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Today’s featured Royal is HRH The Duke of Cambridge.

HRH Prince William Arthur Philip Louis was born June 21, 1982 to HRH the Prince of Wales and and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. I remember watching and waiting for his birth from the day it was announced that the Princess of Wales was pregnant. Guessing and wondering about the names of future royals is part of the fun of watching royals for those of us that engage in that activity. When it was announced that it was a boy I pondered would they call him George, Charles, Edward? Would they pick something new like Louis which had been the first name of Charles’s great-uncle and much loved “honorary grandfather” Lord Louis Mountbatten? I was very pleasantly surprised to hear that they chose William as his first name since it is also my first name.

I have watched with a keen eye to how the future King William V of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland grew up. He broke tradition by attending Eaton College instead of Gordonstoun where his father and grandfather and other royals have attended. After his gap year he attended University of St Andrews where he studied geography. While at St. Andrews he met his future wife Kate Middleton. After graduating college he joined the military which is a general training ground for the majority of British princes. He entered the British Armed Forces after graduating from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in January 2006 and was a commissioned lieutenant. William desired to enter active duty but because of his position as second in line to the throne this was not a realistic option. Despite that let down William trained with both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. Initially he was only going to do a three year stint in the military but in 2009 expressed a desire to continue his military service. He transferred to the Royal Ar Force and began training as a search and rescue helicopter pilot.

William lost his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 when he was just 15. The affect of his mothers death at such a young age can be devastating. I myself lost my father when I was 17 and then my mother when I was 22. How much this has adversely affected him we may never know. I do see, however, the positive affects she has had on him. While doing charitable work is a hallmark of being royal, William seems to have inherited his mother’s personal charm and being at ease with other people. To his credit the Prince of Wales also has these qualities. He has a warm and friendly demeanor which has made him approachable and personable. His mother tried to the best of her ability to give them as normal of an upbringing as she was able to and to a large extent this has helped in becoming a royal with the common touch.

I have had my concerns about William. Being royal means one does have to walk a fine line between being too distant to where one is viewed as being cold and aloof, or too warm and friendly to where there is no difference between them and other people. There needs to be some mystique with royalty. I think William strikes a healthy balance between the two. When William was younger I had my concerns that maybe he wasn’t happy being a royal. There were times I think he just wanted to be an ordinary person. That left me a little fearful for the future of the monarchy. However, those fears have passed because I see William as someone who now accepts his role and thrives in what he is called to do. I see him as a young Prince trying to have a meaningful life while trying to make the difference in the lives of others.

On May 29 2011 Prince William married his long time girlfriend Kate or Catherine Middelton at West Minster Abbey. The couple began dating in 2003 and split up briefly in 2003. Although both Pince William’s mother and Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother were all technically commoners they did come from families that were titled members of the aristocracy. Kate, However, does not come from the aristocracy. I personally have no problem with this and feel Kate will be an exemplary queen in due time. The morning of his wedding the Queen bestowed Prince William with titles of the nobility creating him Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus. Officially he is known as HRH The Duke of Cambridge and his wife is HRH The Duchess of Cambridge. The last time the title Duke of Cambridge was created was in 1801 for Prince Adolphus 10th child and 7th son of King George III. Prince Adolphus passed the title to his son, Prince George, but he died in 1904 without legitimate issue and the title merged with the crown. Prince William is however a descendant of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge via his great-great grandmother Queen Mary (1868-1953) wife of King George V (1865-1936) who was his granddaughter.

It is more than likely that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will not inherit the throne for decades. Her Majesty the Queen has been blessed with good health and the genes of her mother who lived to be 101. Prince Philip is still going strong at aged 91 and the Prince of Wales, aged 63, is also in fine health. He has been blessed with good genes. In that time I hope the Duke and Duchess enjoy as much of a private life together as they can. Although in the coming years his royal duties will undoubtedly increase I still think he has time before he wears the crown. It will be interesting to see how they monarchy has changed by then and how the reign of King William V will change the monarchy itself. I think the future of the monarchy is in well and capable hands.

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