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Britain's Prince William celebrates 18th birthday

June 21, 2000
Web posted at: 5:29 a.m. EDT (0929 GMT)

LONDON (Reuters) -- Britain's Prince William turns 18 on Wednesday -- but he is expected to spend the day studying for his final high school exams.

William, Britain's future king and a heartthrob for girls around the world, will be a notable absentee from a huge party which the royal family is throwing at Windsor Castle near London on Wednesday night.

The party, hosted by Queen Elizabeth, will celebrate the birthdays of a number of royals over the next few weeks, including the Queen Mother's 100th.

William, son of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, is writing his A level examinations at the elite Eton College close to Windsor Castle.

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VideoCNN's Margaret Lowrie tells how Prince William, at 18, is an object of fascination in Britain. (June 21)
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He is due to sit an exam on the history of art on Thursday. William is expected to go on to Edinburgh University -- if his overall exam results are good enough.

He confessed last week that he hates being under the media spotlight.

William, whose mother was hounded by prying lenses wherever she went, pleaded for the paparazzi to leave him alone at university and refused to say if he had a girlfriend.

"I like to keep my private life private," he said in a written interview.

William, who has inherited his mother's stunning good looks, is clearly uncomfortable with the voracious tabloid appetite for endless stories on the young bloods in the Royal House of Windsor.

But he was grateful that the media had left him and his 15-year-old brother Prince Harry alone during their Eton school years.

The media, vilified after Diana's death for constantly pursuing her, agreed under an informal arrangement with the industry's watchdog that school pictures were strictly off limits.



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Britain's William gives glimpse into princely life
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RELATED SITES:
The British Monarchy


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