19 JUNE 2003

Prince William received a rapturous reception when he arrived in Wales on Thursday for an official visit to mark his birthday.

The future king, who turns 21 on June 21, was met with a loud rendition of "Happy Birthday", in both Welsh and English, when he stepped off the train in the northern town of Bangor.

Local people were additionally pleased after hearing it was Wills's own idea to make the trip. The young royal, who will one day become the Prince of Wales, was accompanied by his father, Prince Charles. He visited a food fair on the island of Anglesea, before moving on to a shelter for homeless people in Newport.

It has been rumoured that when he finishes college, Prince William may spend some time at a Welsh university to learn the language. His father spent six months at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth in the 1960s doing the same.

For the moment, William will be staying at St Andrews University in Scotland, however, where he is halfway through a history of art degree.

Photo: ©
William of Wales was greeted by crowds of wellwishers when he arrived in Bangor stationPhoto: © PAClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
The young royal blows out the candles on a birthday cake given to him at the Anglesea food fairPhoto: © PA
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