He famously received a pop star’s welcome from young adoring fans when he visited Vancouver with his father and brother in 1998.
But judging by the crowds that turned out to welcome the Prince of Wales to Singapore yesterday, ‘Wills-mania’ seems to be back in full swing.
The father-of-three, 41, touched down at Jewel Changi Airport yesterday – where he was greeted by swarms of adoring royal fans waving Union Jack flags.
Following his 13-hour journey, Prince William appeared in high spirits as he took the time to speak and pose for pictures with members of the crowd who had gathered to catch a glimpse of him.
However, this isn’t the first time William has received such a joyful reception of late – with fans in Boston, New York, Warsaw and Belfast going wild in his presence over the past year.
Earlier this year, brand expert Nick Ede told MailOnline how Prince William’s recent engagements have shown him to be ‘fun, fearless, intelligent and compassionate’ – a combination which has seen the royal win his way into the hearts of fans all over the world.
Here FEMAIL delves into how ‘Wills-mania’ has swept the globe as the Prince of Wales prepares to present his third annual Earthshot prize tomorrow.
BOSTON – DECEMBER 2022
In December 2022, the Prince and Princess of Wales travelled to Boston for three days to host their glitzy gala ceremony for the Earthshot Prize.
The future king launched his Earthshot Prize in 2021 to discover and scale-up ground-breaking solutions to repair the planet, with the winners in five categories – also known as Earthshots – receiving £1 million each to help develop their ideas.
During their whirlwind tour, the couple visited the Roca centre, which is working to reducing levels of violence, trauma and incarceration among young people in Boston.
Outside the charity headquarters, hundreds of royal fans waited in the cold to catch a glimpse of the Prince and Princess of Wales.
Despite the fallout from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix series teaser trailer, Prince William was ever the professional and happily posed for photos with members of the public.
The following day, the pair visited Boston Harbour Defenses to learn about the impact of rising sea levels on the city’s shoreline – where well-wishers were out in full-force to support William’s climate-change endeavours.
During the engagement, the royal was pictured waving to crowds who had lined the pier – and the couple were also inundated with support from fans on Instagram later that day.
A small throng had gathered at the park gates in the hope of catching a glimpse of the couple as they got back into their car.
One shouted: ‘William, do you have any single friends?’
Several others yelled: ‘We love you!’
Before heading back to the UK, the Prince and Princess of Wales received a Hollywood-style welcome on the red carpet for the Earthshot Prize gala.
Cheering crowds offering up cries of support as they exited their hybrid Range Rover – a vehicle that was specially chosen to fit the eco-friendly focus of their trip.
Kate and Wills made their way down the ‘green carpet’, pausing a few times to speak to other guests, before making their way into the venue, where they were greeted with a standing ovation from the other attendees.
POLAND – MARCH 2023
In March 2023, Prince William made a surprise trip to Poland – where he paid a visit to Rzeszow, a town a few miles from the Ukrainian border, and a laid a wreath at a monument dedicated to soldiers in Warsaw.
On the second day of his trip, William visited Hala Koszyki Food Hall in the country’s capital – where he was a hit with young refugees who had fled to Poland.
The famous food hall – which was built in 1908 as an indoor market – has been refurbished in recent years and now boasts a variety of bars, bookstores, restaurants and shops.
During the engagement, the Prince told them: ‘It must be very difficult to start an entire new life in a new country.
‘It’s amazing how resilient you are. That shines out.’
Outside, the Prince happily posed for selfies with young refugees and was given bunches of flowers by royal fans.
One group of women held a sign reading: ‘Thank you for the visit William!’
BELFAST – JUNE 2023
This summer, ‘Willsmania’ swept Belfast as the royal paid a visit to the city to mark the launch of his Homewards campaign – which aspires to put an end to homelessness in the UK.
After touring the The East Belfast Mission, William spent time chatting to those who’d lined up to meet him outside.
The father-of-three promptly discarded any form of royal protocol in favour of hugging several people and even received a kiss on the cheek from one woman.
He joked: ‘You’ve started something now, I’ll get in big trouble!’
