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By John Escott
Table of Contents
A New Prince!
It is the evening of 21 June 1982 — the first day of summer. Newspaper and television reporters near the doors of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, talk quickly into their telephones.
‘It’s a boy … Yes! … Princess Diana has a little boy … at 9.03 this evening … England has a new prince! … Yes, and mother and child are well … We’re waiting to see Prince Charles
At eleven o’clock that night, Prince Charles – the Prince of Wales — comes out of the hospital. He answers questions from the reporters about his new son.
‘He has blue eyes,’ Prince Charles says. ‘He and his mother are very well. They’re coming home tomorrow.’
‘What’s his name?’ the reporters want to know.
Prince Charles smiles. ‘We don’t know,’ he says. ‘We’re thinking about it.’
Charles likes the name Arthur, but Diana does not. She wants William. A week later, the reporters have their answer: William Arthur Philip Louis. His mother’s name for him is ‘Wills’.
Prince Charles wants Mabel Anderson to be Prince William’s nanny. She was Prince Charles’s nanny years before. Princess Diana says no. She doesn’t want an old person. They give the job to Barbara Barnes.
William at the age of two.
Princess Diana is a very loving mother. She likes having William near her, and her bedroom at Kensington Palace is near his room. Later, she often gets into bed with William and his brother at night. She says, ‘Who loves you?’ They answer, ‘You!’ The princess smiles.
It is 1983. Prince Charles and Princess Diana are going to visit Australia and New Zealand. But Diana wants to be with William. What can she do?
Then the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Fraser, writes a letter to Diana. In it he says, ‘Please bring Prince William with you.’
Diana talks to Charles, and he says yes. They take William to Australia with them. The young prince stays in Woomargama, a place in New South Wales, with Nanny Barnes. His mother and father often visit him.
On 15 September 1984, a new brother arrives for William. Two days later, he goes to the hospital to see him. The new child’s name is Harry, and William loves playing with him.
A year later, on 24 September 1985, William starts school at Mrs. Mynor’s School in Netting Hill, in London. It is very near to Kensington Palace. A policeman goes to school with William every day.
On the first morning William runs out of the car, but his mother stops him. The newspaper reporters all want to take his photograph. Television reporters want his picture, too.
William goes to school two mornings a week, then every morning. Now he knows numbers, and he can write his name. He quickly makes a lot of friends.
But he is not always a good boy at home.
‘Go to bed, William,’ says Nanny Barnes.
‘No,’ says William. ‘You can’t say that to me! I’m going to be king one day.’
In January, 1987, William has a new nanny — Ruth Wallace. William’s name for her is ‘Nanny Roof’.
At the same time, William starts at Wetherby School. This is in Notting Hill, too. Here he plays a lot of sports, and he gets a prize for swimming. Every year the school has a Sports Day. William and his friends watch Princess Diana and Prince Charles in the games for mothers and fathers.
He moves to Ludgrove School in Berkshire in September 1990. He lives there, and he goes home for school holidays. William is very happy at Ludgrove. Again, he plays a lot of games, and he is good at football. At twelve, he gets a prize for shooting.
Prince Charles likes country sports and often takes his young son with him. William watches his father shooting at Sandringham, one of the Queen’s country homes. After that, William wants to shoot, too.
At Ludgrove, William is good at writing. He gets the school prize for writing in 1992.
An Accident at School
It is June 1991, and William is playing golf with his friends at Ludgrove. Suddenly, there is an accident. A friend hits him on the head. The school sends William to a hospital in Reading.
Princess Diana in a game for mothers.
Princess Diana is eating with a friend. She hears about the accident and goes quickly to the hospital. Prince Charles also hears about it and drives to Reading.
The doctors are not happy. They send William to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, in London. Diana goes with William, and Prince Charles goes in his car.
At Great Ormond Street, William has a small but important operation on his head. His mother waits at the hospital. Prince Charles cannot stay because he has important visitors. But the operation goes well. The doctors say to Princess Diana, ‘William is OK.’
Charles and Diana Divorce
William often telephones his mother from school. He likes talking to her, and she wants to talk to him.
Diana and Charles are not happy. William knows this. He knows about their problems, and he is unhappy about them. They are not good for the Queen or for the country, and William knows this, too.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana do not live in the same house. Charles lives in his country home at Highgrove House. William visits him there. He likes Highgrove, and he loves his father. But it is a difficult time for him. William likes watching television.
William at the age of nine.
‘Television is bad for you,’ his father says. ‘Why don’t you read a book or come for a walk in the country?’1
Princess Diana lives at Kensington Palace with the boys. William loves to run to his mother’s bedroom every morning. Pie plays games with her and they talk.
One day, William says to Harry, ‘I’m going to be a policeman.’
