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He was perhaps better known as a heartthrob in his luscious-locked teenage years, the male incarnation of his mother, his image lovingly pinned to the walls of millions of bedroom walls.
But it appears Prince William is having somewhat of a renaissance and is once again catching the eyes of a legion of female fans – this time, in the US.
The Prince – who some critics have cruelly pointed out is less ‘follicularly blessed’ than in his younger years – looked tanned and relaxed with a new closely-cropped hair style.
He teamed a quintessentially British outfit of chinos, wax jacket and a blue button down shirt with a US crowd-pleasing baseball cap.
Women across the pond even gushed over Prince William’s waterproof outfit of waist-high waders as he took a dip in the Hudson River at the Billion Oyster Project, which aims to make the waters around New York clean by putting a billion oyster shells in them by 2035 to act as natural filters.
After fan accounts posted snaps of William on Instagram and Twitter, royal lovers flocked to swoon over the Prince of Wales’s ‘handsome’ and ‘sexy’ look as he evoked Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy and waded through the water.
While his status as reborn sex symbol may raise eyebrows, he has certainly been making an impression on American citizens in his new role as the Prince of Wales. Just last month he was dubbed the most popular public figure by a survey of people in the US, beating even Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky.
Prince William rolled up his sleeves and sported a casual look as he visited the Billion Oyster Project in New York yesterday
Prince William’s casual look was a hit with royal fans in the US who swooned over him during the visit
As he got stuck into the project and helped to collect the shells, William showed his casual side with his shirt slightly buttoned down and rolled-up sleeves, plus a water proof suit and a navy blue baseball cap.
In response to the photos of William’s engagements which were shared on social media, royal fans on Twitter and Instagram were keen to let the Prince of Wales know they were in favour of his more casual look.
One fan wrote: ‘Who new waders could look so good!’
Another, who praised the royal, referred to him as ‘our handsome and sexy Prince William.’
The striking reaction to the Prince’s Darcy-esque look is reminiscent of his teenage days, when his chiselled cheekbones and striking figure had the power to send royal fans into a meltdown.
After graduating from Eton College, the 18-year-old royal embarked on a gap year in Chile – where he helped build houses and playgrounds through the organisation Raleigh International.
The Prince of Wales has attracted attention online from a new legion of fans in the US as he opted for an American-style baseball cap to join the Billion Oyster Project yesterday afternoon
William donned a buttoned-down blue shirt and a khaki jacket as he joined the team before wading through the river
The Prince of Wales spent a few years in the wilderness in the sex-symbol stakes – but according to royal fans, he’s having a renaissance
During his year abroad, the Palace released official photos of the royal enjoying his time in the village of Tortel.
At the time, the resemblance between Prince William and his late mother Princess Diana was striking.
Official portraits showed the royal with a full head of fair hair – which clearly came from the Spencer side of his family.
Along with his passion for polo, Prince William had a lean physique as a teenager thanks to the manual labour he got involved in during his gap year.
When he returned to the UK in 2001, the young royal was accompanied by his father King Charles to St Andrews University – where he would spend the next four years studying Geography.
As he toured the premises, Prince William looked effortlessly cool in a navy crew-neck jumper and shirt worn with some blue jeans.
In recent years, the 22-year-old photos have resurfaced on TikTok and sent viewers swooning.
One wrote: ‘He was like a Disney Prince’, while another added: ‘HE’S SO FINE’.
But William’s pin-up status seemed to fade over the years as he was officially taken off the market when he wed Kate Middleton, began to lose his hair and embarked upon family life.
In 2016, the royal unveiled a new look when he shaved his head after a period of hair loss. However some felt the look belied a weariness with life not usually associated with healthy, happy young men in their early 30s.
And pictured taking a break between shifts with his job at the East Anglian Air Ambulance, he surprised staff and pupils at the John Henry Newman School in Stevenage by joining them for a canteen lunch. Most surprising of all, however, was his black fleece and a rather unflattering pair of glasses.
Royal fans gushed over Prince William on social media, labelling him ‘handsome’ and ‘sexy’ – and they thought he could pull off waders
But after several years of a low profile in the sex-symbol stakes, the Prince of Wales appears to have regained his loyal following – with the fans who adored him in his (and their own) teenage years rekindling their passion for the prince in their late 30s and 40s.
