Prince William Was Never The Same After Marrying Kate Middleton

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While some children enjoy the spoils of fame before reaching middle school — we're thinking Disney kids, Olsen twins, and Drew Barrymore — most of us live a quiet, everyday life as members of a much larger society. Although we can influence our work positions and personal lives, the chances of us hitting the headlines or garnering fans is slim to none (unless we suddenly develop an extraordinary singing voice and make it big on "American Idol"). And while some among us seek out fame through careers in performing, others are famous simply for being themselves. The royal family is perhaps the best example of this — gaining notoriety due to their heritage and marriages; the British royals are probably the perfect case study for fame from birth, with paparazzi and craning photographers following them from their very first days.

All eyes were on then-Prince Charles and Diana Spencer when they welcomed their first child, Prince William, in 1982. As the adage goes, Diana was expected to provide "an heir and a spare," fulfilling the royal line of succession and ensuring that the monarchy would survive past the now-King Charles III. As such, William has existed at the center of attention his entire life, engaging in the rowdiness of youth and maturing into the Prince of Wales we know today. But how did his life change after marrying Catherine, Princess of Wales, and how has she influenced the future king? We've got all the answers you're looking for.

William became a father of 3

Perhaps one of the most obvious ways Prince William has changed since marrying Catherine, Princess of Wales, is that he is now a father of three. The couple's children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — were born in 2013, 2015, and 2018 respectively, and have garnered considerable attention. From George's sweet nursery days to Charlotte's outings with her parents to Louis's hilarious facial expressions, the kids define a significant portion of William's life.

Of their approach to parenting, Catherine shared that they source inspiration from her parents — Michael and Carole Middleton — and make it a priority to teach important values to their kids. "My parents taught me about the importance of qualities like kindness, respect, and honesty, and I realize how central values like these have been to me throughout my life," the princess shared, per People. "That is why William and I want to teach our little children ... just how important these things are as they grow up. In my view, it is just as important as excelling at maths or sport."

Of their lives as a family of five, authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote in their book "Finding Freedom" that William and Catherine share "an equal partnership" regarding their kids. William is said to be involved in "school drop-off and pickup, as well as homework."

The prince became the direct heir to the British throne

William and Catherine, Prince and Princess of Wales, married in 2011 to a chorus of praise, celebration, and international attention. While the sweet, rather innocent-looking newlyweds embarked on royal life together to the best of their ability, they have come a long way in the last decade. Notably, William has become the direct heir to the British throne as the line of succession moved forward a position in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II's death. His father, King Charles III, finally became king after waiting to ascend the throne for decades, making William the heir apparent and young Prince George the second in line. And while Charles is on the throne, for now, many are looking to William and Catherine as the monarchy's future, destined to modernize the archaic structure that many find out of touch these days.

"This is a very transitional monarchy," Arianne Chernock, a history professor and British monarchy expert at Boston University, told The New York Times. "I think we're going to have to wait honestly until William and Kate until we see more significant updating. But always, of course, also attuned to and mindful of tradition."

Public opinion is certainly on William and Catherine's side as well. The YouGov polling of the British monarchy has Catherine's favorability at 68%, following only the late Queen Elizabeth. William immediately follows at 66%, while Charles is down in the No. 7 spot with a 42% approval rating.

William started opening up more about his mother after marrying Kate

The world stood in silence as Prince William — just 15 years old at the time — walked behind his mother's casket, head cast down and in pain. Diana Spencer was a force to be reckoned with, and her life has been commemorated in several ways. Still, perhaps one of the biggest differences we've seen in William since he married Kate Middleton has been his willingness to open up about his childhood experiences. They say that time heals wounds, but we imagine that a supportive spouse has much to do with the prince's recent admissions about his life with Diana and the moments he shared with her.

Specifically, William shared — while speaking in front of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland — that the moment he found out about Diana's death haunts him to this day. Staying with the queen at Balmoral at the time, William's "saddest memory" struck him as just a teenager, he shared with the group.

"Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning," William shared, as noted by People. "And in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors. As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep." William continues to honor Diana to this day, and even Kate has channeled the late princess with her wardrobe choices throughout the years.

