Prince William Turns 42 While Celebrating First Birthday Since Wife Catherine Was Diagnosed With Cancer

Jun 20, 2024 by apost team

Born on June 21, 1982, Prince William, the Prince of Wales, is the firstborn son of King Charles III and his former wife, Princess Diana. 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.

As the years went by, the world watched on as Prince William continued to experience new adventures and grow right before our eyes. However, there were also heartbreaking moments that he experienced along the way, including the passing of his mother and his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

After Elizabeth’s death in September 2022, the royal family’s titles were changed, making William and his wife, Kate Middleton, the new Prince and Princess of Wales. They were formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Nowadays, William has continued to use his title and platform to make the royal family proud and to be a voice for those in need, encouraging others to help make the world a better place. While he has been a busy man for most of his adult life, William has also made sure to celebrate all the happy occasions with his loved ones.

Following King Charles and Kate Middleton’s cancer diagnoses in early 2024, William stepped up to his role as the Prince of Wales and a senior working royal. According to sources, William will be celebrating his 42nd birthday while fulfilling his duties as the president of the Football Association. This marks his first birthday since Kate was diagnosed with cancer. Read on to learn more about how William celebrated his birthdays in the past and his reported plans for his 42nd birthday.

Prince Charles, Harry, William, Princess Diana (1989), (IMAGO/ZUMA Press Wire)

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. 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 kick-started 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, Harry and Charles as they followed Diana’s coffin at Westminster Abbey.

William graduated from St. Andrews in 2005 with a Scottish Master of Arts degree, majoring in Geography. It was there that he famously met Kate 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.

Princess Diana, Harry, William, Prince Charles (1995), (IMAGO/ZUMA Press Wire)

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 Kate with was his late mother’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 Prince and Princess of Wales 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, 10, Princess Charlotte, 9, and Prince Louis, 6. 

On top of that, William has also dedicated much of his life to caring for others and the environment. The royal family Twitter page posted, “His Royal Highness now undertakes a number of charitable activities and projects, with a particular focus on the environment, young people & mental health.”

William and the Royal Foundation founded the Earthshot Prize in 2020, which is considered “the most prestigious global prize for the environment in history.” The BBC reported that William has also worked to find solutions to homelessness.

Prince William (2009), (IMAGO/Reporters)

For William’s milestone 40th birthday, he was honored by the Royal Mint with the first coin that featured him alone. Designed and engraved by Thomas T. Docherty, the £5 coin featured William’s portrait on one side while the late Queen Elizabeth II appeared on the other side. Alongside the image of William was his royal cypher, the letter W, and the number 40, while the edge was inscribed with "HRH The Duke of Cambridge."

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."

For William’s 40th birthday, Charles shared a touching birthday tribute to William via Instagram. 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! 🎂🎈"

The royal family's Instagram page also honored William for his last birthday with a carousel of photos and a post that read: “Happy 40th Birthday to The Duke of Cambridge! 🥳 Prince William Arthur Philip Louis is the elder son of (Charles) The Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales. He 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.”

On June 21, 2023, the royal family's Instagram account posted a photo in honor of Prince William's 41st birthday — his first birthday as the Prince of Wales. The caption read: 

"Wishing The Prince of Wales a very happy birthday today! 🎈"

The photo featured William with his father, King Charles, in a touching moment. 

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2011), (IMAGO/UPI Photo)

As for William’s 41st birthday, Us Weekly reported that William had a blast when he celebrated his big day. 

“William’s friends had the idea to take him out to a nightclub for his birthday,” a source told the outlet. “William was skeptical at first but then decided to step out of his comfort zone and do something he hasn’t done in years. He wound up having an amazing time!”

The insider explained that the Prince of Wales “felt a little uncomfortable at first,” but he eventually “loosened up and cut a rug with his guy friends.” According to the source, William’s friends want to make the nightclub thing a “new tradition.” OK reported that William “danced and sipped on beer alongside longtime friends Guy Pelly and James Meade, both of whom are godparents to his kids.” 

However, the nightclub outing wasn’t the only thing the future king did on his birthday. He reportedly had a “special dinner with the kids on his birthday,” including his wife, Kate. 

Meanwhile, the royal family marked William’s birthday with a chorus of bells at Westminster Abbey in London.  

“Wishing HRH The Prince of Wales a very happy birthday today!” Westminster Abbey wrote on X, formerly Twitter, alongside a video of the bells. “The Abbey bell ringers are ringing 541 changes of Stedman Caters followed by a course of London Surprise Royal in celebration.”

Notably, the tradition of ringing bells became quite rare in 2023 because of the pandemic. But before that, it was an annual tradition whenever a senior royal turned a year older.

Prince George, Kate Middleton, Prince Louis, Prince William, Princess Charlotte (2022), (IMAGO/i Images)

For his birthday in 2024, insiders revealed to Parade that William might be celebrating his big day while fulfilling his duties as the president of the Football Association in England. Sources said William will reportedly attend the football match between England and Denmark at Frankfurt Arena as part of the Euro 2024 tournament. William has been president since 2006, and he often attends events to show his support. 

William met with the England team before they flew to Germany, and he even left some parting messages to players – a suggestion from his youngest son, Prince Louis. According to William, Louis advised the players to “eat twice the amount you normally would eat.” Later, he joked they should "maybe take my youngest's advice with a pinch of salt."

The insiders revealed that William’s family is not expected to attend the trip, considering that Kate is undergoing treatment for her cancer. They suggest that the Waleses will likely celebrate the event together before William’s departure or after his arrival back. 

William has been in the public eye for quite some time as he fills in for Kate’s absence. On June 5, 2024, at an event commemorating the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings, Prince William spoke to one of the veterans who attended the ceremony and gave another update on how Kate was doing. One of the veterans William spoke with had an impromptu question about whether Kate was “getting any better.” The Prince of Wales promptly and sincerely responded, and said, “Yes,” before adding, “She'd love to be here today."

"I was reminding everyone her grandmother served at Bletchley Park, so she had quite a few in common with some of the ladies here who were at Bletchley,” William told the veteran. "It's lovely to see you. I will see you in five years' time for the 85th.”

Prince William (2018), (IMAGO/PA Images)

Happy Birthday, Prince William! What can you say about his past birthday celebrations? Let us know your wishes to the prince, and send this to your family, friends and other royal family fans out there!

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