The Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales is the heir to the throne and the eldest son of His Majesty The King and Diana, Princess of Wales. His Royal Highness is married to The Princess of Wales, Catherine, with whom he has three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. The family's official residence is Kensington Palace. His Royal Highness undertakes a number of charitable activities and projects and carries out public and official duties in support of The King, in the UK and overseas.

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales

About The Prince of Wales

The Environment 

Protecting the natural environment for future generations is one of The Prince of Wales’s key priorities. His Royal Highness is Patron of a number of charities which are focused on conservation and through The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales, he has spearheaded global initiatives to protect our natural world.  

Most recently, in 2020, His Royal Highness launched The Earthshot Prize – a global environmental prize and platform to discover, award, celebrate and scale ground-breaking solutions to repair and regenerate the planet every year until 2030. The Prize comprises five Earthshot challenges which will have the greatest impact on the biggest environmental challenges facing our planet. The first awards ceremony took place in London in October 2021, with subsequent ceremonies in Boston (2022) and Singapore (2023).

When he was The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William founded United for Wildlife with The Royal Foundation in 2014 to promote collaborative work across the transport and finance sectors to make it impossible for traffickers to transport, finance or profit from illegal wildlife products.

Prince William at a United for Wildlife event

Homelessness

The Prince of Wales is a passionate advocate for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness. In June 2023, The Prince and The Royal Foundation launched Homewards, a five-year, locally led programme that will aim to demonstrate that together it’s possible to end homelessness – making it rare, brief and unrepeated. The programme will take a transformative approach to the issue of homelessness and put collaboration at its heart, giving its six flagship locations new space, tools, and relationships to showcase what can be achieved through a collective effort focused on preventing and ending homelessness in their areas.

His Royal Highness has championed homelessness causes for a number of years. His first patronage was Centrepoint, the UK’s leading youth homelessness charity, and he has used his platform to highlight individual’s stories and encourage collaboration to tackle this solvable issue. He is also Patron of The Passage, which works to prevent homelessness and aims to transform the lives of those who have experienced homelessness.

The Prince of Wales visits Centrepoint

In June 2022, His Royal Highness partnered with The Big Issue to sell magazines alongside one of their vendors in order to shine a spotlight on the magazine and bring homelessness up the public agenda.

The Prince of Wales launches Homewards

Mental Health

In October 2023 The Prince and Princess of Wales together with The Royal Foundation and in partnership with The Mix and with the support of BBC Radio 1, hosted a forum for young people called Exploring our Emotional Worlds. The event brought together 100 young delegates nominated by ten leading mental health and youth engagement charities to start a conversation about how they manage their emotions and how they can be supported to build their resilience and protective factors such as healthy relationships which make it easier to navigate bumps in the road as they go through life. 

The Prince of Wales speaks to young delegates in Birmingham as part of the youth Mental Health forum

In 2017, The Prince of Wales spearheaded the Heads Together mental health campaign with The Princess of Wales and The Duke of Sussex, leading a coalition of eight mental health charity partners to change the national conversation on mental health. The campaign aimed to build on existing progress nationwide in tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing vital help for people with mental health problems.

The Prince of Wales at a discussion on Heads Together

The coalition of charities covered a wide range of mental health issues and worked in areas that were in line with Their Royal Highnesses' interests. They were: the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families; Best Beginnings; CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably; Contact (a military mental health coalition); Mind; Place2Be; The Mix; and Young Minds.

Since inception, Heads Together has carried out a number of initiatives to further promote good mental health.  In 2019, Heads Together partnered with the FA to create a campaign spearheaded by The Prince of Wales - the #HeadsUp campaign. It used football to change the conversation on mental health, helping to encourage more men to feel comfortable talking about their mental health and feel able to support their friends and families through difficult times.

The Prince of Wales at a Heads Up event

In 2021, The Prince of Wales unveiled the Blue Light Together initiative – a landmark package of mental health support for emergency workers, recognising the unique stresses they face as part of their daily work.  As part of the initiative, which was developed by The Royal Foundation in partnership with service leaders and charities, emergency service organisations in the UK committed to prioritising and promoting mental wellbeing as well as providing more tools and support.

