He may or may never be King, his birthright, but here is a prince whose baby rattle was already a scepter.
Born to the heir to the throne, Charles, then Prince of Wales, and his first wife Diana Spencer, then Princess of Wales, William’s birth was a time of rejoicing. The line of succession from his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, to his father Prince Charles, was a straight and bold one.
William was a cute little bundle of joy and a boulder of stability to the royal family. At the time, a male offspring, no matter in which order he was born, was automatically heir. William was first, and he was male. Diana had delivered — literally and figuratively.
Virtually all of us don’t know William personally, we just know of him, and yet we feel like he’s one familiar bloke to us. But a whole lot of us, including yours truly, have followed him from the cradle and hopefully to the crown: from the time when he was a toothless baby smiling for the cameras; to him walking behind his mother’s coffin, unspeakable grief on his young face; beaming in the balcony of Buckingham Palace with his beautiful bride Catherine; and walking hand in hand with his adorable children on their first day of school.
Thanks to his late mother’s rearing of him, which included visits to homeless shelters, William has that common touch. In 2009, he even spent a night on the streets among the homeless (though perhaps security was close by but discreet) so he would get a feel of how it was like to be marginalized.
And in the years ahead, I hope to bring George, Charlotte and Louis to see the fantastic organizations doing inspiring work to support those most in need — just as my mother did for me.
According to ABC News, “The young Prince William, as patron of the British charity for the homeless, Centrepoint, spent the night ‘sleeping rough’ in order to draw attention to the plight of the teenage homeless.”
“I hope that by deepening my understanding of the issue, I can help do my bit to help the most vulnerable on our streets,” the prince said after his heartfelt “sleepover.”
“I cannot, after one night, even begin to imagine what it must be like to sleep rough on London’s streets night after night,” he was quoted as saying.
According to the report, William spent the night of Dec. 15 in the streets of central London in below-freezing conditions with nothing but a sleeping bag.
The prince reportedly “found a secluded spot down an alleyway and bedded down, somewhat hidden by some nearby garbage bins.”
When Prince William turned 40 this year, he penned a letter for The Big Issue, a newspaper sold by homeless people founded in 1991, as a response to the increasing numbers of homeless people in London.
According to Elle, the future king’s letter read: “I was 11 when I first visited a homeless shelter with my mother, who in her own inimitable style was determined to shine a light on an overlooked, misunderstood problem.”
“I wanted to experience the other side and see what it was like to be a Big Issue vendor. My time was truly eye-opening.
“I have always believed in using my platform to help tell those stories and to bring attention and action to those who are struggling.
“And in the years ahead, I hope to bring George, Charlotte and Louis to see the fantastic organizations doing inspiring work to support those most in need — just as my mother did for me.”
O, di ba?
Though his mother’s imprint on him is indelible, Prince William obviously respects his father, now the King. It may have pained William to see his father marry the woman his mother had blamed for the failure of her marriage, but William seems to have dutifully respected his father’s choice and shot at happiness (even if my eyes roll up as a Diana fan). William as heir has had a tightrope to maneuver.
Upon his beloved grandmother’s death, Prince William issued a statement that ended on this note:
“I will honor her memory, by supporting my father, The King, in every way I can.”
William was “ripped” by social media for not HHWW with his wife Kate while his brother Harry was clasping his wife Meghan’s hand tightly during their walkabout outside Windsor Castle to look at the flowers offered in memory of the Queen. After greeting the throng that came to offer their sympathies, the “Fab Four” all rode home together. Critics panned William for not opening his wife’s car door before he took the wheel of their SUV, while Harry “gallantly” brought his wife to her seat before taking his on the back seat of the SUV.
Give Wills a break. He was taking the wheel and his steps are measured. I don’t think it is because he loves his wife less. Like someone to the Crown born and bred, William is formal, like his grandparents were. No HHWW as much as possible. Harry is more relaxed, less bound by protocol than his brother. (I don’t think William is any less gallant because, days before, during King Charles’ accession, William steadied and supported the Queen Consort Camilla as she was ascending the steps to the dais.)
William has also had the best mentor in fidelity to duty in his late “Grannie.”
William, Prince of Wales and first in line to the throne.
“She was by my side at my happiest moments,” William said in a statement after his grandmother’s death at age 96. “And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life. I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.
“And I thank her on behalf of my generation for providing an example of service and dignity in public life that was from a different age, but always relevant to us all.”
Raised by two women, his Mummy and his Grannie, who both had imparted much to him in their own way; and a Papa who obviously is proud of him and let him be; and steadfastly supported by the queen of his heart, Kate Middleton, this former helicopter rescue pilot is not just your Prince Charming. He’s Prince Popular, too, I daresay.