How William went from handsome prince to king in training at 40

Since his birth exactly 40 years ago, Prince William has been second in line to the throne.

And since that day in 1982 not much has changed in that regard as his grandmother the Queen is still monarch and his father Prince Charles is still the heir.

However, with the Queen now 96 years old and gradually retiring from her duties, William is being increasingly deserted by the royals.

Over the past 10 years he seems to have evolved from a newly married and first-time father to a full-time royal involved at the heart of family decision-making and responsible for helping to modernize the monarchy.

Prince William turns 40 today



In fact, The Mirror’s royal editor Russell Myers has referred to William as the Queen’s “trusted lieutenant”.

And as he celebrates his 40th birthday today, let’s take a look at how he’s grown from handsome prince to king-in-training…

Become a working king

Exactly 10 years ago, when William turned 30, his life looked very different than it does today.

He was newly married, having married his wife Kate just a year earlier, and worked as an RAF search and rescue pilot.

William arrives for his final shift with the East Anglian Air Ambulance in 2017


AFP/Getty Images)

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Later, after the birth of his first child, Prince George, in 2013, he took up a full-time position as a pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

He remained in the air ambulance until 2017, after the birth of Princess Charlotte, and only then became a full-time working king — just before he and Kate welcomed Prince Louis.

Harry and Meghan and the Sandringham Summit

William with his brother Prince Harry


wire image)

One of the first times that William was brought to the fore when it came to royal family decision-making was during Megxit.

After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they wanted to step down as senior royals, a summit was held in Sandringham in early 2020 to negotiate their exit from the UK.

The summit was attended, of course, by the Queen, Harry and Charles – and also by William, who was involved in reaching an agreement for his brother.

Meanwhile, after Harry and Meghan gave their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, it was William who first spoke out after the couple claimed a royal asked how dark their children’s skin would be.

When asked if the royal family was racist, William spoke up: “We’re not a racist family.”

case of Prince Andrew

Prince William with his uncle Prince Andrew in 2017


(Getty Images)

Another scandal the royals have recently had to deal with is the Prince Andrew saga.

The Duke of York stepped down from royal duties earlier this year after the Queen stripped him of his military titles and use of HRH status following a sex scandal.

Andrew denied the allegations against him and later reached an out-of-court settlement with his accuser. The settlement is not an admission of guilt.

Now it seems William is taking a more leading role in making sure his uncle stays behind closed doors.

Prince William attended the Order Of The Garter Service, Andrew was nowhere to be seen


Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

An insider said so Daily Mail that William has “strong views” of the Duke of York and believes that “his insistence on clinging to a public role is extremely dangerous to the institution”.

Another source, a friend, added that William “would have cut [Andrew] been going on for a long time if he had had his way”.

A “family decision” is believed to have been made to limit the Duke of York’s Garter Day appearance last week to a backstage lunch and investiture ceremony.

Andrew was not seen in public during the event, one of the most colorful on the royal calendar, after William and his father Prince Charles reportedly advertised to the Queen that he should attend.

And loud evening standardWilliam was “so alarmed” at the prospect of Andrew attending the event that he made it clear he would not attend unless the Duke of York was barred from attending the public.

Go public

Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince William at the State Opening of Parliament in Westminster



But William does not only appear behind the scenes, in recent years he has represented the Queen more and more.

And one of the most famous events, which he attended for the first time this year, is the State Opening of Parliament, where he accompanied his father Charles and stepmother Camilla.

During the event, William took his place in the procession behind the Imperial State Crown and sat alongside Charles, who had the responsibility of reading the Queen’s speech after she withdrew from attending due to mobility issues.

And for the Mirror’s royal editor Russell Myers, this showed how William is already being groomed to become a future king and learning the basics with his father.

He said: “William is becoming a trusted lieutenant to the Queen, particularly in recent years.

“With the ongoing Sussex saga and the cheesy scandal surrounding his uncle Prince Andrew, William has been embroiled in high-level talks about their future, showing that not only Charles, but William as well, is being groomed for royalty.”

In addition, William also played a key role in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and regularly holds investiture ceremonies on behalf of his grandmother.

Sensitive foreign visits

Prince William extends his condolences to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan following the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan


Department of Presidential Affairs)

When members of the Royal Family are on engagements or tours, they represent the Queen.

And on some of the more diplomatically sensitive visits, it was William – like Kate – who was chosen by his grandmother to conduct them.

In 2018, he became the first family member to travel to Israel and Palestine on official business and was commended for conducting a successful trip in what could have been a diplomatic minefield.

Additionally, he and Kate were chosen to embark on a tour of Pakistan in 2019, which has been described as one of their “most complex” tours yet.

And in May he traveled to the United Arab Emirates to offer condolences on behalf of Her Majesty and the Royal Family on the death of the country’s ruler, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

It was the first time the second heir to the throne, William, was asked to offer his condolences to the monarch following the death of a foreign head of state.

Honors from the Queen

Another sign that the Queen implicitly trusts her grandson was when she cast him in a new role last year.

It was announced that William would be Lord High Commissioner of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland – the first time he had held that honour.

In this role he acted on behalf of the Queen and “maintained the relationship between Church and State.

Look to the future

William and Kate at Royal Ascot last week


Now William is 40 years old and his new role within the company is solid. What’s the future like?

Well, it emerged earlier this year that crisis meetings to modernize the monarchy were being held after he lashed out at his Caribbean tour.

He told aides he was more determined than ever to bring the institution up to speed while trying to respond to backlash from a spate of public relations blunders in the region.

William with his children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis



There has been much speculation lately as to what the monarchy might look like when William is in charge with wife Kate, and it has already been dubbed the ‘Cambridge Way’.

Insiders have shared how the future king and queen have vowed to tear up the royal rulebook to establish this new way of nurturing their image and working on key lifelong projects.

A report said William and Kate wanted to be addressed by their names rather than titles.

The couple are reportedly keen to avoid stuffy formalities – including curtseys and bows – on duty.

Meanwhile, one of the mantras the royal family seems to live by seems to be “never complain, never explain.”

It was adopted by the Queen for much of her reign, but William might be willing to relinquish this when he becomes king.

According to that Daily MailWilliam is said to respect the Queen’s preferred approach but believes royals should be “agile” if they want to survive.

A source told the newspaper: “The prince believes his days of ‘never complaining’ are over. He definitely won’t be speaking out on a regular basis, but believes if the monarchy has something to say, they should.

“He listens to people, he really does and has a very clear vision for the future. He is very alive to what is modern and relevant and is very thoughtful. He wants to take on his grandmother’s success and build on it in his own way.”

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