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Saturday, June 20, 1998 Published at 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK


William revealed

William with his brother, Harry and father in 1997

Royal records released to celebrate Prince William's 16th birthday reveal the future king to be a thoughtful young man.

The Royal Family agreed to the unprecedented access to files after the press agreed with a request to respect the young prince's privacy in the months after the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

The records paint a picture of a prince who is a bright pupil, keen sportsman and willing to help others.

[ image: Young prince shone at school]
Young prince shone at school
The material chronicles William's early years, starting with his time at Mrs Mynors' Nursery School in Notting Hill, London.

Staff there described the young prince as a keen reader and actor.

The records state: "Prince William was very popular with the other children, and was known for his kindness, sense of fun and quality of thoughtfulness."

William joined Wetherby School, also in Notting Hill, when he was four years old in 1987. Teachers said he had a flair for English and spelling.

Sports Day was held annually at Richmond Athletic Ground and both the Prince and Princess of Wales took part in parents' races.

William proved himself a good swimmer, winning a cup for swimming style when he was seven years old.

William sang in three Christmas concerts, and took part in the June 1990 school play, The Saga of Erik Nobeard or A Viking Nonetheless.

[ image: William signs in at Eton]
William signs in at Eton
During his time at Ludgrove School, from September 1990 until July 1995, eight-year-old William carried out his first public engagement, attending a service in Llandaff Cathedral, Wales, for St David's Day.

His academic potential began to show when he won the Junior Essay Prize in the summer term of 1992.

During the same period, William went on two sponsored walks for Wokingham and District Association for the Elderly.

Before he left for Eton, William became a full school monitor and was named a rugby and hockey team captain.

He also represented the school at cross-country running.

In July 1994, aged 12, he won the Cliddesden Salver for Clay Pigeon Shooting.

[ image: Keen on sport: At Wimbledon with his mother]
Keen on sport: At Wimbledon with his mother
William became captain of the Ludgrove 2nd XI hockey team during 1994-95 and captain of the 3rd XV rugby team.

His school acting career took off in 1990 with an appearance in the Christmas play.

In 1993 he had a part in the Christmas Cavalier and the following year was in Santa and The Vikings, both by Richard Lloyd.

William was secretary of the Dramatic Society for the Christmas 1994 production.

His first mention in the Court Circular came on August 19, 1995, when he attended the 50th anniversary of VJ Day and the end of the Second World War.

His only major health scare came when he was admitted to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, after a golfing accident at Ludgrove.

He suffered a depressed fracture of the forehead from a golf club and was operated on at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children.

"Prince William was very brave and did not cry," according to the royal records.

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