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From the moment he was born, Prince William, the firstborn son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana had a lot to live up to. From an early age, Prince William knew he was going to be king. Though his mother was adamant about giving him and his younger brother, Prince Harry, normal childhood experiences, the prince’s life has been anything but average.

Early on, his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II took him under her wing in an effort to begin preparing him for the momentous role that will someday be his. Though the prince was always in the spotlight, the tragic death of his mother when he was just 15, helped fuel a media frenzy surrounding him.

Though Prince William had an almost normal college experience, as was demanded by his father and the University of St. Andrews, he became obsessive about doing well academically, but not for the reasons you might think.

Prince William hated the idea of becoming king

Prince William has always known about his destiny and as a result, he was apprehensive about the entire thing for many years. In fact, as a young boy, the prince would often tell his mother than he had no desire to step into the role. He would even suggest his brother, Prince Harry, step up to the plate instead.

“We talked about our children, and [Princess Diana] said William often told her that he didn’t really want to be king, and then Harry would say, ‘If you don’t want the job I’ll have it,’” journalist Jeremy Paxman revealed to Mirror.

These days the prince has embraced his future role and title.

Prince William adored college

When the prince finally went away to college it was not what he expected. He got more privacy and freedom than he’d ever received in his life. Choosing St. Andrews University instead of the traditional royal choices of Oxford University or Cambridge University proved to be the perfect choice for the future Crowned King.

He met his now-wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and he was able to live life under the radar. “He could walk down the street without being bothered and shop at the local Tesco grocery store,” royal expert Katie Nicholl told Vanity Fair.

In fact, Prince William adored his college experience so much that he wanted to move to the U.S. and study there for some time after graduation. “Having enjoyed a degree of privacy as a student at St Andrew’s, perhaps it’s not such a surprise that William has announced his intention to spend a few years living in the US after he finishes his degree,” reporter Louisa Pearson explained at the time. “Work in a gallery or auction house, and the possibility of a postgraduate degree, have apparently been discussed.”

Unfortunately, the prince’s U.S. plans did not pan out.


Prince William Once Planned to Live in the US for a Few Years

Prince William was obsessed with doing well in school

Though the Duke of Cambridge was able to have a great level of anonymity in college, even going by the name of Steve at times to slip under the radar, he was determined to excel academically.

“William, a proud and intelligent young man, was desperate for academic success,” royal editor Robert Jobson wrote in his 2006 book, William’s Princess. “He was determined not to perform poorly – an eventuality that would inevitably have been met by howls of derision from certain corners of the media and public. William, probably the most academically gifted member of the Royal Family in recent times (a comment that some may think damns with faint praise), was not about to let anybody down, least of all himself.”