(England Twitter)-Prince William, Duke of Cambridge KG FRS (born William Arthur Philip Louis on 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 the UK 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. 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 the Sea King search and rescue helicopter. On 16 November 2010 it was announced by Clarence House that Prince William and his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton would marry on 29 April 2011 in Westminster Abbey, London. Hours prior to his wedding Prince William was created Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus. Prince William married Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011 at 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. 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 Ludgrove he also participated in football—along with swimming, basketball, clay pigeon shooting, and cross-country running. 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 child: in the next few years, perhaps the most important and sometimes painful part of his life, he will grow up and become a man.
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.
Palace during Trooping the Colour, 2007.
Having decided to follow a military career, in October 2005 William attended the four day Regular Commissions Board at Westbury in Wiltshire where he underwent selection to judge his suitability to become an Army officer. Having passed selection, William went up to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in January 2006. Successfully completing the course, William graduated from Sandhurst on 15 December 2006, the graduation parade being attended by the Queen and the Prince of Wales, along with other members of the Royal Family, and William officially received his commission as a lieutenant at midnight. With his rank obtained, the Prince, under the name of William Wales, followed his younger brother into the Blues and Royals as a troop commander in an armoured reconnaissance unit, after which he spent four months in training for the post at Bovington Camp, Dorset.
At the age of 21, Prince William was appointed as a Counsellor of State, and began his royal duties by first serving in that capacity when the Queen was abroad to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2003, in Nigeria. For his 21st birthday, William also accompanied his father on a royal tour of Wales, where they visited the Anglesey Food Fair and opened a centre for the homeless in Newport.By July 2005, he was on his first solo overseas tour, travelling to New Zealand, on behalf of his grandmother in her role as Queen of New Zealand, to participate in World War II commemorations. For the 30th anniversary of his father's charity, The Prince's Trust, William and his brother were interviewed together for the first time by Ant & Dec. In July 2007, Prince William accompanied his grandmother's cousin The Duke of Kent, who is President of the UK Scout Association, in opening the 21st World Scout Jamboree, celebrating the centennial of the founding of the Scout Movement.
It was said in Tina Brown's 2007 biography of Diana, Princess of Wales, that Prince William had, like his father, expressed a desire to become Governor-General of Australia, though fulfillment of the idea was considered doubtful by then-Prime Minister of Australia John Howard, who said: "We have for a long time embraced the idea that the person who occupies that post should be in every way an Australian citizen.
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 Kate Middleton
During his years in university, William participated in typical university life, going to bars and socialising with his friends; 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 and gossip, especially around his relationship with Kate 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 two. Media attention became so intense that William had to make a specific request to the paparazzi that they keep their distance from Middleton and him. 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.
Engagement and wedding
Main article: Wedding of Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton
On 16 November 2010 it was announced by Clarence House that William and Middleton are to marry. On 23 November 2010, after much speculation, it was announced the wedding will take place on 29 April 2011 in Westminster Abbey, London. That day will be a bank holiday in the UK. The engagement ring given to Middleton was the 18 carat sapphire engagement ring of Diana, Princess of Wales. Clarence House, the official residence of Charles and his sons William and Harry, announced on the same day that the couple became engaged in Kenya in October, a fact that Prince William confirmed in a widely circulated television interview beamed from London.
Through his paternal grandfather, William is descended from Henry IV and James II and VII, two monarchs whose descendants did not remain in the royal line. Should he become king, William would be the first monarch since Queen Anne to be descended from Charles I and Charles II, as his mother was descended from two of Charles's II illegitimate sons, Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton and Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond. Through his mother's family, the Spencers, William is of English descent and of remote Irish, Scottish and American descent, and is distantly related to several American presidents and British prime ministers. He is a third-cousin of the actor Oliver Platt, through his great-great-grandmother, heiress Frances Work.
He is also descended from many of the pre-Union monarchs of Scotland and the pre-Conquest monarchs of England, and many notable foreign monarchs including, Peter I of Russia ("Peter the Great"), Catherine II of Russia ("Catherine the Great"), George I of Greece, Christian IX of Denmark, Afonso I of Portugal, Andrew II of Hungary, Ferdinand II of Aragon, Isabella I of Castile, and early French kings.
Through his mother's lineage, William is descended from Caterina Sforza, an Italian noblewoman who had associations with the Borgia (Pope Alexander VI's family).
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