Prince William visits Dockhead Fire Station in London
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Today, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wished Prince Harry a happy birthday. William’s brother turned 37 today, and will mark the occasion at his multimillion dollar mansion in sunny California. The pair have endured a tough few months in their relationship.
Tensions boiled over after Harry and Meghan Markle sat down with US TV host Oprah Winfrey and aimed several allegations at the Royal Family.
Prince Charles, William and Harry’s father, is said to have been left “absolutely furious” about William and Harry’s public feud, fearing that it may overshadow the Firm’s hard work.
While the attention has been very much focused on Harry and Meghan’s relations with the Firm, they are not the only people to have been at the centre of ill feeling.
In his younger days, William enjoyed riding fast motorbikes, especially fond of the anonymity a helmet gave him.
According to Real Stories’ 2007 documentary, ‘Prince Charles and Prince William: Royal Rivals?’, Charles was “unhappy” about this pastime of William’s.
Judy Wade, a royal commentator who sadly passed away last year, said: “When he’s got his helmet on he’s totally anonymous and people don’t notice him on the road.
“But naturally, like any parent, his father doesn’t approve of the motorbike.
“He’s been very reluctant to allow him to have one.
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“But William’s old enough and sensible enough to take care of himself on the road.”
According to a report from the Daily Mail in 2010, both William and Harry were said to “ride their bikes at weekends when not on military duty or training”.
But, it added: “Their father worries they may not be spotted by traffic on the roads.”
He relayed his concerns during a reception at St James’ Palace for pilots and ground crew from the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) at the time.
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He said: “I always worry about them. It’s about other cars not being able to see you.
“I’m always telling my sons that.”
At the time, according to reports, William owned a Ducati 1198s, a bike with a top speed of 180mph.
In his later years, however, he revealed that his motorbiking days were nearing their end.
In 2017, he said this was because of his growing family.
This came a month after the announcement that Kate was pregnant with the couple’s third child, Prince Louis.
Jonathan Rea — now six-time world Superbike champion — was being made an MBE at Buckingham Palace at the time.
After the ceremony, he told PA: “I know he’s a bit of a motorcycle fan himself.
“We talked about his bikes and the fact that he has put it on the back-burner a little bit because of his children now.”
Kate has previously said she was “filled with horror” every time William went out for a spin on his motorbike.
During a visit to Dundee, Scotland in 2015, the Duchess told a well-wisher: “He’s still riding it.
“It always fills me with horror when he goes out on it!
“I’m terrified. Hopefully, I’m going to keep George off it.”
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