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British RoyalsThe Cambridges

William at 40: William and his children

Stephen Lock / i-Images

The Duke of Cambridge, father to three children, has often claimed that the stability of his home life is what grounds him and keeps him able to do his job.

In an interview with GQ magazine, he said that he wants his children to grow up “in a happy, stable, secure world” and that he will “fight for them to have a normal life.” As William celebrates his 40th birthday, let’s take a look at his role as a father.

Prince William has three children with his wife Kate: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

Prince George was born on 22 July 2013 at the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital, just as William had been born there 31 years before.

William has often spoken of the future as it relates to George someday succeeding him as king, saying, “You know, George, there’ll be a time and a place to bring George up and understand how he fits in the world. But right now, it’s just a case of keeping a secure, stable environment around him and showing him as much love as I can as a father.”

William also frames much of his environmental work as inspired by the future and doing what he can to make sure the world his children grow up in is healthy. In 2020, he said that Prince George is already concerned about the environment and climate change.

“He’s 7-years-old, and he’s asking me these questions already. He really feels it, and I think every 7-year-old out there can relate to that. I really feel from an emotional point of view as well, I think every parent, everyone wants to do the best for their children. And I think we have to have a decade of change, a decade of repairing the planet so that we can hand it on to the next generation and future generations and sustain the prosperity for their lives, too.”

“They say that number one is a life changer and that number two is a game-changer,” William said during a visit to the XLP Arts Project in March 2015. At the time, Kate was heavily pregnant with their second child.

Later that year, in a documentary about the Prince’s Trust, the Duke revealed that parenthood had made him more emotional, “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, I think, as a father.”

Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana was born on 2 May 2015, the only daughter of William and Kate and the first British princess to not be displaced in the line of succession by the birth of a younger brother.

Of his daughter, William has spoken of the dynamic of having a girl in the house, not having grown up with sisters or having something to compare the experience to. In an interview with Talk Vietnam, he said, “I’ve learnt a lot about myself and about family just from having my own children. George is a right little rascal sometimes, he keeps me on my toes, but he’s a sweet boy. And Charlotte, bearing in mind I haven’t had a sister, so having a daughter is a very different dynamic. So I’m learning about having a daughter, having a girl in the family.”

“Two is fine—I don’t know how I’m going to cope with three, I’m going to be permanently tired.”

Kate gave birth to the couple’s third child, Prince Louis Arthur Charles, on 23 April 2018. In February that year, William joked that with three children, he was going to be permanently tired at home.

Talk Vietnam, Prince William spoke about fatherhood, saying: “There’s wonderful highs and wonderful lows. It’s been quite a change for me personally. I’m very lucky in the support I have from Catherine; she’s an amazing mother and a fantastic wife. But I’ve struggled at times. The alteration from being a single independent man to going into marriage and then having children is life-changing.”

And though William has made a point to speak out about raising his children to feel comfortable sharing their emotions, looking after their mental health, and having a normal childhood, there is one thing he’s adamant about: football.

On an engagement ahead of Christmas 2019, he revealed that George loves drawing and football and, “I try not to be biased. I said, ‘You can support anyone but Chelsea.’ So naturally, he supports Chelsea.”

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.