Prince William falls victim to Facebook prank

15th May 2007
Daily Mail

It was yet another elaborate Internet hoax - an internet user claiming to be Prince William created a media frenzy after posting an entry on the 'social networking' website Facebook.

Under the name of William Wales - which the 24-year-old prince used during his Sandhurst training and at Eton - they posted an entry on the "social networking" website Facebook.

The name was registered last week with a photograph of the Prince on the slopes, in sunglasses and a ski hat.

Facebook allows users to join networks relating to universities, schools and workplaces or register as members of interest groups set up by members.

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Of course it is hard to ensure that the person who posts an entry is who they claim to be. As the Daily Mail indicated yesterday, this meant a pretender to the throne could create a false profile with ease.

But the majority of "friends" listed had genuine connections to the prince, either through university, school or his social circles.

Anyone logging onto the site could search for the 'Prince's' picture page and a list of his friends by typing in "William Wales".

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Users could send a message to his profile page or a request to be accepted as one of his friends - but unless he agreed, access to his personal page would be denied.

By yesterday afternoon an eclectic collection of 45 "friends" had registered and been accepted, ranging from society chums through to former students at St Andrews University.

Then there was a Katherine Middleton. But not, it seems, the prince's former girlfriend - who spells her name with a "C".

The fake William Wales appeared to have been using the site as recently as Sunday when he posted a message to Edinburgh University graduate Charlie Brooksbank reading, "happy birthday! all the best. W".

There is another William Wales listed on Facebook, but the picture is blank. There are also eight William Windsors. Some show pictures of the Prince, others are blank.

These profiles either have no friends registered to them, or are full of American students who have no connection to him.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said he did not know if William was on Facebook, but he said: "We would consider it a private thing and not comment on it."