Britain's Prince William, [eldest son of The Prince of Wales]
Britain's Prince William, [eldest son of The Prince of Wales]

Britain's Prince William, the eldest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, is second in line to the throne, after his father.

William was born in London on June 21, 1982. He and his younger brother, Harry, lived their childhood in the spotlight, attracting obsessive interest from the press and public.

Prince William was just 15 years old when his mother died tragically in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997. People around the world tuned into television broadcasts to watch as he and Prince Harry walked behind their mother's coffin in her funeral procession in London on September 6, 1997.

After taking a year off from school visiting Chile, Belize and Africa and working on British dairy farms, Prince William began studying in 2001 at St. Andrews University, where he met his future fiancee, Kate Middleton. He was always very athletic and played for the Scottish national university's water polo team while at St. Andrews.

In 2006, the prince joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as an Officer Cadet. He was commissioned as an army officer in December of that year in front of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and joined the Household Cavalry as a Second Lieutenant.

In 2008, the Queen appointed Prince William to be a Royal Knight of the Garter. The Order of the Garter is the highest and oldest British Order of Chivalry and honors those who have held public office, contributed to national life or served the Queen.

Prince William also is a fully operational Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Pilot, based on the Welsh island of Anglesey.

He is president or patron of a number of charities, including Centrepoint, Britain's leading homelessness charity. His mother also served as patron of the organization.