‘You can’t,’ says Harry. ‘You’re going to be king.’ William does not want to think about this.
William skiing in Klosters.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorce in August, 1996. After that, holidays with their mother and father are never the same for William and Harry.
Their mother takes them to the Caribbean to swim in the sea. Or she takes them skiing in Canada or America. Charles takes them skiing in Klosters, in Switzerland, or to Greece, or on a boat in the Mediterranean.They often go to Balmoral, the Queen’s home in Scotland.
After the divorce, William and his brother have a new nanny at their father’s home. Her name is Alexandra ‘Tiggy’ Legge-Bourke and she is young. Diana is not very happy about Tiggy, but William and Harry like her.
‘Please Stay Away!’
After Ludgrove, William goes to England’s famous school for boys — Eton. It is a friendly school. He is very happy there, and he has many friends.
Sometimes William goes out of the school with two or three boys. They go into the town of Windsor, to the shops or to a cafe. William likes going shopping
sometimes. But two policemen always go with the boys, and they are always near.
Sometimes photographers go after them and take photographs. William does not like this. And newspaper reporters often write stories about his unhappy mother and father. This makes him very unhappy, too.
But he is starting to look at girls! He has pictures of girls at Eton — photographs of beautiful girls and young women from television and films.
One year at Klosters, William meets a girl. She goes skiing with him, and they have a very happy time.
Every year, at Eton, there is an Open Day. The boys’ families can visit the school on that important day.
But one year, William does not want his mother and father at the Open Day. It is a happy day for his friends and their families, and he does not want a lot of photographers there. The prince and princess understand, and they do not go. But William does ask Tiggy.
It is a happy day for William. He eats with Tiggy. Then he and one of his friends walk and talk with the mothers, fathers and sisters of the boys. And they meet a lot of beautiful young girls!
The Car Accident
Early in the morning of 31 August 1997, Princess Diana comes out of the Ritz Hotel in Paris with Dodi Fayed. A short time later, they are dead, in a car accident. Princess Diana is only thirty-six years old.
William on his first day at Eton.
William and Harry are on holiday at Balmoral with their lather. At 3 o’clock in the morning, Charles and die Queen hear about the accident. The two young princes are sleeping. At 7.30, their father talks to them about the accident. He then telephones Tiggy. She comes to Scotland to be with the boys.
William looks at the thousands of flowers near Kensington Palace.
William and Harry go to church with their father later that morning. Newspaper and television reporters and a small number of people watch quietly.
Five days later, Charles and his sons go to London and look at the thousands of flowers near Kensington Palace. They talk to some of the people there. People in every country watch the pictures of William on television.
Prince William is not a boy now – he is a young man.
Diana was a very good mother. ‘Her boys’ were very important to her. And she wanted to teach them about people – not only about queens, princes and princesses.
William went shopping with her and they went into cafes. They went to see people with no homes, and to see very ill people.
Now Diana is dead, and Prince Charles is trying to do some of the same things with William and his brother. It is a difficult time for them all, but they are a strong and loving family. Princess Dianas family want to do things for William and Harry, too.
Newspaper reporters do not write about William or Harry very often now, or take photographs of them. There are not many pictures of them on television. Many people say, ‘This is right. They are only young boys.’
‘William, We Love You!’
William and Harry go to Canada with their father for a skiing holiday. Hundreds of girls wait for a long time in the hot sun in Vancouver. They want to see Prince William and Prince Harry.
The big car stops. The doors open. There are the two young princes. ‘William! William!’ the girls say. ‘We love you!’ And they give him flowers.
This is very difficult for William, but he smiles. He takes the flowers and talks to one or two of the girls.
‘Thank you,’ he says.
Some days later, William visits a school in Vancouver. Girls are waiting there to see him, too, and to give him flowers. ‘I love him!’ says one girl. ‘I’ve got pictures of him at home in my bedroom!’
And now? William likes Eton and has some very good friends there. But he does not talk about them. He is ‘Wills’ to them.
He loves Highgrove House, and he goes there at weekends and in the school holidays. It is quiet there. There are no reporters, and no photographers. He and Harry play football in the gardens. They swim at Highgrove, too. There are pictures of sports men and women in their bedrooms.
William talks to one or two of the girls.
Their London home is in St James’s Palace now.
William likes driving. He likes skiing. He likes shooting and all country sports. He loves going to Balmoral in Scotland. He likes reading books and going to the cinema. He likes animals, and he has a dog. The dog’s name is Widgeon.
William is a young man, but one day he is going to be King of England. He knows this, but he does not think about it all the time.
William is a prince, but he is his mother’s son. He has her blue eyes and friendly smile.
She was the ‘People’s Princess’. William is the ‘People’s Prince’.
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