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A Look At The Lives Of Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge As They Prepare To Become Parents

posted 12 Jul 2013, 10:20 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 12 Jul 2013, 10:21 ]

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have had a busy two years since they married and now prepare to welcome the heir to the British throne into the world. A look back at their lives and marriage as they eagerly await parenthood.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM  (REUTERS ARCHIVE) -  William Arthur Philip Louis was born on June 21, 1982, the first child of Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, and Princess Diana, the most photographed woman of her generation.

William's royal position and film-star good looks would soon attract intense media attention.

Shortly before his second birthday the young prince appeared fascinated by the clicking cameras at his first photo opportunity in the gardens of Kensington Palace.

But William's largely unwilling relationship with the camera became evident as he watched the break-up of his parent's marriage played out in the world's media.

At the age of 13, William became the first future monarch to attend Eton College, an exclusive private school west of London noted for having educated 19 British prime ministers.

In an attempt to head off a frenzy by reporters and paparazzi, British newspapers were threatened with new legislation if they infringed a voluntary code of practice designed to protect William's privacy during his schooling at Eton.

In August 1997, a year after his parents were granted a decree absolute ending their 15-year marriage, William and his brother Harry joined their father at Balmoral Castle, the royal family's summer home in the Scottish highlands. The royal holiday was shattered with the news of Diana's death in a car crash in Paris on August 31.

Millions of flowers were left by well-wishers outside London's royal palaces and silent mourners brought the capital to a halt as Diana's funeral cortege, escorted by her sons, made its solemn way through the streets.

To help mark William's 18th birthday, videotaped pictures of the Prince at work and play during his final days at Eton College were released. It was also William's way of thanking the media who had largely left him to enjoy his schooldays in peace.

In September 2001 William arrived at St Andrews University in Scotland to begin a four-year degree course on the history of art. The university saw a 44 percent increase in student applications - many from young women - after the handsome prince decided to enrol.

It was there that he he met his future bride, Kate Middleton. The pair graduated together in June 2005. They dated for many years before eventually marrying, after small separation period in 2007.

After a year at the elite Sandhurst military academy William graduated as an armyofficer in December 2006 and spent the next two years training with the army, airforce and navy.

In November 2011, Kate and William announced their engagement after nearly a decade of courtship.

More than a million people thronged London's streets and a worldwide audience of over 2 billion watched the sumptuous show of British pageantry which breathed new life into the monarchy.

To mark the marriage, the Queen made William the Duke of Cambridge and Katebecame Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge.

For their first overseas tour the royal couple visited Canada and America in July 2011. They delighted cheering Canadians by showing their sporty side and taking part in dragon boat racing, with William giving Kate a consoling hug after his boat won.

In February 2012 William arrived in the Falkland Islands for a posting as a military search-and rescue pilot, adding to resurging tensions between London andBuenos Aires.

At the beginning of June 2012 William and Kate joined the Queen, Prince Philip and other senior royals on board a gilded royal barge in a spectacular highlight of four days of nationwide events marking the monarch's Diamond Jubilee. In driving rain and biting wind, cheering crowds celebrating the Queen's 60th anniversary on the throne watched a flotilla of 1,000 boats follow the royal barge on a 7-mile (11 km) journey down the River Thames.

The royal family were out in force during the London 2012 Olympics, and Williamand Kate made frequent appearances both as spectators and behind the scenes, meeting some of the thousands of Team GB volunteers who contributed to the success of the games.

In September they went on a Jubilee tour of southeast Asia, representing the Queen. The relaxed couple danced with locals in Tuvalu and were presented with necklaces by topless local women in the Solomon Islands.

This was at the time a French magazine published topless pictures of Kate whilst on holiday in the south of France, sparking Prince William to instigate legal action.

In December Buckingham Palace announced William and Kate were expecting their first baby. They were forced to reveal the private information early after Katewas admitted to hospital with acute morning sickness.

Kate's growing baby bump has been scrutinised the world over. One of the couple's last public engagements together was a fun-filled tour of the Harry Potter studios, where they jousted with wands.

On June 4, Prince WilliamKate and Prince Harry celebrated the Queen's 60th anniversary of her coronation at a special service at Westminster Abbey.

Kate's due date is mid-July and whether it's a boy or a girl, the baby will be third in line to the throne after laws governing the rules of succession were changed in April. Previously male heirs took precedence over females.