His relationship with Prince Harry was forever changed after tying the knot

When one of them starts dating, relationships inevitably change between siblings, let alone when they get married. Sisters who are best friends can become sworn enemies if a boy gets between them, and brothers can feel the strain of distance when a sister-in-law is introduced. For Prince William and his younger brother, Prince Harry, the introduction of Catherine, Princess of Wales, into their lives as part of an ever-present overshadowing of Harry, something that an insider would dish to Us Weekly about.

"There's always been a part of Harry that felt like he was living in his brother's shadow," a close source told the publication. "He doesn't envy the responsibility that comes with being the future king of England, but William's the 'golden boy,' and Harry feels like he has a lot to live up to."

And it's true — even before the royal rift that has since plagued the brothers, Harry was often seen as the third wheel to William and Catherine's relationship, joining them at public events (but always maintaining his spot on the sidelines) and occupying the role of the fun uncle destined for perpetual bachelorhood. Only when Harry met and married Meghan Markle did his independence and personal path disrupt William's.

The prince's marriage became the subject of immense public support

Prince William has been the subject of public interest since he was born — literally –. Still, he has enjoyed a wealth of public support amid his marriage to Catherine, Princess of Wales. The couple's approval ratings are the highest among the living royals. They are only outweighed by the late Queen Elizabeth II, whose legacy and dedication to the crown will likely outlive her for decades to come. And while William and Catherine have enjoyed the public's support, they have remained incredibly tight-lipped about their relationship. As many of us witnessed during the couple's Windsor walkabout with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, William and Catherine stuck to royal protocol and did not show any physical signs of affection toward each other. Just a peck on the cheek between these two makes the headlines, and they consistently maintain a rather polished and stoic public display.

Lancaster University lecturer and the author of "Running the Family Firm: How the Monarchy Manages Its Image and Our Money," Laura Clancy, explained the couple's dynamic with the public further to The New York Times, assessing, "We don't really know what their personalities are like — we don't know that much about Kate at all really, or William. But you think you do, and that's important."

William and Harry descended into chaos amid his marriage to Kate

It's the feud that has plagued headlines for years now — Prince William and Prince Harry, once attached at the hip and united in grief, rarely see eye-to-eye these days, and Catherine Middleton has witnessed it all go down. A complete timeline of the conflict between the brothers and their respective wives has been laid out by InTouch Weekly, citing that the initial upset began back in November 2018. A journalist at the time reported that Harry was bothered by William and Kate's unwillingness to welcome Meghan Markle into the royal fold, prompting King Charles III to step in and smooth things over. But by June 2019, Harry and Meghan dropped their roles as part of the royal foundation they created all together.

While William's marriage to Kate likely had nothing to do with the eroding relationship, the Princess of Wales was said to have taken part in the ongoing tension. During their sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey (via YouTube), Harry and Meghan made allegations about their time as royals but Meghan asserted that it was Kate who made her cry over wedding details, not the other way around as the press had initially reported.

Of the couples' brief reunion amid the mourning of Queen Elizabeth II, a source told InTouch Weekly, "You would've thought Elizabeth's passing would have brought them closer as a family, but it's not the case. Hopefully, in time they'll heal."

Kate stepped in as 'peacekeeper' during William's feud with Harry

Whatever role Catherine Middleton played in the descending chaos that has plagued Prince William and Prince Harry's relationship over the years, she has tried to help her husband smooth over the wounds with a band-aid. As discussed on the "Royally Us" podcast by hosts Christina Garibaldi and Christine Ross, the Princess of Wales has tried to amend her changing husband's behavior towards his brother by playing "peacekeeper." Have her efforts been fruitful, however? A source who came onto the podcast episode in question thinks that if anyone can help change the rift — and the brothers — for the better, it's Kate.

"There's a small glimpse of hope saving the brothers from never speaking again, and that is Kate," the source explained. "She can sense that despite everything that has happened, William still feels the loss of Harry. She's been frantically trying to play peacemaker, but so far, her efforts have proved unsuccessful."

