Prince William concerned Queen with ‘out of control’ behaviour as a child

Prince William and Kate arrive for Grenfell memorial service

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Prince William celebrates his 40th birthday next week and will receive a special gift to mark the milestone. The Royal Mint, entrusted by Her Majesty’s Treasury to create official coinage for the United Kingdom, unveiled a £5 coin engraved with the prince’s portrait. It also features his royal cypher, with the letter W and the number 40, and is edged with an inscription that reads: “HRH The Duke of Cambridge.”

This design marks the first time William will appear alone on an official coin — he previously appeared on a £5 coin alongside his then bride-to-be Kate, Duchess of Cambridge after their engagement and ahead of their Royal Wedding in 2011.

The special gift is particularly poignant in a year when the future of the monarchy is being notably celebrated.  

Earlier this month, Queen Elizabeth II showcased “the heartbeat of her family,” and the future of the Royal Family in a significant Platinum Jubilee appearance. 

Her Majesty stepped out onto the Buckingham Palace balcony with her three heirs — Prince Charles, 73, William, 39 and Prince George, eight — as well as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. 

While the Jubilee celebrated the historic reign of the Queen, it also emphasised the fact that Elizabeth may be our last Queen, and that the future of the monarchy will for some time be in the hands of kings. 

Both Charles and William have had decades to prepare for their royal destinies, but according to one royal expert, the Queen was once concerned about her grandson’s behaviour. 

Tina Brown reveals in ‘The Palace Papers’: “As a toddler, [William] had been a cause of concern to the Queen when he showed signs of being a brat. 

“She complained to her husband that their grandson was ‘out of control’ and needed a stricter nanny.

“She was not amused that he loved to say: ‘When I am king, I’m going to make a new rule that…’”

Brown continued: “By the time he was four, he had the unattractive habit of yapping at his nanny, Barbara Barnes: ‘No one tells me what to do! When I am king I will have you punished.’”

It has previously been said that William was not always onboard with his kingly destiny. 

Royal expert Robert Jobson claimed on the 2019 Channel 5 programme ‘William & Harry: Princes At War?’ that as a child William told his mother he “didn’t want to be king,” while his brother Prince Harry declared in response: “If you don’t want the job I’ll have it.”

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Yet, by the time he was six, Brown claims the brothers “seemed to absorb their appointed destinies. It’s as if nurture kicked in over nature and they traded personality traits. 

“Duty and responsibility were drilled into the heir to the throne — subduing his boisterousness — while Harry became the skinny, exuberant imp of misrule.”

Now, the brothers’ different royal destinies could not be more evident: while William is taking on more responsibilities within the Firm, Harry is forging a new life in California. 

And one of the Duke of Cambridge’s recent decisions is a reflection of his increasing involvement in the running of the monarchy. 

He and Kate are reportedly moving to a property on the Windsor estate to be closer to the Queen. 

The monarch, 96, is experiencing episodic mobility problems and has increasingly delegated royal duties to her heirs in recent years. 

Only last month, William filled in for the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament with his father in their roles as Counsellors of State.

Being closer to the Queen at Windsor, where she now spends the majority of her time, could ensure the Duke of Cambridge is available to support her more in the near future. 

The move could also point to William’s role once Charles ascends the throne; the duke will likely assume his father’s title of ‘Prince of Wales’.

And while Charles is expected to spend most of his time at Buckingham Palace as king, Windsor Castle will be open to the Cambridges when William is heir apparent. 

As William approaches 40, he is said to have proven he is the man deserving of being King after showing initial “reluctance”. 

Jennie Bond told Ok! Magazine in January: “She [Diana] said that he found at that age, in his early teens, the burden of kingship was already weighing quite heavily on his shoulders.

“I think we did see a reluctance to take on the role earlier on, in his early adolescence, he knew his destiny as none of the rest of us do from such an early age.”

She added: “But in the last couple of years, he has shown convincingly that he is the man for the role and that he cares about being king.

“He absolutely fully accepts the role and the responsibility destiny has put his way.”

The Palace Papers by Tina Brown was published by Century and is available here.

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