Royal fan frenzy as Prince William looks like ‘Russian tsar’ in snaps with beard

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The images from Christmas Day 2008 show the Duke of Cambridge walking to church at Sandringham in line with royal tradition. Although the reason why the Duke changed his appearance isn’t known, there was speculation that it was part of an attempt to conceal his identity during a Special Boat Service(SBS) mission before he joined the RAF.

At the time it was pointed out that William was following in his father’s footsteps as Prince Charles had also grown a beard during a Naval exercise in Alaska in 1975.

Royal fans on social media were divided in their thoughts on the Duke’s facial hair but they pointed out that he had a striking similarity to historical royals.

Although it has often been noted that the Duke has a striking resemblance to Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert, royal fans argued that he looked like his Great-Grandfather King George V who ruled from 1910 to 1936.

One user wrote: “WOW King George V Related for sure”, alongside a picture of the former monarch in his Naval uniform.

Another agreed: “The resemblance is uncanny.”

While a third added: “George V vibes in a good way, of course.”

However, other royal fans suggested that the Duke looked like his great-great-great grandfather, King Edward VII who was sovereign from 1901 to 1910.

Fans specified that the Duke resembled Edward when he was Prince of Wales during the 1860s and 1870s. 

One fan commented: “Somewhat reminiscent of his great-great- great grandfather, Edward VII.”

Another suggested that William resembled the former king and his younger brother, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, saying: “More Edward VII (1870’s) or his brother Prince Alfred than George V.”

A final fan quipped: “Wow – he looks so much like King Edward VII and the last Russian Tsar with that beard!”

This was a reference to Tsar Nicholas II who ruled Russia from 1894 to 1917 and was the cousin of George V who attempted to grant asylum to Nicholas and his family prior to his execution of the former monarch and his family by the Bolsheviks in 1918. 

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Following the exhumation of the remains of the Romanov family in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg in 1991 a blood sample from the Duke’s grandfather, Prince Philip, a direct descendant of the Tsarina was used to confirm the identity of the bodies.

The Romanov family were reburied at the St Peter and Paul fortress in St Petersburg in 1998.

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