2012 has been all about Queen Elizabeth II and her Diamond Jubilee festivities, but her grandson the Duke of Cambridge is also marking a milestone year as he turns the big 3-0.
Charles, Prince of Wales and Princess Diana’s firstborn has been groomed for a life in the spotlight, and he’s gone on to make his country proud by becoming a loyal serviceman and marrying his true love Catherine in the wedding of the century last year (11).
In honour of the Prince’s birthday, WENN has dug up 10 fascinating facts about the man who will be king.
– He made royal history as the first heir to the throne to attend a public kindergarten. He earned the nickname Basher Wills after scrapping with classmates at Mrs Mynor’s Nursery School.
– William quickly learned there’s no escaping the cameras when at age five he was caught relieving himself in a bush. The snap was printed in a British newspaper under the headline ‘The Royal Wee’.
– Just days before his ninth birthday, the Prince’s forehead was fractured when a pal accidentally struck him with a golf club. He underwent surgery and later dubbed the mark left behind his “Harry Potter scar”.
– According to reports, William was undecided about walking in the cortege behind his mum Diana’s coffin during her televised funeral on 6 September, 1997, but he agreed when his grandfather, Prince Philip, told him, “If I walk, will you?”
– Admissions officers at Scotland’s University of St Andrews received an influx of applications from prospective American female students desperate to study with the royal after he enrolled under the name William Wales. His fellow students called him Steve to prevent journalists from picking up stories.
– St Andrews lived up to its title as Britain’s top match-making university when William fell for future bride Catherine Middleton after she modelled a see-through dress in a student fashion show. They shared a modest student home in Edinburgh in their first years as a couple.
– A third of the world’s population tuned in to see William and Kate tie the knot at Westminster Abbey on 29 April (11), an event that cost an estimated $32 million (£20 million).
– The couple has set up home in Wales’ Isle of Anglesey, where they live with their Cocker Spaniel, Lupo – who is so popular, fans have dedicated a Twitter.com page to tracking his every move.
– The well-travelled royal speaks French fluently, has studied Welsh and even knows some Swahili.
– He may be a royal, but William’s taste is decidedly unstuffy – his favourite food is cottage pie, he prefers Diet Pepsi to beer and his must-see TV show is motoring series Top Gear.