- 1. Early life
- 2. Education
- 3. Military and air ambulance service
- 4. Personal life
- 5. Public life
- 6. Charity work and interests
- 7. Privacy and the media
- 8. Titles, styles, honours, and arms
- 9. Military ranks
- 10. Honours
- 11. Medals
- 12. Arms
- 13. Personal flag for Canada
- 14. Ancestry
- 15. Issue
- 16. Authored articles
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, KG, KT, PC, ADC (William Arthur Philip Louis;[fn 1] born 21 June 1982) is a member of the British royal family. He is the elder son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales. Since birth, he has been second in the line of succession to the British throne.
Born in St Mary's Hospital, London, William was educated at Wetherby School, Ludgrove School and Eton College. He spent parts of his gap year in Belize and Chile before earning a Scottish Master of Arts degree in geography at the University of St Andrews. William then trained at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst prior to serving with the Blues and Royals. In April 2008, William graduated from Royal Air Force College Cranwell, joining RAF Search and Rescue Force in early 2009. He served as a full-time pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance from July 2015 for two years.
The Duke performs official duties and engagements on behalf of the Queen. William holds patronage with over 30 charitable and military organisations, including the Tusk Trust, Centrepoint, and London's Air Ambulance Charity. He undertakes projects through The Royal Foundation, with his charity work revolving around mental health, conservation, and emergency workers. In December 2014, he founded the "United for Wildlife" initiative, which aims to reduce worldwide illegal wildlife trade. In April 2016, the Cambridges and Prince Harry initiated the mental health awareness campaign "Heads Together" to encourage people to open up about their mental health issues. In October 2020, William launched the Earthshot Prize, a £50 million initiative to incentivise environmental solutions over the next decade.
In 2011, William was made Duke of Cambridge preceding his marriage to Catherine Middleton. The couple have three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis of Cambridge.
William was born at St Mary's Hospital, London on 21 June 1982 as the first child of Charles, Prince of Wales (heir apparent to Queen Elizabeth II) and Diana, Princess of Wales. His names, William Arthur Philip Louis, were announced by Buckingham Palace on 28 June. He was baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace on 4 August, the 82nd birthday of his paternal great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.[fn 2] He was the first child born to a Prince and Princess of Wales since Prince John in 1905. William accompanied his parents on their 1983 tour of Australia and New Zealand, when he was nine months old, as his first trip overseas. He traveled with his family to Canada in 1991 and 1998.
Known informally as "Wills" within the family, William was nicknamed "Wombat" by his mother, who wished him and his younger brother, Harry, to obtain broader life experiences than those usually available to royal children. She took them to Walt Disney World and McDonald's, AIDS clinics, shelters for the homeless, and bought them items typically owned by teenagers, such as video games. His parents divorced in 1996. Diana died in a car accident in the early hours of 31 August 1997. William, then aged 15, together with his 12-year-old brother and their father, were staying at Balmoral Castle at the time. The Prince of Wales waited until his sons awoke the following morning to tell them about their mother's death. William accompanied his father, brother, paternal grandfather Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and his maternal uncle Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, at his mother's funeral. William and Harry walked behind the funeral cortège from Kensington Palace to 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 near Wokingham, Berkshire, and was privately tutored during summers by Rory Stewart. At Ludgrove, he participated in football, swimming, basketball, clay pigeon shooting, and cross country running. He sat 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 Eton, he took up water polo and continued to play football, captaining his house team.
The decision to place William in Eton went against the family tradition of sending royal children to Gordonstoun, which his grandfather, father, two uncles, and two cousins all attended. Diana's father and brother both attended Eton. The royal family and the tabloid press agreed William would be allowed to study free from intrusion in exchange for regular updates about his life. John Wakeham, chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, said of the arrangement, "Prince William is not an institution; nor a soap star; nor a football hero. He is a boy: in the next few years, perhaps the most important and sometimes painful part of his life, he will grow up and become a man."
After completing his studies at Eton, William took a gap year, during which he took part in British Army training exercises in Belize, worked on English dairy farms, visited Africa, and for ten weeks taught children in southern Chile. As part of the Raleigh International programme in the town of Tortel, William lived with other young volunteers, sharing in the common household chores—including cleaning the toilet—and also volunteered as a guest disc jockey at a local radio station. His interest in African culture prompted him to teach himself Swahili.