The Armed Forces 

Having completed seven-and-a-half years of full-time military service, promoting the important role and the welfare of those who are serving or who have served their country in the Armed Forces is a key focus for His Royal Highness's charitable activities.

Prince William served in the military for over 7 years

Through his programme of official engagements, The Prince of Wales has shone a light on the ongoing challenges facing service personnel making the transition to civilian life.

The Prince and Princess of Wales meet members of 31 SQN and other operational personnel in a hangar at RAF Akrotiri

Royal Patronages

The Prince of Wales is Patron of a number of organisations which have close association with his specific charitable interests, and where he feels his support can make a difference. These broadly reflect his commitment to promoting better protection of the natural world, alongside his support for those in society who are facing the most difficult of times, including as a result of homelessness.

As their Royal Patron, His Royal Highness will support their key projects and initiatives, spotlight their work through his programme of official engagements and where appropriate convene organisations to work in support of each other.

The Royal Foundation 

The Prince of Wales, together with his wife, The Princess of Wales, also directs his charitable activities through The Royal Foundation. The Foundation develops programmes and charitable projects based on the interests of Their Royal Highnesses by working with organisations which are already making a proven impact in their respective fields.

The Royal Foundation mobilises leaders, businesses and people so that together we can address society’s greatest challenges. The organisation’s work is built on world-class research, long-term partnerships, and measurable, scalable impact. 

Biography

The Prince of Wales (Prince William) is the elder son of His Majesty The King and Diana, Princess of Wales. 

Following the death of Her Majesty The Queen, The King announced in his address to the Nation and Commonwealth that his eldest son will now be known as The Prince of Wales, the title His Majesty previously held for over 64 years.

Prior to becoming The Prince of Wales, His Royal Highness was known as The Duke of Cambridge. He was given the title The Duke of Cambridge by Queen Elizabeth II on the day he married Miss Catherine Middleton in 2011. Upon the death of Her Majesty and the Accession of King Charles III, Prince William also became The Duke of Cornwall. 

The Prince and Princess of Wales have three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Their official residence is Kensington Palace, but they also spend some time at their private residence on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. 

Early Life

The Prince of Wales was born at 9.03pm on 21 June 1982, at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London. A bulletin, placed on the gates of Buckingham Palace announced that he weighed 7lb 1 1/2 oz.

The former Prince and Princess of Wales with Prince William

On 4 August 1982, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie, in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace.

Education

Prince William began his education at Mrs Mynors Nursery School in west London before becoming a pupil at the pre-prep Wetherby School in 1987.

Prince William

From 1990, the young Prince attended Ludgrove School in Berkshire for five years until he started at Eton College in 1995 where he took his GCSEs and A Levels. During his time at Eton, Prince William was made a House Captain of Games, House Captain and Prefect. He left Eton in 2000 with A Levels in Geography, Biology and History of Art. 

Prince William at Eton

Like many students, His Royal Highness chose to have a gap year before beginning his university course in order to travel and gain a variety of new experiences. 

Prince William in Chile, 2000

He undertook a number of new activities during the year, including 'preparation for survival' exercises with the Welsh Guards in Belize, working as a volunteer with Raleigh International in Chile, working on a dairy farm in the UK and visiting countries in Africa.

University 

In September 2001, Prince William began a four-year Master of Arts degree course in History of Art at St. Andrews University in Scotland. After two years, His Royal Highness decided to major in Geography rather than History of Art. For his final dissertation, The Prince chose to study the coral reefs of Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean. He also went on a field trip to Norway to see the Jostedalen ice cap - the largest in mainland Europe.

Prince William at St Andrews

While at university, His Royal Highness enjoyed a number of hobbies including water polo and was selected to represent the Scottish national universities water polo team in the annual Celtic Nations tournament against Wales and Ireland.

