Prince Charles, Prince William, Princess Diana

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Happy birthday to you, Prince William!

The Duke of Cambridge turned 35 today and celebrated by attending the Royal Ascot alongside Kate Middleton. We're told he's been spending the rest of the special day privately with his wife and two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Prince William's big 3-5 comes within the same year he will also transition into a full-time royal

He is set to finish his job as an air ambulance helicopter pilot later in the summer. In September, with George starting school in London, the family will move their permanent residence from Anmer Hall to Kensington Palace, keeping the countryside home for weekend retreats.

William will be joining other royals in stepping up to his assist Queen Elizabeth when Prince Philip retires from public duties in the fall.

The transition has us thinking about William's parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and looking back on what they were doing when they turned 35...

Princess Diana, Prince Charles


Prince Charles

The Prince of Wales turned 35 in 1983. At that point in his life, he had already been married to Princess Diana for two years after tying the knot in 1981. They welcomed Prince William into the world in 1982, so the royal was already a husband as well as a father-of-one (Prince Harry was born in 1984).

Due to his parents and grandparents, Charles was born a British prince. He was then made the Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester at the age of 9 in 1958. However, before taking on full royal duties, he served in the Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976. By 35, he had also authored a children's book—The Old Man of Lochnagar—which was published in 1980.

At 35, he had moved with Princess Diana into the Highgrove House and took off four his first official tour of Australia and New Zealand alongside his wife and little William.

ESC: Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Wedding

Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Princess Diana

It was 1996 when Princess Diana turned 35-years-old, and she'd already lived quite a full life. In fact, she was labeled the "World's Most Photographed Woman" by that period of her life.

Like we explained before, the Princess of Wales had married Prince Charles in 1981 and welcomed their two sons into the world shortly thereafter. However, the royal couple separated after 11 years of marriage in 1992 and finalized their divorce by 1996. At this point, Diana was stripped of "Her Royal Highness" title, but was able to remain a princess.

In the years leading up to the couple's divorce, the tabloids and paparazzi became obsessed with Diana, and speculation was rampant. In 1992, media attention was only heightened when Andrew Morton released a biography—Diana, Her True Story—detailing her depression, bulimia and unhappy married life to Charles, which was written with her approval.

Princess Diana, Best Looks

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David Dimbleby's biography, The Prince of Wales, came out in 1994. Written with Charles' cooperation, it detailed his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles —to whom he is now married—beginning in 1972. It also said that Charles only married Diana to please his father.

During a BBC interview in 1995, Diana admitted to her own affair with James Hewitt. She also made one of her most famous remarks regarding the end of her time as royalty, saying all she could hope to be was a "queen in people's hearts." 

One day after her divorce was official, she announced her resignation from hundreds of charities in order to focus on a select few that were very close to her heart: Centrepoint, English National Ballet, Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Leprosy Mission, National AIDS Trust and the Royal Marsden Hospital.

Princess Diana passed away on August 31, 1997, at age 36.

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