Prince William, second in line to the throne, celebrates his 40th birthday.
The father-of-three has been in the royal spotlight since birth.
The first public glimpse of Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ eldest son took place when he was just a day old.
William was born on June 21, 1982 at St Mary’s Hospital in London, the same hospital where his three children were also born.
As the eldest son of Prince Charles, William passed his uncle Prince Andrew in the line of succession.
Just two years later, brother Harry was born, making them the so-called ‘heir and heir’.
Diana seemed acutely aware of the difficult dynamics facing royal siblings and sought to break the cycle by forging a strong bond between her two sons.
She remained a devoted mother after her split from Charles in 1992
The couple divorced in August 1996.
William was only 15 when Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.
Harry was only 12 years old.
William told a BBC documentary in 2020 that his mother’s death was “a pain like no other”.
William studied at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where he met his future wife Kate Middleton in 2001.
They both studied art history and lived together in a shared house.
William and Kate briefly separated in 2007 but got back together a few months later.
During this time, William began his military career.
He graduated as an Army Officer from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in December 2006.
William then served in the army for seven and a half years.
He was on active duty with the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force before becoming a civilian air ambulance pilot.
William proposed to Kate while vacationing at a wild game reserve in Kenya in October 2010.
He gave her his mother’s blue sapphire and diamond engagement ring.
They were married at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011.
Their eldest child George was born on July 22, 2013.
George overtook his uncle Harry to become third in line to the throne.
William and Kate’s second child, Charlotte, was born on May 2, 2015.
Charlotte made her Trooping the Color debut in 2016, appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace alongside her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
William quit his job as an ambulance driver in 2017 to take on full-time royal duties.
Two years after the birth of their daughter, William and Kate welcomed their second son and third child, Louis.
Louis was born on April 23, 2018.
Like their father, all three children grew up in the spotlight.
William said having children brought back painful emotions from his own childhood, but his wife helped him through it.
“Me and Catherine, in particular, support each other and go through these times together,” he said in 2020.
“Emotionally, things come up out of the blue that you don’t really expect and never really deal with.
“It’s one of the most amazing times in life, but it’s also one of the scariest.”
In July 2021, William and Harry unveiled a memorial to their mother on what would have been her 60th birthday.
It was the first time the couple had been together since the funeral of their grandfather, Prince Philip.
Together, William and Kate, Harry and Meghan were considered the “Fab Four” when Meghan first entered royal life.
But the couples’ relationship soured over time, culminating in Harry and Meghan stepping down as senior royals in early 2021.
While his brother has retired, William has stepped up in recent years as the Queen gradually hands Charles and William more responsibility.
At 73, Charles faces the challenges of a post-Elizabethan world as much as his son.
William has demonstrated a willingness to criticize the House of Windsor and seek to maintain the monarchy’s relevance in modern British society.
During a recent royal tour of the Caribbean, he was receptive to Jamaica’s intention to become a republic.
“Catherine and I are determined to be of service,” he said.
“For us, it’s not about telling people what to do. It’s about serving them and supporting them in whatever way they think is best.”
This month, William took to the streets of London to sell copies of the Big Issue, a magazine that supports homeless people.
It is part of his and Catherine’s ongoing role to position themselves as advocates for issues such as homelessness and mental health.
In an article for the magazine, William pledged to “continue to do what I can to shine the spotlight on this solvable problem.
“And while I may seem like one of the most unlikely advocates for this cause, I have always believed in using my platform to help tell these stories and bring attention and action to those who struggle,” he wrote.
“I plan to do this now that I’m 40, even more than in the past.”
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