The British media ramps up its coverage of William as he turns 18. In his final year at Eton, he excels in his studies and emerges as a popular student and natural leader who plays soccer, polo, and is a captain of the swim team. After graduation, the prince takes a year off to tour Chile and Africa.
William begins his college education at St. Andrew's in Scotland. He studies art history, goes by William Wales on campus, and visits bars and pubs with his friends. "I'm not a party animal, despite what some people might think," William tells Britain's Press Association. "But I like to go out sometimes like anyone else." In his second semester, William forks over 200 pounds to sit front row at a charity fashion show to cheer on friend, Kate Middleton, whom he met when they both entered college. The two coeds begin a very close friendship and move off campus together with two pals their sophomore year.
After keeping a low profile, William and Middleton are photographed cozying up on a Swiss ski trip. The pair finally confirms that they are, in fact, a couple. The media pressures William on his marriage plans. "Look, I'm only 22 for God's sake," William tells British tabloid The Sun. "I don't want to get married until I'm at least 28 or 30." Not only does he have a blossoming love, he also has a new major in college: geography. "It's going very well. It's my third year and it's a bit more work," he tells Britain's Press Association. "I'm studying all sorts of human and physical environments and really enjoying it."
William, 22, and Harry, 20, attend a friend's costume party. William wears an animal costume, and Harry dons a Nazi uniform complete with a swastika armband. British tabloid The Sun publishes the photo of Harry in costume on its front page, causing a firestorm of controversy. "I am very sorry if I caused any offense," Harry says in a statement. "It was a poor choice of costume."
William and Harry attend their father's wedding to his love of 30 years Camilla Parker Bowles, 57, in Windsor, England. William and stepbrother, Tom, share the duty of officially witnessing the marriage. Harry, who was said to be the uneasiest about the relationship, is the first to wave back as the newly married couple exits the ceremony. After the wedding, Camilla has the right to the title of Princess of Wales (Diana's former title), but she adopts Duchess of Cornwall instead.
William graduates with an honors degree in geography from St. Andrews. In the fall, he participates in a program to learn land management at Chatsworth House, financial planning with HSBC Group in London, and joins the Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Team in Wales. He also follows in his mother's humanitarian footsteps and becomes Patron of Centrepoint, the U.K.'s leading youth homelessness charity, and Patron of the Tusk Trust, an African conservation charity based in the U.K.
The media begins expounding on when William will propose to Middleton, his girlfriend of more than four years. Woolworths designs commemorative plates and mugs with the couple's photographs.
William and Harry plan a concert to mark their mother's 46th birthday. It takes place in London on July 1 with Elton John and Duran Duran as performers. "It's got to be the best birthday present she ever had," William says in a statement.
William graduates from the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, England, and is commissioned as an officer in the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals. Younger brother Harry also attended the prestigious academy and graduated as a Second Lieutenant in the Army. William later learns to fly with the Royal Air Force and patrols the Caribbean Sea with the Royal Navy in 2008.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Tim Graham/AP; Matrix/Bauer Griffin; Matrix/Bauer Griffin; AP; Dylan Martinez/Reuters; Barry Batchelor/AP