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A big thanks to Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, and Kate Middleton are in order. According to an expert, the women have all played a role in shaping Prince William into who he is today. Ahead, a royal expert explains the women’s influence on the heir to the throne. 

1. Queen Elizabeth II was always ‘there for’ Prince William

Prince William, who is the man he is today with help from three royal women; Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, and Kate Middleton, according to an expert, looks on
Prince William | Andrew Parsons/Kensington Palace via Getty Images

“William is much closer to his father [King Charles III] these days. But I think it’s the women in his life who have helped make him the man he is,” Jennie Bond, a former BBC royal correspondent, told OK! Magazine

“His grandmother, the late Queen, was there for him – as he said – through the happiest and saddest times of his life,” she added in reference to William’s statement about Queen Elizabeth following her death in September 2022. 

William, per historian Robert Lacey, always had a “special closeness” with his late grandmother (via Vanity Fair). Queen Elizabeth, the consultant for Netflix’s The Crown said, took a “particular interest” in William.

“When William became a teenager,” Lacey added, “she would have him at Windsor Castle and would open the state boxes and guide him through the papers. It was William’s constitutional education.” 

2. Princess Diana’s ‘influence’ on Prince William is clear in his interactions and ‘determination to help people’

Princess Diana, one of the women to shape Prince William into who he is today, according to an expert, sits with Prince William
Prince William and Princess Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Next up is Diana, who, despite dying at the age of 36 when William was just 15 years old, has had a profound impact on the royal family’s current first in line to the throne. 

“His mother’s influence is still very much evidenced in the relaxed and informal way he interacts with people,” Bond said. Additionally, she said Diana’s effect on her oldest son is unmistakable in William’s “determination to help people less well off than himself, in particular, the homeless.”

“It was, of course, Diana, who first showed her sons the plight of homeless people,” Bond continued, referencing visits to shelters the late royal made with William and Prince Harry in tow. “Now, William has said that he wants his own children to be fully aware of how privileged they are and how other people may sometimes need a little help.”

In June 2023, William discussed his five-year plan to end U.K. homelessness, which includes housing on Duchy of Cornwall land. Along the way, the father of three told an interviewer that visits to homeless shelters as a boy made a deep impression on him. 

3. Kate Middleton’s ‘given William everything’

Kate Middleton, one of the royal women an expert says has shaped Prince William into who he is today, sits next to Prince William
Kate Middleton and Prince William | Jane Barlow – Pool/Getty Images

Last but certainly not least is the Princess of Wales. The expert counted Kate as the third woman in William’s life who has played a major part in shaping him. 

“Then there is Catherine’s influence,” Bond said. “They have known one another now for more than 20 years, longer than William knew his own mother. And she has won not only his deep love but his respect.”

“He might feel a little aggrieved when he is cut out of pictures at events they both attend,” she added. “But he is proud of his wife for the way she has made such a success of the role that came with marrying him.”

“There is no doubt that Kate has given William everything that was lacking in his own family life: a loving, deep partnership founded on friendship, passion, and mutual respect,” Bond said. 

“Plus, a broader, settled, and happy relationship with his in-laws. Michael and Carole Middleton welcomed William into their home and treated him like one of the family. He can relax with them, trust them, and be himself in a way he can do with only a very few others.”