Skip to main content

Prince William is second in line to the British throne after his father, Prince Charles. William has spent his whole life preparing for the role, though it’s unclear when he might actually take the throne. But William has also earned a reputation of being far different from his brother, Harry. William is a bit more reserved and soft-spoken than his brother, and it turns out he’s always been like that — and probably still is.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Neil Hanna/AFP/Getty Images

Prince William wanted some independence when he attended college

When William announced that he would attend University of St. Andrews for his undergraduate degree, people were shocked. For the royals, it was tradition to attend a school such as Cambridge or Oxford, but William was determined to carve his own path.

The school was quite far from William’s home in London — about an eight-hour drive. But the prince wanted some independence and also asked that the paparazzi not bother him while he was attending. On William’s first day, he offered a photo op and an interview to the media in exchange for privacy while he was at school, which allowed him to live a more independent life.

Prince William poses for a photo inside the St. Andrews library in 2004
Prince William poses for a photo inside the St. Andrews library in 2004. | Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images

William earned a reputation of being ‘aloof’ and ‘boring’

Though William was excited to go to college, he wasn’t the social butterfly that many people thought he’d be. According to royal biographer Katie Nicholl, William was actually fairly quiet while at school.

“The truth was that William was developing a reputation for being aloof and even a touch boring,” Nicholl wrote in her biography about William and his wife, Kate Middleton. “The glamorous undergraduates who spent thousands on new wardrobes and drinking in St. Andrews’s fashionable bars hoping to happen upon the prince were disappointed.”

He did go through a bit of a wild phase

Though William was quiet when he first started at school, by his mid-twenties, that had changed. While William was away at military training when he was 25, he developed a reputation of going to bars, heavily drinking, and flirting with scantily-clad women. He was dating Kate at the time (the two met in college in 2001), but his antics ended up sparking the downfall of their relationship.

After William was photographed with his hand on another woman’s breast, the couple had reached breaking point. They broke up in 2007, but a few months later, William was begging for her back. From there, he returned to his more reserved attitude. It seemed he just needed to sow his wild oats for a moment before taking life more seriously once more. 


Kate Middleton’s Daily Workout in College Prompted Prince William to Get to Know Her

These days, William is still the more reserved one between him and his brother

William and Harry have always gotten along, but according to royal experts, they’ve never been that close — and it’s mostly because they’re two very different people. Harry was always the more outgoing of the two, whereas William was more focused on taking the throne. And these days, that seems to still hold true.

Harry has completely broken away from the royal family, while William remains steadfast in royal tradition. William is clearly the quieter brother, and his college reputation has carried through until now.