It's easy to imagine that members of the British royal family, like Prince William, have it made. But the royal existence isn't always a fairy tale, and this prince has seen his fair share of hardship and heartbreak. These are some of the tragic details about Prince William.
Prince William's parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, went through a very messy, very public divorce - which was also incredibly prolonged. Charles and Diana first announced their separation in 1992, when William was just ten years old. Given their popular union and the royal family's historically fraught relationship with divorce, however, it was several years before they made the split official.
Even after announcing their separation, the Prince of Wales and the People's Princess "continued to carry out their royal duties," according to the History Channel. However, their already-strained relationship continued to deteriorate, with much of the drama playing out in the public eye.
In November 1995, when a 13-year-old Prince William was attending boarding school, his mother gave an explosive, tell-all interview about her marriage. Airing on BBC One's Panorama, one of the most memorable moments came when Diana was asked if Camilla Parker Bowles, Charles' then-alleged mistress and now-wife, played a role in the breakdown of the union. She famously replied,
"Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."
According to royal biographer Katie Nicholl, William was reportedly "mortified" by this deeply personal interview - not only had his peers watched, but he was hounded by the paparazzi.
Eventually, Charles' mother, Queen Elizabeth II, urged the two to formally divorce, which they did in August 1996.
Divorce isn't easy for any child, but for William, the very public breakdown of his parents' marriage was reportedly extra traumatic. One royal expert claimed in the 2017 documentary Kate: The Making of a Modern Queen,
"I think that he was quite seriously affected by the bad relationship of his parents."
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Messy Divorce | 0:00
Diana's Death | 1:55
Lingering pains | 2:37
Dating William | 3:53
Kate's privacy | 4:58
Family safety | 6:18
Accused of infidelity | 7:28
Mental health | 8:39
Strained relationship | 9:57
Public speaking anxiety | 11:14
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