In 2021, royal fans were amazed by Prince William’s ‘guns’ as he shared a photo of himself receiving his first Covid-19 vaccination. He was photographed being injected by NHS staff at London’s Science Museum, where Health Secretary Matt Hancock was also inoculated.
The image, showing a masked William and two healthcare workers, was shared to the @KensingtonRoyal Twitter and Instagram accounts this morning.
It was captioned: ‘On Tuesday I received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. To all those working on the vaccine rollout – thank you for everything you’ve done and continue to do.’
As William rolled up his sleeves to have the jab, many people took to social media to praise the father-of-three for setting a good example.
But several couldn’t resist admiring his bulging biceps, with one tweeting: ‘Check out those guns!’
Another remarked: ‘Duke working out! Nice!’ while one commented: ‘Ha ha, I was just thinking he’s looking pretty fit.’
The Prince of Wales was known as a heartthrob in his younger years, with many swooning over his handsome looks
However there was a period while the Prince was in his early 30s when it appeared his status as a global heartthrob was at risk
Prince William, pictured in 2013, lost his hair while in his early thirties, but continued to show off his thinning locks for a number of years before shaving his head
And earlier this year, many couldn’t help but notice how handsome the Prince appeared while playing polo in Windsor.
The Prince of Wales, 41, was beaming with joy as he threw himself into the Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Charity Polo Cup 2023 at the Guards Polo Club in Windsor.
Kate Middleton, 41, was enthusiastic as she showed her support for her husband, while his cousin Peter Phillips and jockey Frankie Dettori were also in the crowd cheering him on.
But it appeared William’s performance in the match also wowed a number of royal fans, who confessed they were left feeling hot under the collar by snaps from the event.
One wrote: ‘The future of the monarchy looks hot, I mean bright!’
Another commented: ‘He is super hot, wow! Those arms, legs, abdomen…
‘And we wonder why Catherine always has that huge smile. King energy.’
A third added: ‘Prince William has always been super fit and has this body shape, look for early water polo photographs and you will see for yourself. ‘
Royal fans were left swooning over Prince William’s ‘guns’ as he shared a photo of himself receiving his first Covid-19 vaccination
In June, William’s performance in the match also wowed a number of royal fans, who confessed they were left feeling hot under the collar by snaps from the event
A fourth wrote: ‘The future king is FIT. Wow. That body really is something else.’
A fifth said: ‘Prince William…HOT!’
Another added: ‘Prince William (Aka his Royal Hotness) looking fit AF during his charity polo match today.’
Last month, US citizens revealed their fondness for Prince William in a national poll, which named him as their favourite public figure.
The Gallup survey, which asked people to rank 15 public figures, saw the Prince of Wales top the list above people including former US president Donald Trump and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.
At the bottom of the list was Russian president Vladimir Putin, who ordered his forces to invade Ukraine in 2022.
According to the survey, 59 per cent of people asked said they viewed Prince William favourably.
In fourth place was William’s father, King Charles, who received a 46 pet cent approval rating from the participants.
The high praise of William from US fans as he heads stateside comes after he emerged as the most highly regarded public figure among US citizens, even beating Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy to hit the top spot.
Arriving at Newark airport on a commercial flight, William said: ‘It’s so good to be back in United States. No one does optimism and ingenuity like the American people, so it’s only right we unveil this year’s Earthshot finalists in New York City.
’80 years ago, the world came together in this great city to find a new way, through the UN, to solve our shared challenges.
‘I know our generation can take the bold action we need to make changes towards a healthy and sustainable world. The challenge may feel huge, but as John F Kennedy taught us, we rise to the challenge not because it is easy, but because it is hard. And vital’.
On Governor’s Island William met schoolchildren who are studying marine biology and talk with employees of the Billion Oyster Project.
He saw the giant pile of oyster shells that are donated by 75 restaurants in New York rather than being sent to landfill sites.
And afterward – despite the gray skies and rain – he waded into the East River from a small beach and put some oysters into the water.