By 2001, William was back in the United Kingdom and had enrolled at the University of St Andrews. The extra attention did not deter him; he embarked on a degree course in Art History, later changing his main subject to Geography. William wrote his dissertation on the coral reefs of Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean and graduated with Scottish Master of Arts degree with upper second class honours in 2005. While at university, he represented the Scottish national universities water polo team at the Celtic Nations tournament in 2004. He was known as "Steve" by other students to avoid any journalists overhearing and realising his identity. William returned to St Andrews alongside his wife in February 2011 as patron of the university's 600th Anniversary Appeal.
Upon graduation from university, William interned in land management at Chatsworth House and in banking at HSBC. To prepare for his eventual management of the Duchy of Cornwall, in 2014, he enrolled in a vocational agricultural management course at Cambridge, which was organised by the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL), of which his father is patron. According to a CNN report in 2014, the duchy is "a £760 million (about $1.25 billion) entity established in 1337 to provide a private income for use by the reigning monarch's eldest son", which William will inherit when his father becomes king.
Military and air ambulance service
Military training and secondments
Having decided to follow a military career, he was admitted to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in January 2006. William officially received his commission as a lieutenant at midnight. As "Lieutenant Wales"—a name based on his father's title Prince of Wales—he followed his younger brother into the Blues and Royals as a troop commander in an armoured reconnaissance unit, after which he spent five months training for the post at Bovington Camp, Dorset.
William's position as second-in-line to the throne and the convention of ministers advising against placing that person into dangerous situations cast doubts on his chances of seeing combat, which increased after Prince Harry's deployment was cancelled in 2007 due to "specific threats". William, instead, went on to train in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, obtaining his commission as a sub-lieutenant in the former and flying officer in the latter—both broadly equivalent to the army rank of lieutenant.
After completing his training, William undertook an attachment with the Royal Air Force at RAF Cranwell. Upon completing the course he was presented with his RAF wings by his father, who had received his own wings after training at Cranwell. During this secondment, William flew to Afghanistan in a C-17 Globemaster that repatriated the body of Trooper Robert Pearson. William was then seconded to train with the Royal Navy. Whilst serving on HMS Iron Duke in June 2008, William participated in a £40m drug bust in the Atlantic, north-east of Barbados. He was a part of the crew on the Lynx helicopter, which helped seize 900 kg of cocaine from a speedboat.
Royal Air Force service
In January 2009, William transferred his commission to the RAF and was promoted to Flight Lieutenant. He trained to become a helicopter pilot with the RAF's Search and Rescue Force. In January 2010, he graduated from the Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury. On 26 January 2010, he transferred to the Search and Rescue Training Unit at RAF Valley, Anglesey, to receive training on the Sea King search and rescue helicopter; he graduated in September 2010. This made him the first member of the British royal family since Henry VII to live in Wales.
William's first rescue mission as co-pilot of an RAF Sea King was a response to an emergency call from Liverpool Coastguard on 2 October 2010. In November 2011, he participated in a search-and-rescue mission involving a cargo ship that was sinking in the Irish Sea; William, as a co-pilot, helped rescue two sailors.
William was deployed to the Falkland Islands for a six-week tour with No. 1564 Flight from February to March 2012. The Argentine government condemned the Duke's deployment to the islands close to the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the Falklands War as a "provocative act". In June 2012, Prince William gained a qualification to be captain or pilot in command of a Sea King rather than a co-pilot. His active service as an RAF search-and-rescue pilot ended in September 2013.
Air ambulance pilot
In 2014, it was announced that William would accept a full-time role as a pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) based at Cambridge Airport. Despite his qualifications as a military helicopter pilot, William needed a civil pilot's licence and further training before being permitted to take command of the Air Ambulance. Although his position was paid, Kensington Palace announced that William would donate his full salary to the EAAA charity. He underwent part of his training as an EAAA pilot at Norwich Airport. On 13 July 2015, William started his new job, which he felt was a natural progression from his previous role as an RAF search-and-rescue pilot. The Duke described working irregular shifts and dealing mostly with critical care cases. He also publicly discussed the consequences, witnessing intensive trauma and bereavement as an emergency worker, stating that it impacted his mental health and personal life. BBC has written that the Duke was "exposed to the National Health Service in a way that no other senior royal has been or possibly ever will be."