The Prince graduated in June 2005 with a 2:1 Master of Arts (Honours) in Geography after four years of study. Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip (The Duke of Edinburgh), The King and Queen (then The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall) attended his graduation. 

Prince William at his graduation

Military Career

Following university, His Royal Highness joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as an Officer Cadet. 

Prince William at Sandhurst

After completing his 44-week training course, he was commissioned as an Army Officer in December 2006 and joined the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals) as a Second Lieutenant. A year later, he was promoted to rank of Lieutenant.

The Prince at RAF Valley

The Prince decided to pursue a flying career in the military and began training as a Search and Rescue pilot in early 2009. Following various skill-based training exercises and exams, Flight Lieutenant Wales, as he was known in the RAF, joined C Flight, 22 Squadron at RAF Valley in Anglesey in September 2010 as a Search and Rescue Pilot. He spent three years as a Search and Rescue Pilot, during which time he undertook 156 search and rescue operations, undertook a routine operational deployment to the Falkland Islands, and qualified as an operational Captain. 


East Anglian Air Ambulance

After leaving operational duties with the Armed Forces, His Royal Highness retrained to become an Air Ambulance Pilot and worked for East Anglian Air Ambulance from March 2015 until July 2017. The Prince piloted operational missions out of Cambridge Airport, as part of a team including specialist doctors, critical care paramedics and pilots providing emergency medical services across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. The role required him to fly 999 emergency response teams to patients, landing at road sides, beaches, car parks, suburban gardens and school playing fields – getting the critical care team to the patient as quickly as possible. 

The Prince of Wales works at the East Anglian Air Ambulance

Of his time working with EAAA, His Royal Highness said: "It has been a huge privilege to fly with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. … I have loved being part of a team of professional, talented people that save lives every day. My admiration for our country's medical and emergency services community could not be any stronger."

Family Life 

On 29 April 2011, Prince William married Miss Catherine Middleton. The couple met while at St. Andrews University and are now known as The Prince and Princess of Wales.

They have three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Their official residence is Kensington Palace in London, from where they continue to undertake official duties on behalf of The King.

The Prince and Princess of Wales with their family

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis attend Lambrook School, near Ascot. The family also spend some time living privately on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, which was where they were based while His Royal Highness worked for East Anglian Air Ambulance. 

Titles

Following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, The King announced in his address to the Nation and Commonwealth that his eldest son will now be known as The Prince of Wales, the title His Majesty previously held for over 64 years.

On the occasion of his marriage, Queen Elizabeth II conferred a Dukedom on Prince William of Wales. He received the titles Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus. 

On St. George's Day 2008, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Prince William to be a Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter and in her Diamond Jubilee year, 2012, Her Majesty appointed His Royal Highness to the Order of the Thistle.

Upon the Accession of King Charles III, Prince William also became The Duke of Cornwall and The Duke of Rothesay.

Supporting the Monarch

The Prince of Wales is greatly inspired by the example of duty and leadership of his father, King Charles III, and of his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

For over 50 years, in every corner of the UK, across the Commonwealth and around the world, [His Majesty The King] has dedicated himself to serve others - both current and future generations, and those who memory should not be neglected.

The Prince of Wales, 2023

The Prince of Wales works in support of The King and the Royal Family through his programme of charitable work, Royal duties, and in carrying out engagements in the UK and on official tours overseas. He takes part in a number of important Royal and official occasions, such as welcoming visiting Heads of State on official State Visits to the UK, Trooping the Colour and the Order of The Garter in Windsor. 

The balcony

On behalf of The King, His Royal Highness hosts Investitures at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle throughout the year. At these ceremonies, The Prince presents medals to those who have been awarded honours in the New Year’s Honours List or The King’s Birthday Honours List.

The Prince of Wales also plays a leading role alongside his father, in moments of national Remembrance, by laying a wreath at the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph in Central London, and also attending significant services across the UK, Europe, Realms and the Commonwealth.

