Today, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is one of the most popular members of the royal family.
Sixty years ago, however, the situation could not have been more different for Prince William of Gloucester, the man who inspired the name of today’s well-known Prince William, and who lived an unorthodox royal life filled with twists and tragedy.
Born in 1941, Prince William was the son of Prince Henry, brother of King George VI. He is the first cousin of Queen Elizabeth, and at six-years-old served as one of the two page boys at her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947.
In line with family tradition, Prince William attended Eton College in 1958, before studying history at Cambridge University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1963. He then became the first royal to attend an American university, when he went on to study business and politics at Stanford University.
From an early age, Prince William, who was once forth in line for the throne, seemed determined to live outside of the strict constraints and conventions of the monarchy.
Following university, Prince William forwent the expected military career for men in the royal family, and instead chose a profession in diplomatic service.
In 1968, Prince William was transferred to Tokyo, Japan, as second secretary in the British Embassy.