And the lady had indeed started something; immediately afterwards, another fan stepped up for a hug – and the royal duly obliged.
Beforehand, the royal was filmed shaking hands and chatting to those waiting outside the charity, including one who appeared to be singing the praises of the charity’s on-site Refresh Cafe.
He asked: ‘Have you been for a fry up?’ William then replied: ‘There’s a fry-up waiting for people! I’ve got to get out there.’
Following the cheeky interaction, the man then got the crowd cheering from William.
New York – September 2023
In September, Prince William was deemed to have ‘won the hearts of a nation’ during his New York charm offensive, which has ‘revived his heartthrob status’, PR and royal experts have said.
The Prince of Wales’ trip to the States has been hailed a stunning success – with American media praising the ‘warm and genuine’ royal.
William was met by hundreds of adoring fans as he toured the Big Apple, which saw him attending the second Earthshot Prize, making an emotional visit to a New York firehouse, and even cracking jokes with a ‘rowdy’ bunch of 60-year-olds after his run through Central Park.
Brand and culture expert Nick Ede said the future heir’s trip was a shining example of how to win over America, and said the royal had shown his quality as a ‘statesman’ and ambassador for Britain.
‘Prince William has managed to charm the whole of America with his visit to the US,’ Mr Ede told MailOnline. ‘He has managed to regain the respect the Royal Family needed by showing his many facets.
‘He’s been fun, fearless, intelligent and compassionate and he has really shone a light on himself as future King but also on his passion which is the Earthshot prize and the environment.
‘He has stepped into the spotlight without his wife by his side which has allowed him to stand on his own two feet with all eyes on him. Being on his own has enabled this exercise to be totally dedicated to him without a fashion sideshow which will always happen with Kate by his side.
‘He has won the hearts of the nation and also regained his sex symbol status too enabling his charm, wit and intelligence to shine through when meeting members of the public and dignitaries alike.’
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said the Prince of Wales’s visit had been enormously successful, with his dip in the Hudson on Monday to see the Billion Oyster Project ‘reviving his heartthrob status’.
‘Americans loved his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. It is clear that a very special relationship now exists with William,’ he told MailOnline.
Pointing towards the recent Gallup poll where Prince William was voted the most admired public figure in America, with King Charles in fourth place, Mr Fitzwilliams said the result contained an ‘extraordinary statistic’.
Singapore – November 2023
Yesterday, Singapore’s Changi Airport was crammed full of royal fans who were desperate to catch a glimpse of Prince William.
After disembarking his commercial flight, the royal was greeted by Sim Ann – Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs – and taken to a viewing platform to observe the the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, the Rain Vortex, in full view of hundreds of royal fans.
This morning, the Prince of Wales won over a new legion of royal fans when he won a dragon boat race.
Splashing around on the water, the Prince of Wales, wearing a black cap and white polo shirt, was praised as a ‘natural’ as his team punted along the Marina Reservoir.
One said the royal ‘didn’t miss a stroke’ as he jumped on the 22-seater boat with British expats living in Singapore.
The prince replied saying ‘I love sports’ and he was following ‘the key man in front of me’, pointing at the captain, before saying he was ‘terrified’ that if he got the rhythm of the paddle wrong he would ‘clash with the whole side’.
He also praised the drummer at the bow of the boat saying ‘the drum was very good, a very good rhythm’.
William thanked the mixed gender crew, with representation from 14 nationalities including eight Commonwealth nations, and said he ‘really enjoyed’ the race before leaving.
Captain of the team, Chris Bosher, said after the race that the prince was ‘super engaged from the moment he walked down the pontoon to the moment he finished’.
He added: ‘He was excellent, he said ‘seriously guys I want us to win this’.
‘After he was asking about the race calendar and we mentioned we’d got a race coming up in two weeks and really he should come back and we’ll give him a seat on the boat.
‘He said it’s quite a refreshing break to do from the normal routine so this was right up his street.’
Kirthana Lakshmanan, treasurer, said William joined in the three cheers ‘with gusto’.