intense that William and Catherine sent him a letter accusing him of “harassing and following” them.

Eventually, their staff had to contact media standards organizations about the problem. While they were able to shift the focus away from the children, it sadly landed in other areas of William’s personal life.

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55. They Drifted Apart

For a long time, Prince William and his brother worked together on many charitable endeavors, including the mental health awareness campaign “Heads Together.” Sadly in recent years, that’s all changed. When Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle announced that they were leaving royal life behind in 2020, there was one thing they forgot to do—tell the royal family.

William and the rest of the Windsors were blindsided…but that wasn’t the only reason that the brothers were occupying the headlines.

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56. Were They Feuding?

Many royal watchers and journalists began to speculate that there’d been a major falling out between William and Harry. An ITV documentary where Harry admitted that they were on different paths only made things worse—until the rumors about what was behind it all began to circulate.

Prince William factsDiana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy (2017 TV Movie), ITV

57. There Were Cheating Rumors About Him

In 2019, disturbing rumors began to emerge about Prince William, his wife, and a couple they were friends with. The rumors alleged that William had an affair with a woman named Rose Hanbury, who had often been a part of their social circles. Not only had Catherine blown up at both of them about it, but Prince Harry had too.

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58. It All Went Back To Their Parents

Many speculated that the perceived falling out between Prince Harry and his brother was the result of William’s alleged infidelity—as a newlywed and a family man, Harry was said to be furious with William’s behavior. The damage that infidelity had done to their parents’ marriage only increased Harry’s anger at his brother.

While all parties had denied the affair or the falling out, it didn’t stop the media from speculating about the distance between the once-close brothers.

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59. He Didn’t Want Them To Share Too Much

After Harry and Meghan’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, Prince William was reportedly furious at the couple for exposing the family. He actually became the first member of the royal family to address the interview, denying the accusations of racism. As the brothers made attempts to reconcile, it was actually Catherine who acted as an intermediary between them, despite reports that she’d bullied Meghan.

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60. Rumors About Them Flew

In July of 2021, as the brothers came together to unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana, it looked like the worst was over—until an ITV documentary further stoked the flames of the rumored feud. It claimed that Harry and Meghan had wanted to set up an office to manage their own affairs, but that William, Charles, and the Queen had denied them.

A secretary also passed on accusations that Meghan had bullied her staff members. But that’s not all the documentary had to say…

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61. They Said He Planted Stories

One allegation from the documentary was so controversial that Kensington Palace forced the filmmakers to retract it. The story stated that Prince William had planted stories about Prince Harry’s mental health and expressed concerns about Harry and Meghan being in “a fragile place.” This type of passive-aggressive dig would no doubt be infuriating for Harry and Meghan.

Ultimately, the Palace advised ITV that the claim could be seen as “potentially defamatory,” so they took it out. Considering how close William is to the throne, it’s no wonder that he wants to lock media speculation down.

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62. He May Get On The Fast Track

Prince Charles is next in the of succession, and he would be named King if Elizabeth were to pass on. That’s no surprise—but there’s one particularly jaw-dropping rumor about what might happen when the Queen passes on. Many have speculated that Charles will abdicate the throne in favor of his much-younger son, Prince William.

However, Queen Elizabeth is rather insistent he take the throne, plus, he’s waited this long…why not try it on for size? Still, the transition may have its fair share of bumps in the road…

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63. They Don’t Agree With The Decision

Whether or not William and Harry are still feuding, there’s one controversial issue that’s recently united them. Queen Elizabeth recently announced that when Charles becomes king, his wife Camilla will take the title of queen consort. According to reports, the news was a massive and unpleasant surprise for both William and Harry. When Charles and Camilla tied the knot, one of the condition was that she wouldn’t get the title.

Many say it’s driving a wedge between the brothers and their father—one that may get worse when Harry releases his memoir, in which he apparently has a lot to say about Camilla. Who’s side will William take? Only time will tell.

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64. They Snuck Scandalous Shots

In 2012, French and Italian tabloids published photos of Catherine sunbathing without a top taken while she and William vacationed in the South of France. Paparazzi photos when they’d been dating were one thing, but Catherine was now a princess and a member of the royal family. William was furious, and filed a criminal and civil complaints in France.

They halted further publications of the photos and fined the magazines responsible. They were sending the press a message about their privacy—but not everyone got it.

Prince William FactsShutterstock

65. They Started Their Family

In December of 2012, the palace announced that William and Catherine were expecting their first child. Sadly, she suffered from an extremely severe case of morning sickness, and doctors had to have her hospitalized. It was at that hospital where a prank gone wrong ended in tragedy. A pair of Australian radio hosts called King Edward VII’s Hospital and pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles.

They actually managed to quiz a nurse about Catherine’s condition. Later, when it came out that it was a prank, the nurse who’d spoken to them took her own life. It was yet another example of the dire consequences that the scrutiny on the royal family could have.

Prince William FactsWikimedia Commons

66. His Job Was Incredibly Difficult

In 2014, William became a full-time helicopter pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. The job appealed to William’s sense of adventure and his desire to help others—but he had little idea of just how devastating the work would be. As a first responder, he’s seen the darkest and saddest moments of people’s lives, from overdoses to tragic accidents.

Prince William factsGetty Images

67. His First Day On The Job Was Chilling

Prince William has been open about the trauma he’s faced in the line of duty, and the toll it has taken on his mental health. In 2017, William shared what had happened on his very first day: “My first job there was a suicide, and it really affected me.” Since then, he’s seen other suicides and incidents of self-harm, and each has taken its toll on him.

These harrowing moments have made him a fierce advocate for mental health, especially in his charitable work. One can only imagine that his urge to help those in difficult situations goes back to his mother’s struggles…

Prince William factsGetty Images

68. Her Sons Stayed With Her

Amidst the royal family’s polarizing response to Diana’s death in 1997, it was William’s grandfather, Prince Philip, who convinced William and Harry to walk behind her coffin with a few heartbreaking sentences. When the young princes were apprehensive, Philip reportedly told his eldest grandson, “If you don’t walk, I think you’ll regret it later. If I walk, will you walk with me?”

At the funeral, Philip, William, Harry, Charles, and Diana’s brother followed the bier all the way from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace, as millions watched.

Prince William FactsGetty Images

69. He Was Incredibly Stoic In A Painful Experience

Prince William displayed the characteristic stiff upper lip at his mother’s funeral—but two decades after her passing, he finally revealed the heartbreaking truth about that day. When an interviewer asked how he had managed to show up on such a terrible day, William admitted “It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.”

Although he was devastated, he felt that he couldn’t express his emotion, saying that it was his sense of self-preservation and discomfort at the situation that kept him from tearing up.

Princess Diana FactsGetty Images

70. He Stood Up For His Father

The scene of two sons walking behind their beloved mother’s coffin with their father was heartbreaking—but the world witnessed a tragic role reversal just five years later. During the Queen Mother’s funeral, Prince Charles was visibly shaken at the loss of his beloved grandmother. This time, it was Prince William who stepped up to support his devastated father.

Prince William FactsGetty Images

71. They Think His Story Isn’t Over Yet

When Prince William was just an infant, astrologers predicted a number of things about the royal—and surprisingly, they’ve got some things right. For one, they predicted that he’d grow to be 6’2” and that he’d get married in his late 20s. But they also made another, more chilling prediction. They said that, after a period of upheaval, he would get divorced in his 40s and remarry.

His 40th birthday in 2022 now seems like a scary turning point…

Prince William facts Shutterstock

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

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