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The quiet prince

The quiet prince
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Being second-in-line to the British throne behind his father, Prince Charles, must be a daunting task for Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. But like his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William approaches his role with grace and composure, and for that, he’s achieved great popularity among the people. A recent British poll found 70 percent of the public have a positive opinion of him, ranking him third among royals after his brother, Prince Harry, and Queen Elizabeth – however, his mother, Princess Diana thought Harry would make a better king than William. What’s behind Prince William’s reserved and somewhat serious manner? Find out some little-known facts and insider info about the beloved Prince.

He was the first future king to be born in a hospital

He was the first future king to be born in a hospital
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From nearly the moment of his birth, Prince William began setting the stage for the next generation of modern monarchs. His mother, Princess Diana, forever changed how royal women give birth. Prince William became the first future heir to the throne to be born in a hospital, the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London. This kicked off a new tradition, with Prince Harry and all three children of Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, born in the Lindo Wing. A photo opp of the new babies and their parents on the steps of the hospital has also become a tradition. (Prince Harry and wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, eschewed this tradition with new baby Archie.)

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He’s a TV and movie buff

He’s a TV and movie buff
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Prince William is a huge fan of movies, which makes sense since he’s been president of BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) since 2010. At the recent BAFTA Awards, he met actress Olivia Coleman, who portrayed Prince William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, in Season 3 of Netflix’s The Crown. We bet he’ll check it out, since the Duke and Duchess also love to snuggle up with acclaimed television shows including Homeland and Game of Thrones, as he told BBC Radio 1. (To complete the mental picture of a night on the couch with Prince William, he also said at home he wears “comfy clothes” and likes to order curry takeaway.)

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He has a scar on his forehead

He has a scar on his forehead
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Prince William may also be a Harry Potter fan, as he certainly shares a unique feature with the boy wizard: The Prince has what he calls a “Harry Potter scar” on his forehead. “I call it that because it glows sometimes and some people notice it – other times they don’t notice it at all,” he told BBC’s Newsround. “I got hit by a golf club when I was playing golf with a friend of mine. We were on a putting green and the next thing you know there was a seven iron and it came out of nowhere and hit me in the head.” See if you can spot it over his left eye.

He’s a military man

He’s a military man
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Like his brother, father, grandfather, and generations before them, Prince William had a distinguished military career. The Prince, known as Flight Lieutenant Wales in the Royal Air Force, served over seven years of full-time service and flew 156 search and rescue missions as a helicopter pilot. In a 2018 speech to the Royal Military Academy, which he graduated from, Prince William said, “The motto of the academy is ‘Serve to Lead’…It means placing the interests of your soldiers ahead of the interests of yourself. It means earning their trust and looking out for them. It means being the one who must make tough decisions and lead in the face of adversity.”

He was an air ambulance pilot

He was an air ambulance pilot
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After his military career, Prince William didn’t give up flying. Instead, he worked in emergency services as an air ambulance (or medevac, as Americans might call it) helicopter pilot, working alongside paramedics and doctors to save lives. “I want at the end of the day to feel like I have made a difference and a contribution,” the Prince told the BBC. But, he admitted it wasn’t always easy witnessing what he’s seen. “There are some very sad and dark moments,” he said. “You try not to take it away, but it can be quite difficult.”

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Fatherhood changed him

Fatherhood changed him
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As many parents can understand, becoming a dad to Prince George, followed by Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, made Prince William a bit softer. “I never used to get too wound up or worried about things, but now the smallest little things, you well up a little more, you get affected by the sort of things that happen around the world or whatever a lot more as a father,” he said in an interview. “You realise how precious life is and it puts it all in perspective, the idea of not being around to see your children grow up.”

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He relives his mother’s death

He relives his mother’s death
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The Prince admits these heightened emotions might have something to do with losing his own mother, Princess Diana, at age 15. “Anything to do with parent and child, and loss, it is very difficult, it has a big effect on me, it takes me straight back to my emotions back when my mother died,” Prince William told GQ, remembering a particularly difficult air ambulance mission. “I flew to a really bad case, a small boy and a car accident. I felt that one family’s pain and it took me right back to the experience I had.” Recently describing losing his mother as “a pain like no other pain,” he also told GQ, “I don’t think it ever fully heals.”

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He wanted to save Princess Diana

He wanted to save Princess Diana
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Prince William also says he wishes he could have done more to save his mother, who had been hounded by the press and was being chased by paparazzi when she died. “I feel very sad and I still feel very angry that we were not old enough to be able to do more to protect her, not wise enough to step in and do something that could have made things better for her,” he told GQ. The difficult experiences Prince William has been through are part of the reason why he’s a huge supporter of mental health initiatives – and even encouraged his own brother, Prince Harry, to get help dealing with his mother’s death, nearly 20 years later.

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He thinks the Brits need to loosen up

He thinks the Brits need to loosen up
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The British are known for their lack of emotional displays, but in a refreshingly honest conversation, Prince William revealed he thinks that needs to change in order for people to be more expressive about things they’re going through. “In Britain, we are nervous about our emotions, we are a bit embarrassed,” he says. “The British stiff upper lip thing, that’s great and we need to have that occasionally…but otherwise, we’ve got to relax a little bit and be able to talk about emotions. We’re not robots!”

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