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Diana's son turns 25, grows richer

Story Highlights

• Prince William turns 25 Thursday, giving him access to mother's inheritance
• William is also free to choose who he marries without queen's permission
• Princess Diana died on August 31, 1997 after a car accident in a Paris tunnel
• Diana's sons have organized concert to be held on July 1, her 46th birthday
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Britain's Prince William turned 25 Thursday, giving him access to a reported £250,000 ($500,000) a year of his late mother Princess Diana's multimillion-pound fortune.

According to the terms of their mother's will, Prince William and younger brother Harry are entitled to their half share of her assets when they turn 30, The Associated Press reported.

However, at the age of 25, the princes are able to access interest and other income accrued on the £6.5 million ($13 million) he was left by his mother, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997.

William's Clarence House office would not say what the prince planned to do with the money, estimated at £250,000 to £300,000 ($500,000 to $600,000) a year, AP said.

Harry, 22, William's brother, will gain access to a similar amount when he turns 25.

William and Harry are both second lieutenants in the British army, earning salaries of about £22,000 ($44,000) a year. They also receive money for accommodation and other expenses from their father, Prince Charles.

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told CNN that Prince William was "the world's most eligible bachelor," which meant that his every move was being watched.

"The great danger there is the paparazzi. A single slip, photographs changing hands for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

"This really is the goldfish bowl, which so many would not envy because anything to do with William -- with his mother's looks; untouched by trauma; someone with very considerable charm, which the interviews show -- anything that's fact that can get into the newspapers is worth an absolute fortune and this is where the problem comes.

"He's really got to watch what he does, when he does it. There are certain things his advisers can do but the future does beckon, in the sense that he's the Windsors' trump card. He's very popular."

Fitzwilliams said William was currently training to be a Reconnaissance Troop Commander, but he doubted whether the prince would ever be in the front lines of battle.

Last month, the British military reversed a decision to allow Prince Harry to serve in Iraq because it posed too much danger to him and those around him.

"The idea that (the military) would let the future king in a danger zone is inconceivable," Fitzwilliams said.

William will also do a stint with the Royal Air Force and the Navy, as well as carry on with his charitable work. He will also learn about state management and the constitution, Fitzwilliams said.

As well as the extra money, William also can marry without the consent of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, now that he is 25.

However, no royal nuptials are on the horizon -- William and his long-term girlfriend, Kate Middleton, announced in April that they had split. William also has newfound freedoms.

"I think it is one of those curious traditions," Fitzwilliams said.

"Of course in the past year we have seen his split with Kate Middleton, amiable, and of everyone was taken by surprise, wondering precisely how this had happened."

Fitzwilliams predicted a difficult year ahead for both princes as the 10-year anniversary of their mother's death approaches on August 31. (Watch what the princes had to say about private memories of their mother Video)

"The inquest [into her death] begins in October, which is expected to take something like six months to complete. It's going to be very painful for both the princes."

In their mother's honor, the two princes have organized a concert for July 1, which would have been her 46th birthday.

Prince William, far right, now has access to a reported $500,000 a year of his late mother Princess Diana's fortune.



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