Prince William: Past, present and future of the Prince of Wales

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Prince William, presently the Prince of Wales, is the son of the late Princess Diana and the current British monarch, King Charles III. William is next in line for the throne, which he will take in the event that his father dies. In line after him are his three children that he shares with his wife, Catherine “Kate” Middleton; Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. 

Dissimilarly to younger brother Prince Harry, William has remained very much involved with his royal responsibilities while still trying to maintain a normal life for his three young children. 

Harry, on the other hand, has kept a distance from the royal family, as he and his wife, Meghan Markle, stepped down from their royal duties.

Here is everything you need to know about Prince William and his role in the royal family. 

Prince William smiling on stage

Prince William was given the title Prince of Wales when his father ascended the throne after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022. (LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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  1. When did Prince William meet Kate Middleton?
  2. What is Prince William’s royal title?
  3. How many kids does Prince William have?
  4. Was Prince William in the military?

1. When did Prince William meet Kate Middleton?

William and Middleton were both students at St. Andrews University, where their relationship grew from a friendship.

In 2007, while still in school, the two took a step back from their relationship. At this point, their relationship was public, and Middleton met members of the royal family. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton wedding

Prince William and Kate Middleton were married April 29, 2011. (Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Image)

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Their breakup did not last long, though, and they reunited just a couple of months later. In October 2010, William proposed to Middleton in Kenya. He gifted her a ring of his late mother’s, Princess Diana. On April 29, 2011, the two wed at Westminster Abbey in London, with about 1,900 in attendance and millions watching from all around the world at home.

2. What is Prince William’s royal title?

William and Kate earned titles Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they wed. The titles were given to them by Queen Elizabeth II. Simultaneously, they also received titles Earl and Countess of Strathearn and Baron and Baroness of Carrickfergus, although those titles are far less used.

Then, when Queen Elizabeth II died in September 2022, King Charles III retitled William and Middleton Prince and Princess of Wales. These titles are reserved for those who are the heir apparent to the throne. They also took Charles’ and Camilia’s previous titles, Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, when King Charles III took the throne.

When the Prince and Princess of Wales are in Scotland, they use the titles Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, another title they acquired when Charles became king. Additionally, they adorn the Earl and Countess of Chester titles.

Though William and Middleton were provided new titles, they still retain previously titles given when they wed.

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Prince William walking with royal family

The Prince and Princess of Wales have three children. Their oldest, Prince George, is next in line for the throne after his father. (Jonathan Brady/AFP)

3. How many kids does Prince William have?

The Prince and Princess of Wales have three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Their eldest son, George Alexander Louis, was born on July 22, 2013. The young prince is third in line for the throne, after his grandfather, King Charles III and father, Prince William.

Charlotte Elizabeth Diana was born on May 2, 2015, followed by Louis Arthur Charles on April 23, 2018. All three of the children were born at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, the same hospital where Prince William was born. This made William the first future king to be born in a hospital, a tradition that continued with the birth of his own children.

4. Was Prince William in the military?

William served in the Royal Air Force full-time for ten years after graduating from the Royal Military Academy. 

In 2013, Kensington Palace revealed William completed his tour of duty as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot. They revealed he would focus on his royal duties, and he would “expand his work in the field of conservation, particularly in respect of endangered species” and would work on charities that help children and veterans.

After his time in the military, he continued a flight career by becoming an air ambulance helicopter pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance between March 2015 to July 2017.

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