Of the Princess of Wales's efforts, Garibaldi commented that she is clearly "doing her best" to get William and Harry "back on track," but both the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex are said to be incredibly stubborn. One — or both — of them will have to take meaningful steps to acknowledge and respect the experiences and perspectives of the other, and that seems like an impossible feat at this point in their years-long feud.

The prince left behind his London nightclub habits

While Prince William is the face of royalty and protocol-following today, he once led a pretty wild life on the London nightclub scene. About four years before he and Kate Middleton tied the knot, William was a staple within the exclusive club scene. It was described by MyLondon as a "party animal" who could be found "beneath the strobing lights throwing some serious shapes on the dance floor." Honestly, we'd pay a lot of money to see that.

It wasn't until his then-girlfriend, Kate, laid into William about his partying ways that he curbed his late-night habits, as she began to see William's antics as a poor reflection of their relationship. A friend of Kate's weighed in at the time, sharing that when the St. Andrews student saw William "embrace[d] with another woman" in a London nightclub, she seriously put her foot down.

"Kate told William that he was making her look bad. She has coped for years with girls flinging themselves at her boyfriend, and, for a while, she found it humorous and even flattering. But after his recent behavior, she gave him an ultimatum and told him that every time he behaved like that in public, he was cheapening her image as well as his own," the friend shared. William took Kate's ultimatum seriously.

William's dedication to the crown further increased after marrying Kate

There's no denying that Prince William has embraced the royal way of life in recent years. Having dedicated himself to the crown and maintaining the monarchy — while also modernizing it — William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, have clearly stepped up to the plate.

It's not just us — de facto royal experts — that have picked up on the changes within the couple. The Washington Post spoke to members of the British public about the future of the monarchy and the idea of Charles as king, to which many were supportive of skipping Charles entirely and jumping straight to William and Kate as royal leaders. One member of the public who weighed in told The Post that Charles comes across with a "holier than thou" attitude, "not appreciating the position he is [in]." William, on the other hand, is viewed as someone who "understands [his] position of power," and has gained respect for talking about issues such as mental health while a prominent member of the family.

William's dedication to the crown was most prominently seen during Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, as his speech during the jubilee concert was indicative of the monarchy's future. "He was saying to the next generation, 'We hear you' and we will use our platform to do what we can,'" an inside source told People.

William found himself at the center of cheating rumors

Perhaps one of the biggest ways in which life has changed for Prince William since he married Catherine, Princess of Wales, has been thanks to rumors and unsubstantiated claims regarding infidelity. As noted by Bustle, William found himself at the center of cheating whispers a few years back and in recent reports, thanks to a rumored penchant for ... kinky bedroom habits. Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley and the Prince and Princess of Wales's former neighbor, shared the spotlight with him. Once a member of the "inner circle" shared with the royals, Rose was said to have been iced out when rumors about an affair between her and William first surfaced, dubbed Catherine's "rural rival."

While the rumors about William's infidelity were never confirmed, and the prince and princess never dignified the story with a comment — very much unlike King Charles's affair, which plagued interviews and headlines in the 1980s — that didn't stop the rumor mill from turning. The 23-year age gap between Rose and her husband, David Cholmondeley, and the speed of their union (they were married after just two days of being engaged), didn't help things. Of course, royal fans know that William and Catherine later moved from their Anmer Hall home to Windsor.

Kate and William became the queen's primary focus during her final years

King Charles III has been waiting to be monarch pretty much since he was a toddler, having only just ascended the throne at 73 years old. And while Queen Elizabeth II was indeed dedicated to ushering her son into his destined position while she was still alive, the late monarch was said to have focused most of her time on William and Catherine, Prince and Princess of Wales, as they had transformed into dedicated, reliable members of the royal family. As an insider told Us Weekly, Catherine was very nervous about living up to expectations during her first years on the job — and William, of course, was going through the royal motions he always had done. But with time, the two became a formidable pair, and the queen began seeing them as the monarchy's future.

"Over time, Kate has proved to Elizabeth that she can be trusted, and they've developed a great relationship. Elizabeth feels confident that Kate will make a great queen," the source said, noting that at the time, the queen had met with Catherine and William about their future roles within the monarchy. The queen feels confident that they cross all the boxes to rule," the insider concluded, clearly reflecting the late monarch's trust in the young couple.