20 Throwback Photos of Prince William That We Can't Get Enough Of

20 Throwback Photos of Prince William That We Can't Get Enough Of
Image: Splash News

prince william
Splash News

These days, Prince William has a serious presence. In addition to being a husband, father of three, and the Duke of Cambridge, he's the future King of England for crying out loud! Dude has an image to uphold -- not to mention a grandma who may or may not be watching him more closely than other grannies. 

But, believe it or not, there was a time when Prince William wasn't as formidable as he is these days. In fact, there was a time when he just looked like a regular dude. Kind of.

While Prince William has never been one to be mistaken for the average Joe, looking back at old photos of him shows how far he's come. Once upon a time, he was a coming-of-age guy who was often spotted hanging out outside of posh London clubs. Then he got married and seemed to get a little more serious. Then he had Prince George (followed by Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis), and that's when things seemed to really change. He seemed to become the man he was always meant to be. 

And because of that exact reason, we love taking a walk down memory lane via old-school photos of the duke. 

From his university days to his wedding day to early fatherhood, here are 20 throwback photos of Prince William. Dude's really come into his own. 

  • Let's Start Here

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    Um, helllo throwback!

    There's no denying it: Prince William was a good looking dude back in the day. Somehow, we have a hard time believing Kate Middleton didn't have a picture of him hanging in her childhood room. Just look at him -- especially with all of that hair! We definitely see Princess Diana's traits shining through these pics.

  • The Clubbing Days

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    To say we love this old photo of Prince William and Kate Middleton is an understatement. They were babies, and apparently enjoyed going out to the club from time to time! As posh and refined as the royals often have to be, it's pretty great to see Prince William like one of us commoners.

    (Sidenote: It looks like he's trying to "shh" Kate. Wonder what's going on.)

  • Dudes' Day 

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    Check out Prince William and Prince Harry taking in the Rugby World Cup with some of their guy friends. (Ah, that was a time.) Given he wasn't a dad yet -- or a husband -- something tells us he probably enjoyed long nights out that may or may not have included a beer or two.

    After all, beer and rugby do go together. (They have drink-ups after the game for a reason!)

  • Back in the Day 

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    My the differences a decade can bring! Check out how different Prince William looked in 2008. We would say he looks unrecognizable compared to today, but we can so tell this is Will. Then again, all of that hair, the Air Force getup, and that maybe "peace" sign Prince Will is subtly giving have him looking like a new man.

  • In Da Club

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    Alexa, play 50 Cent's "In Da Club." Throwback! Once upon a time, Prince William was quite the night owl who knew how to party it up and give no flips about having a good time. William would be caught leaving clubs -- sometimes as late as 4 a.m.

    (Four in the morning, people!)

    Wonder what he'll do when George, Charlotte, and Louis want to get down and let loose. Ya know it's going to happen!

  • Polo Players 

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    Talk about twinning! If there's one thing we love, it's seeing not one but two royal cuties rocking polo gear! Check out a then baby Prince William and an even younger Prince Harry enjoying a game of polo. Dapper dudes from the get-go!

  • The Throaty Chuckle

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    What's Prince William charmingly chuckling at here? Is he trying to run game or just genuinely found something to make him laugh so hard, practically showing every tooth in his mouth. Whatever it is, we love it and are here for it. We don't really see Prince William chuckling that much anymore, so it's good to look back on his younger days to see he's not as serious as many people think.

  • Out on the Town 

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    He may have been trying to go incognito, but we'd recognize that smile anywhere. (Sorry, Wills, a cap isn't a sufficient disguise.) We cannot even imagine hopping on a plane (a commercial flight, no less), looking up, and seeing royalty just walk right on by.

    Wonder if Prince William asked for extra peanuts, a set of headphones, or a pillow to enjoy the flight.

  • Young Love 

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    We really hope Prince William and Kate Middleton have this photo framed in their house somewhere. Just look at how Wills is looking at Kate so lovingly! These two have been lovebirds for some time now, and it's been so cool seeing their romance develop -- from dating to marriage, marriage to becoming parents.

  • Oh, Hi 

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    Suddenly, we feel the need for speed!

    While Top Gun is more of a thing on this side of the pond, Prince William is giving us all sorts of Tom Cruise vibes in this photo. These days we're used to seeing Prince William in a suit, but once upon a time he often wore a uniform of a different kind. 

    Still, it give us the feels to see Prince William so young and about his flight business.

  • Trooping the Colour!

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    To be honest, it's a little weird seeing Prince William on the Buckingham Palace balcony without Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. But as with all moms and dads -- or should we say mums and dads -- we all have a past that doesn't include our kiddos. Just comparing Trooping the Colour photos from back in the day to now, Prince William looks so rested in this throwback.

  • THE Engagement Photo 

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    Can anyone think back to how they looked during their engagement photo session -- assuming one was even had in the first place? Or, maybe someone took a photo after the big event to commemorate the feelings of the moment? Regardless, this iconic moment in time for Prince William and Kate Middleton is timeless. They were so young and so in love!

  • Getting Their Sea Legs 

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    While there's no denying the fact that Prince William and Kate Middleton don't look like the average couple here, they don't look nearly as regal as they do today -- and for good reason. Unless someone is Beyoncé and "woke up like this," it takes time to fall into a new normal or routine. Kate and Will are definitely more polished now, and it's likely because it took years for them to sync with the protocol.

  • Howdy 

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    While this doesn't look to be a true (American) cowboy hat, it's certainly a sight. Rarely do we see Prince William rocking some head gear these days that makes this 2011 snap of him in a hat truly unusual. We think he looks great and should consider some head accessories more often.

    William looks good!

  • Fresh-Faced

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    Upon first glance at this photo, Prince William could almost pass at the older brother of these girls, but we know better. The demands of being a royal (and also a husband and father) have yet to age him in this snap -- and we say that without the least bit of shade or disrespect. If we think back to our days with out a ton of responsibilities, we would look fresh-faced, too.

  • College Vibes 

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    This almost doesn't even look like Prince William here! Crazy to think he was once just a college student like the rest of us. William and Kate both attended the University of St. Andrews where he reportedly "achieved the second-highest honors," graduating with a degree in geography.

    That's pretty darn cool if ya ask us!

  • Pre-Wedding Date

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    Believe it or not, this was just two weeks before Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding in 2011. They're starting to look uber-posh here -- but not really -- as both of their ensembles give us off-the-rack vibes which is pretty relatable. From the looks of this photo, Prince William looks happy -- possibly because he's going to marry Kate in what would become an unforgettable wedding of the decade.

  • PDA Times

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    It's crazy to think that, once upon a time, Prince William and Kate Middleton were free-wheeling with their PDAs, but it totally happened! While we don't expect for these two to have sultry PDA -- like a Kim and Kanye or Miley and Cody -- it's still pretty cute to see Kate and Will gush over each other (in their own way) in public. We don't see it that much these days, but the spark still has to be there.

    ... right?

  • Polo Chic 

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    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Oh, ya know, just a prince taking a break during a polo game -- no biggie! (Well, technically, there are two princes taking a break as Prince Harry is chatting to someone.) We don't like using the word "never," but it totally applies here as we never see Prince William anymore not rocking some buttoned-up suit.

    We need more of this!

  • The Royal Wedding 

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    Aww. Just look at this royal couple!

    All eyes were on Kate Middleton and Prince William the day they got married. If only they knew what was coming: more responsibilities, babies, and millions of people across the world in their business on the daily.

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