William left his position with EAAA in July 2017 to assume full-time royal duties on behalf of his grandmother. After supporting an anniversary campaign for London's Air Ambulance Charity in 2019, the Duke became the charity's official patron in March 2020. In May 2020, he granted permission to the charity to use Kensington Palace's private lawn to refuel during the COVID-19 pandemic. To mark Air Ambulance Week 2020, he wrote a letter thanking air ambulance workers, stating his "profound respect" for the community, particularly during the "immeasurably difficult" outbreak, and stated that "the country owes you an enormous debt of gratitude."
In 2001, William met Catherine Middleton while they were students in residence at St Salvator's Hall at the University of St Andrews. She reportedly caught William's attention at a charity fashion show on campus. The couple began dating in 2003. During their second year, William shared a flat with Middleton and two other friends. From 2003 to 2005, they both resided at Balgove House on the Strathtyrum estate with two roommates.
Their relationship was followed so closely by the tabloid press that bookmakers took bets on the possibility of marriage, and the retail chain Woolworths produced memorabilia bearing their likenesses. Media attention became so intense that William formally asked the press to keep their distance from Middleton. On 15 December 2006, Middleton attended Prince William's Passing Out Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
In April 2007, William and Middleton ended their relationship. Middleton and her family attended the Concert for Diana in July 2007 at Wembley Stadium, where she and Prince William sat two rows apart. The couple were subsequently seen together in public on a number of occasions and news sources stated that they had "rekindled their relationship". Middleton was in attendance during the Order of the Garter procession ceremony at Windsor Castle in June 2008, where Prince William was made a Royal Knight of the Garter. In June 2010, the couple moved into a cottage on the Bodorgan Estate in Anglesey, Wales, where William resided during his RAF search-and-rescue training and subsequent career.
Marriage and children
On 16 November 2010, Clarence House announced that William and Catherine were to marry; the couple had become engaged in Kenya in October. The engagement ring given by William to Catherine had belonged to his mother. The wedding took place on 29 April 2011 in Westminster Abbey, London. A few hours before the ceremony, William's new titles Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, and Baron Carrickfergus were announced. Estimates of the global audience for the wedding ranged around 300 million or more, whilst 26 million watched the event live in Britain alone. The couple were given the country home, Anmer Hall, on the Sandringham Estate, as a wedding gift from the Queen. The Duke and Duchess owned an English Cocker Spaniel, Lupo, from December 2011 to November 2020.
Catherine's first pregnancy was announced on 3 December 2012. She was admitted on 22 July 2013 to the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, London, where Prince William had been delivered. Later that day, she gave birth to Prince George. On 8 September 2014, it was announced that the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant with her second child. She was admitted on 2 May 2015 to the same hospital and gave birth to Princess Charlotte. The Duchess's third pregnancy was announced on 4 September 2017; Prince Louis was born on 23 April 2018. The family officially reside at Kensington Palace.
William is the godfather of Prince Constantine Alexios of Greece and Denmark (b. 1998), a distant relation though his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Mia Tindall (b. 2014), the eldest child of his paternal cousin, Zara Tindall.
Wealth and inheritance
William and his brother Harry inherited the "bulk" of the £12.9 million left by their mother on their respective 30th birthdays, a figure that had grown since her 1997 death to £10 million each in 2014. In 2002 The Times reported that William would also share with his brother a payment of £4.9 million from trust funds established by their great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, on their respective 21st birthdays and would share a payment of £8 million upon their respective 40th birthdays. As the eldest son of the heir-apparent, William is expected to inherit the Duchy of Cornwall, which would bring him an additional income.
In 2014, the brothers inherited their mother's wedding dress along with many other of her personal possessions including dresses, diamond tiaras, jewels, letters, and paintings. The brothers also received the original lyrics and score of "Candle in the Wind" by Bernie Taupin and Elton John as performed by John at Diana's funeral.
