Behold: 30 Iconic Photos of Prince William Through the Years

In honor of the Duke of Cambridge's 36th birthday, let's take a walk down memory lane.

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I considered naming this compilation "30 Times Prince William Was Extremely Hot," because, well, Prince William is ridiculously hot. To celebrate the Duke of Cambridge's 36th birthday, I combed through every photo of the prince since 1982 to prove that William is not only the caring father, fierce humanitarian, and strong leader-in-training that we know and love today, but he's also (quite possibly) the prettiest royal the world has ever seen. My thoughts go out to Prince Harry in this trying time.

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1985

Here, the little prince cheeses with a one-year-old Harry on his shoulders. Although the two aren't exactly spitting images of each other today, William's blonde hair and gingham shirt give off major Prince George vibes.

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1987

Two years later, William is spotted en route to his first day at the exclusive Wetherby School. A classically chic Princess Diana nudges the little guy along.

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1988

At the 1988 Trooping the Colour, William was the epitome of royal children—the bored-as-heck six-year-old shielded his eyes as parents Charles and Diana looked on.

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1991

In the early '90s, William, nine, and Harry, seven, wore the ultimate Canadian tuxedos as they took a grand tour of, you guessed it, Canada. The princes waved to the cameras after the crew of the HMCS Ottawa loaned them a pair of hats.

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1991

William, Harry, and Diana cuddled up on the ski lift during a trip in Lech, Austria in 1991. Can you handle Harry’s little face and those neon-yellow glasses?! I'll give him that one.

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1995

Four years and one major growth spurt later, Prince William arrived to his first day at Eton College looking dapper as ever. The young teen was just on the cusp of his iconic, heartthrob phase.

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1997

A lanky Prince William flashes a coy grin at the cameras during a trip to Balmoral, Scotland, his full head of hair glistening in the sun.

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1998

Does Prince William’s YM cover settle the Harry vs. William debate for good? I vote yes. In 1998, this iconic photo of William (a.k.a. “the prince of our hearts") was plastered on every teenager’s wall, because look at that face.

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1999

On this blessed day, a then-17-year-old Prince William posed for a photo-op after driving in front of paparazzi for the very first time. William drove through the gravel driveway at Highgrove (Prince Charles’ Gloucestershire home) to the thrill of onlookers. “He’s going very well,” Charles told BBC of the new driver’s skill.

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2000

What’s cuter than a giggling Prince William? Nothing. William cracked a smile with a local girl in 2000 while teaching an English lesson in Southern Chile.

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2001

In 2001, William arrived to his great-grandmother’s 101st birthday party in London looking like an actual snack. Needless to say, the prince’s bachelor phase was in full-swing during the time.

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2002

An almost-20-year-old William was a sweaty rascal at the Beaufort Polo Club in 2002. Oh, to be a drop of sweat on that glistening forehead…

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2003

William cracked a joke with the Queen and Harry at Trooping the Colour in 2003. What did he say to make the matriarch flash that little grin? I for one hope it had something to do with the Queen’s bright-blue ensemble.

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2005

In 2005, William and Kate posed for quite possibly the sweetest photo of all time during their graduation ceremony at St. Andrew’s University. Although the couple was going strong at the time, their graduation marked the beginning of a rocky time for William and Kate. When the duo later went public with their post-grad relationship, Kate was overwhelmed by the paparazzi.

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2004

And, now, a photo of Prince William with a sheep, because why not. In 2004, the prince frolicked through his farm at Gloucestershire and made friends with a very lucky animal.

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2006

After graduating from Sandhurt and becoming an officer in the British Army in 2006, William and his fellow troops lined up for the Queen’s inspection. The prince couldn’t help but crack a smile as his grandmother passed by him.

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2007

In 2007, William and Kate giggled as they watched the RBS Six Nations Championship in London. Please note the ultimate third wheel on the left: Prince Harry kept to himself with a pair of headphones for most of the game.

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2008

After graduating from RAF Cranwell on April 11, 2008, William walked side-by-side with Kate. The lovebirds had just reconnected after a brief split in 2007.

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2009

In 2009, Kate and William decided they were in it for the long haul. William popped the question with the same ring Prince Charles gave to Diana, a 12-carat sapphire ring that’s valued around $500,000 today.

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2011

Before there was the craze of Meghan and Harry’s royal wedding, it was all about William and Kate’s. On April 29, 2011 the couple became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after their iconic ceremony at Westminster Abbey. A pair of ridiculously cute flower girls (one stoked and one grumpy) framed William and Kate for an epic kiss.

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2011

During a Christmastime visit to London charity project Centrepoint, William “brushed his shoulder off” while dancing with a teenage resident. Kate, the forever straight man, laughed on the sidelines as William showed off his moves.

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2013

On July 23, 2013 William and Kate welcomed their first child into the world, Prince George of Cambridge. Here, the new dad holds his baby in front of the public for the very first time.

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2014

In 2014, Prince George accompanied his parents on their three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand. William and Kate gave a chubby little George a stuffed animal during their Taronga Zoo visit in Sydney.

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2015

Don’t be fooled—the royal wave takes practice. In 2015, William taught Prince George the basics outside of St. Mary’s Hospital (where Kate had just given birth to the couple’s first girl, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge).

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2016

The royal family of four bundled up in hats and parkas during a ski trip to the French Alps in 2016. And, yes, starring at this photo and resisting the urge to squeeze Charlotte and George's faces is impossible.

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2017

Here, William is snapped just doing dad things—the prince helped George and Charlotte into their private plane after concluding an official visit to Poland and Germany.

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2018

George and William struck a pose on the little prince’s first day of school at Thomas’s Battersea in 2018. Although George looks cool and collected, things got a little emotional when he arrived at the school’s gates.

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2018

On April 23, 2018, Kate gave birth to the couple’s third child, Prince Louis of Cambridge. Here, the parents pose for photos outside of St. Mary’s Hospital with their newest little guy.

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2018

As Prince Harry waited for bride Meghan Markle to arrive, William appeared to make it his personal mission to make his brother smile. The duo were pictured cracking jokes at the altar.

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2018

As George and his cousin Savannah Phillips messed around during Trooping the Colour 2018, Prince William flashed his son an all-too-familiar dad glare. Has Will forgotten his days as a royal tyke? Maybe.


Happy birthday, Prince William!

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