How Prince William grew up before our eyes: 39 pictures of the future king

Prince William turns 39 on 21st June, the day after Father's Day, ensuring him two full days of attention and hand-made cards from his three children. As the popular royal approaches middle age, we take a look back over his life in the spotlight.

William was born in 1982, in the Lindo Wing of St Mary's hospital in Paddington - exactly where his own children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, were born.

Following royal tradition, he went to Wetherby School, Ludgrove School and then Eton College before taking a gap year ahead of studying at St Andrews University in Scotland.

Famously, that was where he met Kate Middleton. They were friends, then partners (and had a break and got back together) before they married in 2011 at Westminster Abbey.

William's childhood was derailed by the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997. To many onlookers' horror, he and his brother, Prince Harry, were expected to walk behind their mother's coffin as it processed to the church for her funeral, alongside their grandfather Prince Philip, father Prince Charles and their uncle, Charles Spencer.

After this trauma, William was granted more privacy during his time at Eton and at St Andrews, where he started by studying Art History but swapped to Geography.

Post-graduation, he took on a couple of internships before deciding to follow family tradition and pursue a military career, enrolling at Sandhurst military academy.

William flew for the RAF and the Royal Navy, then took a job with the Air Ambulance in Norfolk. He and Kate lived there and in a rural Anglesey farmhouse which William reportedly loved for the opportunity it gave him to be 'normal'.

By 2017, it was time to commit fully to royal duties, and William, Kate, George and Charlotte made Kensington Palace their main home, instead of Norfolk's Anmer Hall, though they still enjoy family time there during school holidays and weekends.

Now a father of three, William is cementing his senior position in the Royal Family, having recently set up the Earthshot Prize, which will be his landmark project, similar to his father's Prince's Trust.

The prize aims to find solutions to the problems facing the world in terms of climate change, and the oceans and will award millions of pounds to individuals and nations to roll them out.

His commitment to mental health projects and the environment, along with his personal touch at engagements, reveals exactly the kind of king he hopes to be.

Happy birthday, Prince William!