On 3 June 1991, William was admitted to Royal Berkshire Hospital after being accidentally hit on the forehead by a fellow pupil wielding a golf club. He suffered a depressed fracture of the skull and was operated on at Great Ormond Street Hospital, resulting in a permanent scar. In a 2009 interview, he dubbed this scar a "Harry Potter scar" and said, "I call it that because it glows sometimes and some people notice it—other times they don't notice it at all".
On 1 November 2020, it was reported that William had tested positive for coronavirus in April but decided not to alert the media to 'avoid alarming the nation'. The Daily Telegraph reported he had been "very ill" and had isolated away from his family.
At the age of 21, William was appointed a Counsellor of State; he first served in that capacity when the Queen attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2003. On his 21st birthday, William accompanied his father on a visit to Wales, visiting the Anglesey Food Festival and opening a centre for the homeless in Newport. Upon graduating from university, William began royal duties in support of, and on behalf of, the Queen at official events, public engagements, and overseas tours. In July 2005, he embarked on his first solo overseas tour, travelling to 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 jointly interviewed for the first time by television personalities Ant & Dec. According to author Tina Brown, he had, like his father, expressed a desire to become Governor-General of Australia. Prime Minister of Australia John Howard expressed his wish for the position to be held by an Australian citizen. In 2009, the Queen set up a private office for William with David Manning as his adviser. Manning accompanied him in January 2010 as he toured Auckland and Wellington; William opened the new building of the Supreme Court of New Zealand and was welcomed by a Māori chief.
In June 2010, William and his brother visited Botswana, Lesotho, and South Africa, visiting projects relating to wildlife, sport, and young children. In November 2010, he attended a memorial service held on Remembrance Day at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. In March 2011, William visited Christchurch, New Zealand, shortly after the earthquake, and spoke at the memorial service at Hagley Park on behalf of his grandmother. He also travelled to Australia to visit areas affected by flooding in Queensland and Victoria. In May 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with U.S President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at Buckingham Palace. The couple toured Canada in summer 2011, attending Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill. On 2 November, the Duke and Duchess visited the UNICEF Supply Division for malnourished children in Copenhagen, Denmark.
William and Catherine served as ambassadors for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, during multiple sporting events throughout the games. In September 2012, they toured Singapore, Malaysia, Tuvalu, and the Solomon Islands as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The Duke and Duchess attended further commemorations of the Jubilee throughout the year, including the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant in July. The Duke hosted his first investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in October 2013. In April 2014, William and Catherine undertook a royal tour to New Zealand and Australia with their son, Prince George. The itinerary included visiting the Plunket Society for children and visiting fire-damaged areas in New South Wales. In June 2014, the couple visited France to attend the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings at Gold Beach. In September 2014, the Duke visited Malta to commemorate its 50th independence anniversary, substituting for his wife after the announcement of her second pregnancy. On 21 October, the Duke and Duchess met the President of Singapore, Tony Tan, during his state visit to the UK. In December 2014, the William met with President Obama in the Oval Office, and made a speech at the World Bank in Washington, D. C., condemning the illegal trade in wildlife. In December 2014, the couple visited New York and attended a charity dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In February 2015, the Duke visited Japan, meeting with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace and visiting survivors devastated by the 2011 tsunami. From 1 to 4 March, the Duke visited the Chinese cities Beijing, Shanghai, and Yunnan and met with President Xi Jinping. It was the first royal visit to mainland China in almost three decades. In April 2016, the William and his wife undertook a tour to India and Bhutan. Activities included visiting children's charities such as Childline India, as well as a visit to Lingkana Palace. Later that month, the couple met again with the Obamas at Kensington Palace. In April 2016, William and Catherine toured to India and Bhutan. The couple toured Canada once again in September 2016. In November 2016, he visited Vietnam, meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and touring local primary schools. Countries visited by the couple in 2017 include France, Poland, Germany, and Belgium. In January 2018, the couple visited Sweden and Norway. The visits, which were, like others, requested by the Foreign Office, were interpreted to benefit UK-European relations post Brexit. In June 2018, the Duke toured Jordan, Israel and Palestine.
