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Few human beings know what it feels like to have lived their entire lives within the public eye. And very few in that select group have weathered that glare with the panache of Prince William, eldest son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. We’ve seen him in knee socks and in suits, in play shorts and in RAF uniforms. We’ve seen him cradled in the arms of his mother, and we’ve seen him stoically grieving her death as a young man.

As the 28-year-old prince embarks on his most public moment yet – his wedding to longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton – take a look back at his life until now in snapshots pulled from the BBC archives.

6 years old – Diana, Princess of Wales and young William laze at a Windsor polo party.

7 years old – William and younger brother Harry (5 years old) go on a mad dash in their riding clothes.

12 years old – William on the brink of teen heartthrob-dom.

15 years old – Diana’s brother Charles Spencer, William, Harry, and Prince Charles stand beside the hearse carrying the coffin of Princess Diana, who had been tragically killed in a Paris car accident days earlier.

24 years old – Princes William and Harry in a publicity shot as they prepare to be interviewed for the Concert for Diana in 2007.

27 years old – Following in the humanitarian footsteps of his mum, Prince William speaks before the Meeting of Charities Forum at St. James’ Palace.

What do you think of the man that Prince William has become?

by Kevin Wicks

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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.