Signs Prince William Is Ready To Be King

As the son of King Charles III and the late Princess Diana, Prince William has been in the spotlight throughout most of his life — along with his now-estranged brother, Prince Harry. In recent years, he has also started to make his own mark as a senior royal as he continues to take on a more public role following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and his appointment as the new Prince of Wales.

Now the first in line to the throne, much attention has been placed on William lately as he continues to balance his royal duties and home life with his wife, Princess Catherine, and their three young children — including the future king of England, Prince George. The family has also recently relocated to the Windsor Castle grounds where King Charles sometimes holds ceremonies and hosts public dignitaries. While the prince may not be ascending to the throne anytime soon, William has certainly been showing a lot of signs that he is ready to become king just the same.

He has taken on more public roles for the monarchy

For as long as anyone can remember, the United Kingdom's reigning monarch has always served as the ultimate symbol of cultural pride and unity. While the modern British monarch has no direct role in matters of the state, they do represent stability and continuity, especially during transition periods or even wartime. Therefore, a sovereign must maintain a continued public presence and Prince William seems to be well aware of this.

In 2022, the prince undertook 126 public engagements, immediately resuming his duties following the period of royal mourning for Queen Elizabeth II. Meanwhile, William has also had an incredibly busy 2023, carrying out multiple public engagements since the start of the year. Royal blog Gert's Royals, which has been tallying royal engagements for the year based on the Court Circular, also reports that William has already done over 60 public engagements in 2023 so far. In addition, he has conducted 50 joint engagements with his wife, the Princess of Wales.

He continues to strengthen his British military ties

A king may have no real power over the military, but he is still considered the commander-in-chief and head of the country's Armed Forces. Throughout the history of the British monarchy, sovereigns have also enjoyed a close association with the military, even serving themselves. In keeping with this royal family tradition, Prince William went on to serve in the military full-time for over seven years, serving as a regimental officer in the British Army before joining the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force (RAF) where he served as a search and rescue pilot.

While the prince has already left his operational military post, William continues to establish strong ties with the country's military, having retained commission for all three branches that he previously served with. Upon his father's ascension to the throne, the prince also received new military appointments, including the colonel of the Welsh Guards, the colonel-in-chief of the Army Air Corps, the colonel-in-chief of the Mercian Regiment, and the royal honorary air commodore of the RAF Valley. Once William becomes king, he will also be expected to take on his father's current military appointments.

In addition, William has continued to participate in various military ceremonies. Earlier in the year, the prince undertook the important job of reviewing the military parade during the rehearsal for the country's annual Trooping the Colour.

He supports multiple causes

Sovereigns all over the world typically work to promote a multitude of causes that support the well-being of their country and the rest of the world. In the U.K., members of the royal family often serve as patrons of various organizations, helping raise their profile and supporting their fundraising campaigns. As a royal takes on a more senior role in the family, the number of patronages they support also increases.

For Prince William, it all started with Centrepoint, a British charity organization that has been tirelessly working to end youth homelessness, a cause that's also been near and dear to the future king. Back in 2009, the prince even spent a night sleeping in the streets of London to experience homelessness for himself. Since then, William has also been made a patron of several key organizations that support the U.K. and various commonwealth countries. These include Child Bereavement UK, London's Air Ambulance Charity, Metropolitan & City Police Orphans Fund, National Emergencies Trust, NHS Charities Together, Royal African Society, and the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund, which raises funds for Uganda projects that fight poverty through child education. In addition, William has also been involved with various organizations that promote nature conservation and biodiversity, helping lead the country to a more sustainable future.

He has grown more confident

Much like his brother and even his father, Prince William displayed signs of nervousness and even uneasiness during his early days of public outings. Back then, experts even noted that the prince relied on several self-reassuring gestures such as tucking his hand inside his jacket to deal with anxiousness when appearing before a crowd. He is also known to play with his cufflinks when he seems nervous or stressed.

These days, however, it seems like Prince William doesn't need to do any of that anymore. "He's become ever-so more statesman-like in recent years," body language expert Darren Stanton told the Mirror. "He's a completely different person from when he first started public appearances as a youngster." Stanton also believes that Princess Catherine played a key role in helping William become more comfortable when doing public engagements. Thanks to his wife, the prince now looks a lot more relaxed in public. William's newfound confidence would also be critical in gaining more public trust when he becomes the king.

He's done well as the head of the Royal Foundation

Aside from his various patronages, Prince William also runs the Royal Foundation along with his wife, Princess Catherine. Since its establishment in 2009, the foundation has gone on to launch several charitable campaigns and organizations that support the disadvantaged and the environment. For instance, it launched the Endeavour Fund in 2012 which aims to assist sick and wounded service personnel and veterans in their rehabilitation. Later on, it also introduced the Heads Together campaign which sought to encourage better dialogue on mental health. In addition, the foundation is also responsible for launching Prince Harry's Invictus Games, which has since become its own organization.

More recently, the Royal Foundation launched several programs to support causes close to William's heart, including the five-year program Homewards which aims to put an end to homelessness in the U.K. Aside from this, the prince has continued to promote nature conservation with his latest charity organization, the Earthshot Prize. Even before he ascends to the throne, this prince already knows how to make a difference. As king, William will surely excel in his philanthropic duties.

He has mastered the art of diplomacy

Any sovereign must be able to maintain strong diplomatic ties with fellow royals and other world leaders. And so far, Prince William has already shown that he's got what it takes. For instance, the prince has been pictured hanging out with several royal friends over the years, catching the Euro 2020 soccer semi-finals with Denmark's Prince Frederik and Princess Mary, and attending the royal wedding of Crown Prince Hussein and Princess Rajwa in Jordan.