In February 2019, William and Catherine carried out a two-day visit of Northern Ireland, visiting Belfast, Fermanagh, and Ballymena. The Duke and Duchess toured Pakistan in October 2019, which was the royal family's first visit to the country in 13 years. In December 2019, William visited Kuwait and Oman, commemorating the 120th anniversary of the Anglo-Kuwaiti Agreement of 1899. In March 2020, the couple carried out a three-day tour of Ireland, visiting County Meath, Kildare, and Galway. In October 2020, the Duke and Duchess met Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, and First Lady Olena Zelenska, at Buckingham Palace, the first royal engagement held at the residence since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In December, the couple embarked on a three-day tour of England, Scotland, and Wales via the British Royal Train "to pay tribute to the inspiring work of individuals, organisations and initiatives across the country" in 2020. Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his support for the initiative, while First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon criticised the tour, citing travel restrictions; UK, Scottish and Welsh governments were consulted before planning the tour. In William's capacity as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the couple toured Edinburgh, Fife and Orkney in May 2021. In Cornwall on 11 June 2021, William and Catherine attended the G7 summit for the first time. They also attended a reception, where the Duke and his father discussed governmental and corporate solutions to environmental problems.
Charity work and interests
Humanitarian and environmental patronages
William became aware of HIV/AIDS in the mid-1990s when he accompanied his mother and brother on visits to shelters and clinics for patients. In January 2005, William and his brother volunteered at a British Red Cross aid distribution centre to pack emergency supplies for countries affected by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. In September that year, William granted his patronage to Centrepoint, a charity that assists the homeless. In December 2009, he, as part of a Centrepoint-organised event, spent the night sleeping bag near the Blackfriars Bridge to raise awareness of the experiences of homeless youth. The Duke opened their new facility, Apprenticeship House, in November 2019 to mark their 50-year anniversary. In 2005, William worked in the children's unit at The Royal Marsden Hospital, his mother's former patronage, for two days of work experience; he also assisted in the medical research, catering, and fundraising departments. In May that year, he spent two weeks in North Wales with Mountain Rescue England and Wales. In May 2007, William became patron of both organisations. In October 2020, the Duke laid the foundation stone of the hospital's Oak Cancer Centre, 30 years after his mother did the same for their Chelsea Wing in 1990.
Prince William became a patron of the Tusk Trust in December 2005, a charity that works towards conserving wildlife and initiating community development, including providing education, across Africa. He became associated with the organisation after he witnessed its work first hand in Africa. Stating that "rural African initiatives that foster education, responsibility and participation in the local community light the way to conservation", he carried out his first official duty with the trust in launching a 5,000-mile (8,000 km) bike ride across the African continent in 2007. Later that year, William and Harry organised the Concert for Diana, in memory of their mother, which benefitted the charities and patronages of Diana, William, and Harry. In 2010, he also became a patron of 100 Women in Hedge Funds Philanthropic Initiatives. William succeeded Lord Attenborough in 2010 as the fifth president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. In March 2011, the Duke and Duchess set up a gift fund held by The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry to allow well-wishers who wanted to give them a wedding gift to donate money to charities instead. The gift fund supported 26 charities of the couple's choice, incorporating the armed forces, children, the elderly, art, sport and conservation. The charity has since been renamed The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
In December 2014, The Duke founded the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, which aims to reduce worldwide illegal wildlife trade. The Duke has spoken out for LGBT rights as part of his work against cyberbullying, stating the importance of being "proud of the person you are" and discussing the effects of online abuse and discrimination. He was recognised at the British LGBT Awards in May 2017. In 2018, the Royal Foundation launched multiple mental health initiatives, including Heads Together, a campaign led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to de-stigmatise mental health. Legacy programmes include Heads Up, launched in May 2019 in partnership with the Football Association, utilising football to affect the conversation surrounding mental health in adults. Later that month, the Duke and Duchess launched Shout, the UK's first 24/7 text messaging service for those who suffer from mental issues. William has cited his interest in mental health to his experiences as an air ambulance pilot, as well as his work with homelessness, veterans welfare, and his wife's advocacy on addiction.
