Prince William Rings In Milestone 40th Birthday With Sweet Dedication From Prince Charles

Jun 21, 2022 by apost team

This month has been quite the celebration for Prince William. At the start of the month, he and other members of the royal family honored Queen Elizabeth II during her four-day Platinum Jubilee celebration. From the annual Trooping the Colour parade to various other events including the Platinum Party at the Park, William was in attendance at many of the festivities that took place.

Then, Father's Day was last weekend and William no doubt celebrated with his three adorable children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. For the occasion, the Cambridges released a gorgeous photo of William and the Cambridge children laughing during a family trip to Jordan in autumn 2021.

Now, a few days after Father's Day, William is celebrating his birthday — and not just any birthday but his 40th! The occasion is a big one, so much so, that the Royal Mint has released a commemorative coin to honor the future monarch. In fact, it's the first time the prince has been featured on a coin by himself. The previous times he had coins made in his honor were for his and Kate Middleton's engagement and wedding. 

It's uncertain exactly how William plans to celebrate his milestone birthday, but it's likely he'll be spending the day with his beloved family. As is tradition, other members of the royal family have also sent well wishes to him on their social media channels, including his father Prince Charles. 

In honor of William's special day, let's take a look back at key moments in his life, as well as the way in which he's being honored today.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince William (1982), (Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Born on June 21, 1982, Prince William is the firstborn son of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and his then-wife, Diana, Princess of Wales. Even his birth was an iconic moment. The following morning, his parents debuted the newborn prince to the world on the steps of St Mary's Hospital, London, for his very first photo op.

Ever the world traveler, William joined his parents on his first royal tour in 1983 at just 9 months of age, when the then-family-of-three traveled to Australia and New Zealand for a six-week visit. According to Hello Magazine, William took part in the tour at the request of Princess Diana. The decision was controversial at the time, as the first and second in line to the throne were never to travel together. He was humorously nicknamed "wombat" during the tour by excited royal fans from down under.

In January 1987, William kickstarted his education at the Wetherby School in West London. His younger brother, Prince Harry, would later also join the school in 1989. William was often photographed with his mother and brother in his childhood and early teenage years, and from the images, it's clear that there was a lot of love between them.

However, tragedy struck in 1997, when Diana died suddenly due to injuries sustained in a car accident in Paris. William was just 15 when his mother passed away. A mere six days following her tragic death, the young prince attended his mother's funeral and walked alongside Prince Philip, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles as they followed Diana’s coffin at Westminster Abbey.

Prince William, Catherine Middleton (2011), (Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

William graduated from St. Andrews in 2005 with a Scottish Master of Arts degree, majoring in Geography. It was there that he famously met Middleton, who was also a student. The relationship had moved fairly quickly after they began dating, and the two moved in together in a shared apartment while at university.

Their union first became public knowledge in 2004, when someone from the press snapped a photo of them together while they were on a ski trip, which led to widespread knowledge of their once private relationship.

It might seem hard to imagine now but there was a time when the couple actually separated for a brief period in 2007, as reported by Town & Country. But the couple was meant to be, and it wasn't too long before they got back together. One year after their break up, the duo was spotted on another ski trip, and just two years after that, in November 2010 they announced their engagement. In a bittersweet touch, the engagement ring that William proposed to Middleton with was his late mother, Princess Diana's ring.

The couple got married in a show-stopping wedding on April 29, 2011. The event was watched by millions from across the globe. According to Metro, their wedding was live-streamed on YouTube and reached 101 million views.

Since then, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have established themselves as two of the most prominent working royals. In the years since their wedding, they've also grown their family to include their three children — Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4. 

Prince William (2018), (Chris Jackson-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Now, not only is the future king celebrating a milestone birthday and entering a new decade of life but he's also being honored by the Royal Mint in the first coin that will feature him alone. Designed and engraved by Thomas T. Docherty, the £5 coin features the duke's portrait on one side, while the queen will appear on the other side. Alongside the image of William is his royal cypher, the letter W and the number 40, while the edge is inscribed with, "HRH The Duke of Cambridge." It's the first occasion that William will appear by himself on an official coin, following two other times that marked his engagement to Middleton and their wedding in 2011, on which they both appeared.

The Royal Mint has released other limited-edition souvenirs to commemorate William's 40th birthday, including a 0.25oz gold celebration coin, as well as a 1982 sovereign coin marking the year Prince William was born. Docherty said:

“The design strikes a balance between the fresh energy of His Royal Highness being a young dad with the ceremonial nature of his royal position."

Meanwhile, Clare Maclennan of the Royal Mint called the design "elegant" and said it “pays homage to the maturity and grace of the prince who has become a senior member of the royal family, a devoted husband and a loving father of three, through the eyes of the world."

It's been a wonder to see William grow up over the years and it's especially meaningful to see him honored in such a way for his 40th birthday. Meanwhile, the royal family also honored William with messages of their own. Prince Charles shared a touching birthday tribute to William via the official Clarence House social media channels. Alongside a slideshow of photos of the two of them over the decades, the post was captioned:

"​​Wishing The Duke of Cambridge a very happy 40th birthday! 🎂🎈"

Happy 40th birthday to Prince William! What do you think about the Royal Mint's birthday tribute to him? Let us know, then pass this on so others can read about it too!

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