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Prince William and other royals who have sported beards and facial hair

Prince William looked really different with a beard, Prince Harry and King Charles have also worn them

beard or no beard
Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
Updated: March 26, 2024
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Royal men love to experiment with their facial hair, and while for some it has been merely a phase, for other members of family, their bearded look is here to stay. But beards aren't univerisally loved by the royals and Prince Harry's explosive book Spare revealed that while he was given permission to have a beard when he married his wife, Meghan Markle, Prince William was furious because he hadn't been afforded the same option.

Speaking about how beards have often been percieved, Jim Shaw, an award-winning hairdresser and owner of TONI&GUY Billericay, explained: "In ancient times, beards have symbolised wealth, wisdom, power, maturity and strength. I think today the beard still symbolises many of these, however, they are also seen as very trendy and fashion-forward too."

As for why the royals shaved off their facial hair off, he added: "To some, facial hair can beseen as 'untidy'. This should not be the case if your beard has been looked after properly – you are actively grooming it, ensuring it is trimmed regularly and are using beard care products."

We were struggling to remember what Prince William looked like with facial hair - so here's a look at all the royal men who have experimented with facial hair in the past...

WATCH: What royal men look like with and without facial hair
Split image of Prince William with and without a beard© Getty Images

Prince William

Prince William didn't sport a beard for very long, but the royal looked very dapper in 2008 during a trip to Sandringham when he sported a full beard. By the time he walked down the aisle with wife Kate, it was all gone and William has never looked back.

Speaking about William's facial hair, Jim explained the Prince of Wales had opted for a "classic, full beard" praising the royal for keeping it well-groomed.

And as to whether William should bring his beard back, Jim enthused: "Definitely! Particularly as he has lost a lot of his hair, adding a beard will help to balance out his look.

"William also has an oval face shape, which works well with a full beard and is great for accentuating your face and cheekbones. I would say if he was to opt for a beard again, he would look great with a full beard as he had previously, again keeping this more groomed and polished for a sophisticated look. However, he would also look great with a stylish stubble."

Split image of Prince Harry with and without a beard© Getty Images

Prince Harry

Prince Harry was the perfect boyish royal when he had a fully shaven face, but now he's matured into an adult, he truly suits having a beard.

Split image of King Charles with and without a beard© Getty Images

King Charles

In truth, we could never properly imagine King Charles having a beard, but he did wear one briefly in his youth. These days, the monarch prefers a clean-shaven face.

Like his son, Charles also went for a classic beard, however, Jim opined that the King should now remain clean-shaven. "Although King Charles looked great with his beard, I would say at his age now, he looks great clean-shaven, particularly as he likes to style his hair slicked back or to the side regularly," he shared.

Split image of Mike Tindall with and without a beard© Getty Images

Mike Tindall

Mike Tindall is another royal gent who certainly suits having a beard, just look how distinguished he is on the left! But during his rugby days, the star decided to be clean-shaven.

Split image of King Willem-Alexander without and without a beard© Getty Images

King Willem-Alexander

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has been sporting his well-groomed ginger facial hair for several years now. And we believe he certainly suits the style a lot more than when he was clean-shaven.

Split image of King Frederik with and without a beard© Getty Images

King Frederik

The newly-crowned King of Denmark is certainly a fan of his grey facial hair. He looks like an entirely different person in the photo on the right without it!

Split image of King Philippe with and without a beard© Getty Images

King Philippe

Although King Philippe of Belgium prefers to go without facial hair these days, the royal did appear to be very regal when he sported a small beard.

Split image of King Felipe with and without a beard© Getty Images

King Felipe

When Spain's King Felipe acceded to the throne in 2014, he was fully clean-shaven, however, as the years have gone on, the royal has decided to embrace a full grey beard.

Split image of Crown Prince Haakon with and without a beard© Getty Images

Crown Prince Haakon

Crown Prince Haakon has such a baby face without his facial hair! The royal has fully embraced his beard over the years and we think it really suits the Norwegian heir to the throne.

Split image of Prince Carl Philip without and without a beard© Getty Images

Prince Carl Philip

Prince Carl Philip looks like quite the gentleman with his beard, but back in his younger days, he had an Orlando Bloom vibe going with his clean-shaven appearance.

Split image of Andrea Casiraghi with and without a beard; in the second image he is carrying a child© Getty Images

Andrea Casiraghi

The Monaco royal suits both having a beard and going clean-shaven. Which one do you prefer?

Split image of Pierre Casiraghi with and without a beard© Getty Images

Pierre Casiraghi

Pierre Casiraghi is another Monaco royal who suits having a beard or going without. But with his facial hair, he almost resembles Miles Teller in Top Gun 2!

Split image of Prince Michael of Kent without and with a beard© Getty Images

Prince Michael of Kent

We round off this list with the late Queen's cousin, Prince Michael of Kent. Although it's almost impossible to imagine the royal without his signature white beard, in the photo on the left he was fully clean-shaven as he posed with his new bride, Princess Michael of Kent. What a difference!

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