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Saturday, 17 June, 2000, 02:19 GMT 03:19 UK
Prince William speaks his mind

William uses the internet for his exam studies
To mark his 18th birthday on June 21, Prince William answered written questions put to him by the Press Association.

QUESTION: What will you be doing on your birthday and do you have an exam on the day?

ANSWER: I don't have an exam on the day but I will be studying for my History of Art exam the next day.

William thanked the media for giving him privacy at school

Q: When and how will you be able to celebrate your birthday?

A: I haven't really thought about it, but no doubt I will celebrate privately with some friends.

Q: Have you enjoyed Eton and what will you miss most when you leave?

A: Yes, very much. I'll miss my friends and Dr Gailey (Housemaster) who has been a tremendous support to me. And I've really enjoyed being able to go about Eton as just another student.

Q: Do you still like the uniform - what is different about the "Pop's" uniform - and have you enjoyed being in Pop?

A: I've enjoyed being in Pop, which is a school prefect. I've always liked the uniform, particularly the Pop uniform which allows you to wear your own waistcoats, and the stick ups (stiff wing collar) and tie.

Media attention

Q: Why did you agree to be photographed at Eton for your 18th birthday?

A: I knew there would be a lot of media interest in my 18th and I didn't want a whole host of media involved. Neither did I want any distractions as I was revising for my A-levels. So, I agreed to allow one photographer and a TV cameraman to spend a little time with me at Eton.

I like to keep my private life private


Q: How difficult is it to cope with public and media attention?

A: I don't like the attention. I feel uncomfortable with it. I am grateful to the media for helping to protect my privacy and I hope I can enjoy the same freedom at university.

Q: How do you cope with the attention of girls?

A: In my own way. Trying to explain how might be counter-productive!


Q: How do you feel about being linked with showbusiness personalities like Britney Spears?

A: There's been a lot of nonsense put about by PR companies. I don't like being exploited in this way but as I get older it's increasingly hard to prevent.

Britney Spears
William says PR companies exploit him by starting girlfriend rumours

Q: Do you have a girlfriend?

A: I like to keep my private life private.

Q: Will you have a gap year and, if so, how will you spend it?

A: Yes, I will be having a gap year but at the moment I prefer to keep the details private until all the arrangements have been settled.

Q: What will you study at university?

A: The History of Art.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: I enjoy being with my friends, going to the cinema, and watching football and rugby matches.

Royal duties

Q: When will you begin solo Royal duties?

A: My father wants me to finish full-time education before doing Royal duties and so do I. It will be a few years before I do Royal engagements although I expect, as in the past, I will sometimes accompany my father.

Q: How often do you manage to see members of your family?

A: As often as I can, especially my cousins.

Q: How is your dog, Widgeon, and do you have any other pets?

A: Widgeon had eight pups about 18 months ago. I have no other pets.

Q: Now you're 18, will you have your own staff to look after your diary and correspondence?

A: No, I don't need them. My father's office looks after my mail and diary, and that will carry on as before.

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See also:

16 Jun 00 | UK
The Prince's photo album
16 Jun 00 | UK
The princely pin-up
10 Jun 00 | UK
Privacy fear for William
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