The King and The Prince of Wales during Remembrance

All of us who will inherit the legacy of my grandmother’s reign and generation need to do all we can to celebrate and learn from her story. Speaking for myself, I am privileged to have The Queen as a model for a life of service to the public.

The Prince of Wales, 2015

Royal Patronage

His Royal Highness is currently President or Royal Patron of nearly 30 organisations and institutions, which reflect his interest in their work, their importance to the nation, and issues he wishes to support. 

In his role as President of the Football Association, The Prince arranged to host a competitive grassroots football match at Buckingham Palace in 2013, to celebrate 150 years of the Association.

A football match takes place at Buckingham Palace

His Royal Highness is also President of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), following a long tradition of Royal involvement with the organisation; all but one of BAFTA's Presidents in its history have been members of the Royal Family, including The Prince of Wales' grandfather, the late Duke of Edinburgh.

At the end of Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday year, in 2016, Her Majesty stepped down as Patron from a number of national organisations – the Royal African Society, Welsh Rugby Union and Amateur Swimming Association (now Swim England) patronages were passed on to The Prince of Wales.

Official Engagements

Alongside his Royal patronages, His Royal Highness also makes a series of official visits to towns and cities across the UK, to champion work being done by organisations in the region; visit areas or sites of significance; and meet a broad range of people who are making a significant contribution to their community.  

Prince William meets members of the public

Overseas Visits

The Prince of Wales has carried out a number of overseas visits, including to Realm and Commonwealth nations on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II or to represent Britain at the request of the Government.

In 2023, His Royal Highness travelled to Singapore, where he met with key officials, and also attended the third annual Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony and the United for Wildlife Global Summit. This was The Prince of Wales’ first visit to Singapore since his visit with The Princess of Wales in 2012.

The Prince of Wales greets crowds at the Jewel Changi Airport, Singapore

His Royal Highness carried out his first solo engagements representing Queen Elizabeth II in July 2005, as part of a private tour of New Zealand, where he attended ceremonies to mark the 60th anniversary of the Second World War in New Zealand and met veterans in Wellington and Auckland.

Prince William at the cenotaph in Auckland as part of the VE and VJ day commemorations.

He has visited a number of countries since, including joining The Princess of Wales on her first official overseas tour to Canada in July 2011.

The Prince and Princess of Wales in Canada

In 2012, Their Royal Highnesses visited Malaysia, Singapore, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu as part of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee year celebrations. Their Royal Highnesses, with Prince George, then visited New Zealand and Australia in Spring 2014, followed by New York in December 2014. The Prince and Princess visited India, Bhutan and Canada in 2016. In 2017, Their Royal Highnesses visited Paris, Poland, Germany and attended the Passchendaele Commemorations in Belgium.

The Prince and Princess of Wales in India

Special Military Relationships

As a senior member of the Royal Family, The Prince of Wales is affiliated to a number of military regiments from all three branches of the British Armed Forces, as appointed previously by the Sovereign.

In August 2006, Queen Elizabeth II appointed new Royal Commodores of various Royal Navy Commands in recognition of the strong links between the Royal Navy and the Royal Family. The Prince of Wales was appointed Commodore-in-Chief of Scotland and Commodore-in-Chief of Submarines.

In October 2008, Her Majesty appointed new Royal Air Force honorary appointments in recognition of the strong links between the Royal Air Force and the Royal Family. His Royal Highness was appointed Honorary Air Commandant of Royal Air Force Coningsby, a role which in August 2023 he ceded to The Princess of Wales.

In February 2011, Queen Elizabeth II gave her formal approval to the appointment of The Prince as Royal Colonel of the Irish Guards, His Royal Highness's first honorary appointment in the Army. Now, in his role as The Prince of Wales, His Royal Highness has moved to become Royal Colonel of the Welsh Guards. 

In August 2023 , His Majesty The King appointed new military affiliations for The Prince of Wales which saw him become, Colonel-in-Chief, The Mercian Regiment, Colonel-in-Chief, The Army Air Corps and Royal Honorary Air Commodore, RAF Valley.


 

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