William has been patron of homelessness charity The Passage since 2019 after first visiting the center in 1992 with his mother. In October 2020, he wrote the introduction to the organisation's 40th-anniversary fundraising cookbook, discussing the importance of helping victims of homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. In December 2020, the Duke volunteered at the charity to help prepare donation bags for homeless residents in emergency hotel accommodations and spoke with residents about their experiences. In March 2020, the Duke appeared in a video for the National Emergencies Trust, launching a fundraising appeal to help charities during the pandemic. The appeal raised £11 million in its first week, eventually totalling to £90 million, with the money going out to "front line charities" and to the UK Community Foundations to be distributed among "local community foundations". In April 2020, he officially became the patron of the organisation. In late March 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge began supporting a new mental health initiative by the Public Health England amidst the coronavirus pandemic. He made a surprise appearance in The Big Night In, a 20 April 2020 telethon held during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a skit which he held a video call with Stephen Fry, who revised his role as (a descendant of) Lord Melchett, from the Blackadder series. Later that month, the Duke and Duchess announced Our Frontline, an initiative providing mental health support to emergency medical workers.
In May and June 2020, the Duke and Duchess, alongside their children, delivered food parcels made on the Sandringham Estate to local isolated pensioners during the COVID-19 pandemic. In June 2020, The Duke of Cambridge, stated that he had been serving as a volunteer on the Shout hotline during the pandemic. In September 2020, the Duke established the Emergency Responders Senior Leaders Board, commissioned by the foundation to research the mental health and wellbeing of emergency responders. The project is in partnership with King's College London and the Open University. After two years of research, the Duke launched the Earthshot Prize in October 2020, designed to provide funding and incentive for environmental solutions over the next decade. The Prize is slated to be given every year from 2021 until 2030 to five winners each year, in accordance with five categories detailing the restoration of nature, air cleanliness, ocean conservation, waste-free living, and climate change. The selection process will be performed by the Duke, alongside a council of judges from six continents, overseen by a panel of experts. The first awards ceremony is slated to take place in London in autumn 2021. Following the launch, William gave a TED Talk on environmental protection and conservation as part of the TED Countdown climate change initiative. Later that month, the Duke took over the patronages of Flora and Fauna International and the British Trust for Ornithology, passed on from the Queen and Prince Philip. In December 2020, the Duke and Duchess became joint patrons of NHS Charities Together. In February 2021, William visited a vaccination centre in King's Lynn and later encouraged use of the vaccine, denouncing false information that could cause vaccine hesitancy. In May 2021, he got his first dose of vaccine by NHS staff at the Science Museum in London.
William often plays polo to raise money for charity. He is a fan of football, and supports the English club Aston Villa. He became President of England's Football Association in May 2006 and vice-royal patron of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) in February 2007, supporting the Queen as patron. The same year, the WRU's decision to name a new cup for test matches between Wales and South Africa the Prince William Cup caused controversy; some believed it would have been more appropriate to name it after Ray Gravell. In December 2010, William and Prime Minister David Cameron attended a meeting with FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-joon at which Chung suggested a vote-trading deal for the right to host the 2018 World Cup in England. The English delegation reported the suggestion to FIFA's ethics investigator because they considered vote-swapping to be a violation of anti-collusion rules. In 2011, William as President of the English FA, voted against Australia's 2022 FIFA bid and instead voted for South Korea; despite being the country's future heir. In 2020, again as President of the English FA, he voted against the joint Australia–New Zealand 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup bid and instead voted for Colombia.
In February 2021, following an investigation into racism directed toward Marcus Rashford, the Duke released a statement as president of the FA, denouncing the "racist abuse.. whether on the pitch, in the stands, or on social media" as "despicable" and stating that "we all have a responsibility" to create an environment of tolerance and accountability. In April 2021, William criticised the planned breakaway competition The Super League, adding that he "share[d] the concerns of fans about the proposed Super League and the damage it risks causing to the game we love."