William has also been known to collaborate with his fellow royals on some of his philanthropic projects. In 2023, the British royal met with Monaco's Prince Albert II during the Earthshot Summit in New York. Through his work, Prince William has also established close relations with some of the world's most recognizable leaders. These include former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who currently serves as one of Earthshot's trustees and U.S. President Joe Biden who met with the prince in Boston in 2022 for a private discussion on mental health and climate change.

He has shown that he can lead in times of crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people on a global scale throughout the past few years. Just like with other countries, the U.K. also needed a calm presence that could help steer them out of this difficult period. That turned out to be Prince William who, along with his wife, actively worked to support his nation's response to COVID-19 as he and Princess Catherine met health workers and other frontliners virtually and in person.

During the lockdown, the couple held calls with several healthcare workers, and later on, William stepped out to visit businesses about to reopen. Through the Royal Foundation, William and Catherine also worked to ensure that healthcare workers got the mental health support they needed as they worked with some of the country's biggest mental health charities. The foundation also put together a COVID-19 response fund that managed to raise almost £1.8 million (approximately $2.2 million) for frontline and mental health support.

Prince William also continued to rally the nation even as he dealt with COVID-19 himself. Despite the symptoms he was experiencing, the royal still went online, opening a Birmingham hospital while in isolation. The prince's ability to put the nation before himself is also a clear sign that he is ready for a lifetime of public service.

He has proven that he can withstand controversy

Much like his late grandmother, Prince William appears to be a big believer in keeping calm and carrying on. So far, the future king has also proven that he can effectively continue with his public duties even when there is controversy surrounding him and his family.

The British royal family has had a lot to deal with lately, even as they mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth II. One might say that it all started with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's revealing Oprah interview. Following the queen's death, the royal couple doubled down on their claims in their Netflix series, "Harry & Meghan." In addition, Prince Harry also directed several accusations against Prince William in "Spare."

Aside from this, the royal family has also been caught in the controversy surrounding disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein as King Charles III's brother, Prince Andrew, is being sued for sexual assault by one of Epstein's victims. Despite everything, however, Prince William, along with his wife, carried on with their work and engagements, putting the spotlight on their various causes while refusing to comment on matters concerning Prince Harry or Prince Andrew.

He believes in keeping traditions alive

As king, Prince William would be expected to uphold various traditions the country holds dear, and even now, he has continuously shown how much he respects and honors them. Throughout his life as a senior royal, the prince has joined his family in several important annual ceremonies. These include Remembrance Day, which honors everyone who has died in wars and other conflicts as well as the Trooping the Colour, which marks the official birthday of Britain's reigning monarch. In addition, Prince William also regularly takes part in the procession for the Order of the Garter, along with the king and other fellow knights belonging to the historic celebration. The late Queen Elizabeth II appointed her grandson as a Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter in 2008.

Following the queen's death, Prince William also led his brother and cousins during a standing vigil around her coffin while the late monarch was lying in state. Months later, he was also a leading figure at King Charles III's coronation ceremony where he pledged his loyalty to his father as attendees and the rest of the world watched.

He fully understands what it means to be king

Prince William's coronation may still be years away, but he already has a full understanding of the duties that come with being Britain's sovereign. One might say that the prince has been preparing for this eventuality throughout most of his life. Now that he has become the first in line to the throne, William has also been working with his father, the king, more closely than ever before.

For instance, Prince William and King Charles III stepped out together in London to meet with officers and staff at the Metropolitan Police Service Special Operations Room ahead of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. Months later, the prince and his wife joined Charles for a surprise walkabout on the eve of the royal coronation. In addition, William has continued to host investiture ceremonies on behalf of the sovereign and has been doing so since 2013. Insiders have also noted that both William and Princess Catherine have become more involved in the monarchy's business since becoming the Prince and Princess of Wales. "Charles is leading the way for them already, and [William and Kate] are both involved in decision-making behind the scenes. They are ready and willing to do the job," a source told People.

He stands ready to modernize the monarchy

As the first in line to the throne, Prince William has shown that he is ready to usher the British monarchy into a new era. This became immediately evident after William and Princess Catherine embarked on a rather controversial Caribbean royal tour in 2022. Amid protests and PR gaffes during their trip, Prince William made it clear that he understood if commonwealth countries were to cut ties with the British monarchy. 

At a reception during the tour, the prince told attendees, "We support with pride and respect your decisions about your future" (via The Royal Family Channel). "Relationships evolve. Friendship endures." Meanwhile, during another speech (via The Royal Family Channel) at a Governor-General's Dinner in Jamaica, William stated, "Slavery was abhorrent, and it should never have happened."

Meanwhile, back home, William and Catherine are also planning to become a more modern king and queen consort. For starters, a source told The Sun that the royal couple already plans to have just half the staff that King Charles currently employs when William becomes the sovereign. It has also been suggested that William and Catherine may do away with public curtsies and bows.

The British public love him

These days, it's become clear that Prince William is one of the most favored British royals. Polls have shown the prince is even more popular with the British public than King Charles III. This may also mean that they are likely to become more supportive of the monarchy with William on the throne.

In a survey conducted in June 2023 by Statista, Prince William emerged as the most popular member of the British royal family with 75% of the votes while Princess Catherine tied with Princess Anne as both women received 73% of the votes. Meanwhile, a poll conducted by YouGov in Scotland in September 2023 revealed that citizens generally have a positive opinion of William. 

Across the pond, the prince has become quite a popular figure winning over the American public more than Prince Harry. In a poll conducted by the firm Redfield & Wilton for Newsweek, it was found that both the Prince and Princess of Wales achieved high approval ratings compared to Prince Harry who already resides in the United States.