Prince George Birthday: Prince William On His First Year As A Royal Father [PHOTOS]

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  • Prince William and Prince George
    A special moment captured between Prince Wiliam and Prince George. Reuters
  • Prince William visiting Kate Middleton in hospital
    Prince William visited Kate Middleton who was admitted for acute morning sickness at the King Edward VII hospital in London on December 3, 2012. Reuters
  • Prince William and Kate Middleton leave hospital
    Prince William taking Kate Middleton home from the King Edward VII hospital on December 6, 2012. Reuters
  • The Big Reveal
    The world's first glimpse of Prince George on July 23, 2013. Reuters
  • Kate Middleton giving Prince George to Prince William
    Kate Middleton passing the royal baby to Prince William. Reuters
  • Prince William holding Prince George
    Prince William holds his little prince for the first time in public. Reuters
  • Prince William holding Prince George
    A close-up of the two princes. Reuters
  • Prince William holding Prince George
    "He's got way more hair than me, thank God. He's got a good pair of lungs on him, that's for sure...He's a bit heavy.” -Prince William on Prince George Reuters
  • Prince William carries Prince George in car seat
    "I had to practice, I really did -- I was terrified it was going to fall off or the door wasn't going to close properly." -Prince William Reuters
  • Prince William driving new family home
    “I think driving your son and your wife away from hospital was really important to me." -Prince William Reuters
  • Official royal family portrait
    The royal family's first official portrait. Reuters
  • Prince George's christening
    Britain's Prince William carries his son Prince George as they arrive for his son's christening at St James's Palace in London October 23, 2013. Reuters
  • Prince William carrying Prince George
    William takes a turn holding Prince George as they depart Wellington on April 16, 2014. Reuters
  • Prince William carrying Prince George
    Prince George says goodbye to Wellington. Reuters
  • Prince William holding Prince George
    Prince George and family arrive down under. Reuters
  • Prince George and dad
    Prince William takes his son to the Taronga Zoo in Sydney on April 20, 2014. Reuters
  • Prince George and Prince William
    The Taronga Zoo named a Bilby after Prince George. Reuters
  • Prince William holds Prince George
    Father and son at the zoo. Reuters
  • Prince William kisses Prince George
    Prince William kisses Prince George. Reuters
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Prince William of Wales endured the loss of his mother, Princess Diana, in a car accident when he was 15. Now the 32-year-old heir to the throne, who will celebrate the first birthday of his son Prince George on Tuesday, has found happiness with his wife Kate and baby son. 

"He said he lost his mum at 15 but there was always a silver lining and you should dust yourself off and carry on,” philanthropist Rob Forkan quoted William as saying during a July event at Buckingham Palace. “He's got his own family now – that was his silver lining."

William’s road to fatherhood began in May 2012, just a year after marrying Kate Middleton, 32, in a ceremony watched by millions. During an interview with ABC News’ Katie Couric after the royal wedding, William said: "I'm just very keen to have a family, and both Catherine and I are looking forward to having a family in the future."

Seven months later, the palace announced that Kate was pregnant. News had broken that Middleton -- now the Duchess of Cambridge -- was hospitalized for hyperemesis gravidarum, a potentially dangerous condition of extreme morning sickness. William visited her at King Edward VII Hospital in London and accompanied her when she was released three days later.

He was also by her side when she went into labor in the early hours of July 22, 2013, at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, the same hospital where William was born. The palace said the Duke of Cambridge was present when the duchess gave birth to the then-unnamed Prince George Alexander Louis at 4:24 p.m. that day.

The following day, the happy couple showed off their new son to cheering crowds for a photo call outside the hospital. The whole world watched as Prince William carried his son in public for the first time, loaded his baby car seat into the royal vehicle and drove his family home himself. Later in an interview with CNN, he said:

“I think driving your son and your wife away from hospital was really important to me. I had to practice [installing the car seat], I really did -- I was terrified it was going to fall off or the door wasn't going to close properly."

Before carrying out his first official duty as father -- getting his family home safely -- William made his first comments as a new dad, saying the couple “could not be happier.”

"He's got way more hair than me, thank God," William joked to reporters as the couple smiled, taking turns holding the baby. "He's got a good pair of lungs on him, that's for sure. ... He's a bit heavy.”

Throughout his year of parenthood, Prince William has quipped about George, once saying his baby “has a voice to match any lion’s roar!"

“I'm just glad he wasn't screaming his head off the whole way through,” William later said of Prince George’s big reveal.

In Vanity Fair’s cover story for the prince’s first birthday, palace insiders said that while George behaved well during his public appearances, he spent the first few months of his life crying loudly and not sleeping. William confirmed during his interview with CNN that a then-one-month-old George is “growing quite quickly” but gives the couple trouble at bedtime.

“He's a little fighter -- he wriggles around quite a lot and he doesn't want to go to sleep that much,” William said. "He's a little bit of a rascal, I'll put it that way.”

Most recently, during an appearance at London’s Sub-Aqua-Club where he engaged in the family tradition of snorkeling, Prince William said bath time is just as difficult as bed time for Prince George.

"At the moment bath time is quite painful, but hopefully donning a snorkel and mask might calm him down,” he said. “I hope one day my son, George, might follow in our footsteps.”

For the future, William teased during his CNN interview, his only wish for fatherhood is more sleep — for himself and his son — and less diaper-changing. William said he changed the first diaper, which the British call a “nappy,” because “it’s a badge of honor.”

"At the moment, the only legacy I want to pass on to him is to sleep more and maybe not have to change his nappy so many times," he said.

Like many new parents, Prince William was apprehensive about leaving the baby at first. In September at the Tusk Conservation Awards, William gave a glimpse into his feelings about “dear George.” 

"This is actually our first evening out without him, so please excuse us if you see us nervously casting surreptitious glances at our mobile phones to check all is well back home,” he said.

He's also shared tender moments in the public eye with his son, like a visit to Sydney's Taronga Zoo where George played with an Australian animal called a bilby.

"For me, Catherine and now little George are my priorities -- and Lupo,” the family cocker spaniel, William said. 

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