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The making of Prince William – Audio Long Reads

He lost his mother at 15, survived ‘Wills Mania’, and clashed with his brother. Can he modernise the monarchy?

By Tanya Gold and Emma Haslett

On June 21 2022, Prince William will turn 40. What kind of king will the second-in-line be: the moderniser who posed for the cover of Attitude magazine, or the relic behind a disastrous recent tour of the Caribbean? Freelance writer Tanya Gold sets out in search of the ‘real’ William, talking to former colleagues and collaborators, joining a royal visit to Wales, and hearing from the actor who plays him in the Netflix comedy The Windsors. (The starting point was “speaking as poshly as I could”, he says, “pretending I’m in Hamlet or Dynasty, and then eating Haribo.”)

Funny, richly detailed and sometimes jaw-dropping, Gold’s deep dive charts the extraordinary childhood, very public romance and early middle age of the man who will be king. His father, she writes, is ‘a placeholder king. It will be King William who must navigate the path between stability and progression.’ 

Read by Emma Haslett.

This article was originally published on on 1 June and in the New Statesman magazine on 3 June 2022. You can read the text version here.

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