In 2006, William, along with other Sandhurst officers, took part in a one-mile (1.6 km) run to support the charity Sport Relief, as he had done in 2004 with a team from Clarence House. In May 2007, William became patron of the English Schools' Swimming Association. In 2012, together with the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, William launched Coach Core. The program was set up following the 2012 Olympics and provides apprenticeship opportunities for people who desire to pursue a career as a professional coach. In 2013, he succeeded his grandfather Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as president of the UK charity Fields in Trust. In 2014 he and the Duchess were awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club. In May 2020, the Duke of Cambridge appeared in a BBC One Documentary titled Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health as a part of a campaign to promote men to discuss their mental issues using football as a common medium.
Both William and his brother are enthusiastic motorcyclists; William owns a Ducati 1198 S Corse. In May 2014, William, like his father and paternal grandfather, became president of the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC). He enthusiastically took part in a bandy event in Stockholm in January 2018.
Privacy and the media
The death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in Paris while being chased by paparazzi in 1997, influenced the Duke's attitude towards the media. The Duke and his wife have asked that, when off-duty, their privacy should be respected.
In September 2012, the French edition of Closer and Italian gossip magazine Chi published photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge sun-bathing topless while on holiday at the Château d'Autet (a private château on a 260-ha estate 71 km north of Aix-en-Provence). Analysts from The Times believed the photographs were taken from the D22 (Vaucluse) road half a kilometre from the pool—a distance that would require an 800-mm or a 1000-mm lens. On 17 September 2012, the Duke and Duchess filed a criminal complaint with the French prosecution department and launched a claim for civil damages at the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nanterre. The following day the courts granted an injunction against Closer prohibiting further publication of the photographs and announced a criminal investigation would be initiated. Under French law, punitive damages cannot be awarded but intrusions of privacy are a criminal offence carrying a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine of up to €45,000 for individuals and €225,000 for companies. In September 2017, Closer was fined €100,000 and its editor Laurence Pieau and owner Ernesto Mauri were each fined €45,000.
In August 2015, Kensington Palace published a letter detailing what it stated were the "dangerous" and invasive efforts of the media to get paparazzi pictures of Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Jason Knauf, communications secretary to the Cambridges, wrote the letter to media standards organisations in various countries.
In March 2017, a video of William dancing alongside an unidentified woman at a nightclub in Verbier, Switzerland, surfaced in the media. At the time, he was on a skiing holiday with his friends. The press criticised William's behaviour because he had failed to attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, which was attended by other senior members of the royal family.
Titles, styles, honours, and arms
Titles and styles
- 1982–2011: His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales
- 2011–present: His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge
The hereditary titles of Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, and Baron Carrickfergus were announced on 29 April 2011 and formally patented on 26 May that year.[fn 3] William uses the earldom in Scotland and the barony in Northern Ireland. He is a Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (KG), a Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (KT), a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom (PC), and a Personal Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the Queen.
As a British prince, William does not use a surname for everyday purposes. For formal and ceremonial purposes, children of the Prince of Wales use the title "prince" or "princess" before their forename and follow it with their father's territorial designation. Thus, before his marriage, Prince William was styled "Prince William of Wales". Such territorial designations are discarded by women when they marry and by men if they are given a peerage of their own, such as when Prince William was given his dukedom.
Although the name of the Royal House is Windsor, the surname Mountbatten-Windsor belongs to all the children and male-line descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, and is used, if needed, by those who do not have the style of Royal Highness and the title Prince or Princess; when a female descendant marries, she traditionally takes her husband's surname from that point onward, and their children take their father's. Both Princes William and Harry used Wales as their surname for military purposes; this continues to be the case for William since his creation as Duke of Cambridge.
8 January 2006: Officer cadet
16 December 2006: Cornet (Second Lieutenant), The Blues and Royals (short service commission)
16 December 2006: Lieutenant, The Blues and Royals
1 January 2009: Captain, The Blues and Royals (and transferred to a full regular commission)
1 January 2016: Major, British Army
1 January 2008: Sub-lieutenant, Royal Navy
1 January 2009: Lieutenant, Royal Navy
1 January 2016: Lieutenant Commander, Royal Navy
1 January 2008: Flying Officer, Royal Air Force
1 January 2009: Flight Lieutenant, Royal Air Force
1 January 2016: Squadron Leader, Royal Air Force
Prince William is the 1,000th member of the register of the Order of the Garter, and was officially invested by the Queen on 16 June 2008 at a service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The last time a monarch appointed a grandchild into the Order of the Garter was in 1894, when Queen Victoria invested Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
- 23 April 2008: Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (KG)
- 25 May 2012: Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (KT)
- 6 February 2002: Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
- 6 February 2012: Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
30 October 2017: Tuvalu Order of Merit
Since 6 July 2009: Honorary Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple.
