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Prince William

- Birth -
Prince William was born on 21 June 1982. He is the elder son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, and second eldest grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is second in the line of succession, behind his father, to the throne. He has one younger brother, Harry, who was born in 1984.

- Education -
He attended Wetherby School and Ludgrove School before going to Eton School where he obtained an A in geography, a C in biology and a B in history of art. At school he participated in football - along with swimming, basketball, clay pigeon shooting, water polo and cross-country running.

Following the tragic death of his mother, Diana, in 1997 an agreement was made between the Royal Family and the tabloid press that William would be allowed to study free of paparazzi intrusion in exchange for regular updates of the Prince's life.

- Gap Year -
After completing his studies at Eton, the Prince took a gap year during which he took part in British Army training exercises in Belize. For ten weeks he taught children in the town of Tortel, in southern Chile, as part of the Raleigh International programme. It was during this time that he lived with other young teachers, sharing in the common household chores, including cleaning the toilet, and also volunteered as the guest disc jockey for the local radio station.

- University -
In 2001 William returned to the UK and enrolled at the University of St Andrews. News of this caused the number of applications to St Andrews to swell, mostly from young women who wanted an opportunity to meet the Prince. The extra attention did not deter him, though, and he embarked on a degree course in art history, later changing his main subject to geography, and going on to earn a Scottish Master of Arts degree with upper second class honours in geography - the highest honours of any heir to the British and other Commonwealth realms' thrones. While at university, Prince William also 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.

He met Kate Middleton at St. Andrews. They lived together as flatmates then began dating in 2003.

- Military Career -
William went to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in January 2006. He graduated on 15 December and, as a lieutenant, followed his younger brother into the Blues and Royals as a troop commander in an armoured reconnaissance unit.

William expressed a desire to participate in active service, but as second in line to the throne this was not possible. Instead, he went on to training in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force and received his RAF wings in 2008. The Prince had been affectionately known by his fellow airmen and his call sign was designated as Billy the Fish - a pun on his title.

He trained with the Navy and was deployed for five weeks on HMS Iron Duke in the Caribbean. It was during this tour that the Prince took part in a secret underwater mission, as well as helping to identify and capture a small vessel that had been transporting an approximate 40 million worth of cocaine.

He then trained as a full time search and rescue helicopter pilot. In January 2010 he transferred to the Search and Rescue Training Unit at RAF Valley on Anglesey to receive training on the Sea King helicopter. His assignment there became permanent and it is expected that William's operational tour will last 30 to 36 months (until 2013).

 

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