Prince William, second in line to the throne, is celebrating his 40th birthday.
The father of three was the center of attention of the royal family from the moment he was born.
The first public view of Princess Diana and the eldest son of Prince Charles was when he was only one day old.
William was born on June 21, 1982, at St Mary’s Hospital in London, the same hospital where his three children were born.
As the eldest son of Prince Charles, William overtook his uncle Prince Andrew in the hereditary order.
Just two years later, brother Harry was born, making them the so-called “heir and reserve”.
Diana seemed acutely aware of the difficult dynamics facing the royal brothers and sisters and sought to break the cycle by creating a strong bond between her two sons.
She remained a devoted mother after separating from Charles in 1992
The couple divorced in August 1996.
William was only 15 when Diana died in a car accident in Paris in 1997.
Harry was only 12 years old.
William told the BBC documentary 2020 that his mother’s death was “pain like no other”.
William studied at St Andrews University in Scotland, where he met his future wife Kate Middleton in 2001.
They both studied art history and lived together in a common house.
William and Kate broke up briefly in 2007, but reunited a few months later.
Meanwhile, William began his military career.
He graduated as a military officer at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst in December 2006.
William served in the army for seven and a half years.
He was on active duty in the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force before becoming a civil air ambulance pilot.
William proposed to Kate during a vacation at a wildlife sanctuary in Kenya in October 2010.
He gave her her mother’s engagement ring with blue sapphire and diamonds.
They were married at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011.
Their oldest child, George, was born on July 22, 2013.
George overtook his uncle Harry and became third in line for the throne.
William and Kate’s second child, Charlotte, was born on May 2, 2015.
Charlotte debuted in Trooping the Color in 2016, appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace along with her great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.
William left his job as an ambulance pilot in 2017 to take on full-time royal duties.
Two years after the birth of their daughter, William and Kate had a second son and a third child, Louis.
Louis was born on April 23, 2018.
Like their father, the three children grew up in the spotlight.
William said his children brought back painful emotions from his own childhood, but his wife helped him with that.
“Catherine and I, in particular, support each other and go through those moments together,” he said in 2020.
“Emotionally, things come out of the blue that you don’t really expect and have never dealt with.
“It’s one of the most amazing moments in my life, but it’s also one of the scariest.”
In July 2021, William and Harry unveiled a memorial to their mother for 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 Megan were seen as the “Fab Four” when Megan first entered the royal life.
But the couple’s relationship deteriorated over time, culminating in the resignation of Harry and Meghan as senior members of the royal family in early 2021.
As his brother retired, William intensified in recent years as the Queen gradually handed over more responsibilities to Charles and William.
At 73, Charles faces the challenges of the post-Zabetan world just as much as his son.
William showed that he was ready to be critical of the House of Windsor and to strive to keep the monarchy relevant in modern British society.
During his recent royal tour of the Caribbean, he was receptive to Jamaica’s intention to become a republic.
“Catherine and I are committed to the service,” he said.
“For us, it’s not about telling people what to do. It’s about serving and supporting in any 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 people experiencing homelessness.
Part of his and Catherine’s ongoing role is to position themselves as advocates for issues like homelessness and mental health.
In an article for the magazine, William pledged to continue to do what I can to shed light on this solvable issue.
“And while I may seem like one of the most incredible proponents of this goal, I have always believed that I use my platform to help tell those stories and draw attention and action to those who are fighting,” he wrote.
“I plan to do it now that I’m 40, even more than in the past.”