Since 23 June 2010: Royal Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)
17 March 2013: Personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty The Queen (ADC)
9 June 2016: Member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council (PC)
Since 1 March 2017: Royal Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (HonFRSE)
Since 17 January 2018: Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (FRSM)
25 January 2020, 22 March 2021: Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
Honorary military appointments
- 10 November 2009: Canadian Ranger
- Since 8 August 2006: Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Navy Submarine Service
- Since 8 August 2006: Commodore-in-Chief of Scotland
- Since 3 October 2008: Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Coningsby
- Since 10 February 2011: Colonel of the Irish Guards
- Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Award, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario
- Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Parks Canada Youth Ambassadors Program
- Duke of Cambridge Public School, Bowmanville, Ontario
Coat of arms of the Duke of Cambridge
Prince William was granted a personal coat of arms on his 18th birthday. It is based on the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, with a white (or silver) label with three points, the centre point bearing a red clam shell (an "escallop"), to distinguish it from the arms of other members of the Royal Family. The escallop is drawn from the Spencer coat of arms, a reference to his mother, who was the daughter of the Earl Spencer.
21 June 2000
Upon a coronet of the children of the Heir Apparent, the royal helm OrEscutcheonQuarterly: 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).
Dexter a lion rampant guardant Or imperially crowned proper, sinister a unicorn Argent, armed, crined and unguled Or, gorged with a coronet Or composed of crosses patée and fleurs de lis a chain affixed thereto passing between the forelegs and reflexed over the back also Or.
The Order of the Garter ribbon.
HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE
(Shame be to him who thinks evil of it)
The whole distinguished by a label of three points Argent, the central point charged with an escallop Gules.
The Royal Standard of the United Kingdom labelled for difference as in his arms.
(Alternative in Scotland)
As the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, Prince William's coat of arms has a label of three points. The escallop (seashell) alludes to his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, whose Spencer coat of arms includes three escallops Argent.
In September 2013, the Queen granted to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge a conjugal coat of arms consisting of their individual arms displayed side-by-side beneath a helm and coronet denoting the Duke's status as grandson of the Sovereign.
Personal flag for Canada
In 2011, the Canadian Heraldic Authority introduced a personal heraldic flag for the Duke of Cambridge's use in Canada. It is the Royal Arms of Canada in banner form defaced with a blue roundel surrounded with a wreath of gold maple leaves and shells within which is a depiction of a "W" surmounted by a coronet. Above the roundel is a white label of three points, charged with a red shell.
William is a member of the House of Windsor. Patrilineally, he descends from the House of Oldenburg, one of Europe's oldest royal houses; and more specifically the cadet branch known as the House of Glücksburg.
Through his mother, William descends from the Earls Spencer—a cadet branch of the Spencer family descended from the Earls of Sunderland; the senior branch are now also Dukes of Marlborough; the Barons Fermoy; and more anciently from Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton, and Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond—two illegitimate sons of King Charles II. As king, William would be the first monarch since Anne to descend from Charles I and the first to descend from Charles II.
William descends matrilineally from Eliza Kewark, a housekeeper for his eighteenth-century ancestor Theodore Forbes—a Scottish merchant who worked for the East India Company in Surat. She is variously described in contemporary documents as "a dark-skinned native woman", "an Armenian woman from Bombay", and "Mrs. Forbesian". Genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner assumed Kewark was Armenian. In June 2013, BritainsDNA announced that genealogical DNA tests on two of William's distant matrilineal cousins confirm Kewark was matrilineally of Indian descent.
Prince George of Cambridge 22 July 2013
Princess Charlotte of Cambridge 2 May 2015
Prince Louis of Cambridge 23 April 2018
HRH The Duke of Cambridge (7 September 2020). "An open letter written by The Duke of Cambridge to mark Air Ambulance Week 2020". The Royal Family.