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8 Reasons Birthday Boy Prince William Is at His Hottest in Dad Mode

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Prince William has pretty much always been crush-worthy.

Princess Kate may have never had her husband’s picture up on her bedroom wall as a kid, but we sure did (do), and as William has grown from strapping young prince to dutiful father and husband, we’re seeing something.

He’s older. Wiser. And dare we say, he’s sexier.

And here’s just a few of the reasons why

1. He’s more in touch with his feelings.

Prince George (left) and Prince William
Sure, rock hard abs are nice and a well-defined bicep is always appreciated, but a man who is sensitive enough to cry during Titanic is something really special. And Dad William is well on his way to becoming that man. “I’m a lot more emotional than I used to be, weirdly,” he said in the documentary When Ant and Dec Met the Prince: 40 Years of the Prince’s Trust. “I never used to get too wound up or worried about things,” he continued. “But now the smallest little things, you well up a little more, you get affected by the sort of things that happen around the world or whatever a lot more, I think, as a father.” We’re not crying, you’re crying! William’s crying! (Okay, we’re all crying).

2. He’s as active as ever.

Prince William
He hasn’t been a football captain at Eton for over a decade – but based on his smooth moves on the field, you’d never know it. The years have done nothing but enhance William’s athleticism. I mean, the man plays polo. He plays football (that means soccer) – sometimes, even in a suit. He repels down walls. He climbs fences! He may be a dad, but with all that exercise, he’s far off from a dad bod.

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3. He’s mellowed out

Prince William
Gone are the days of William hitting up London clubs with the lads – instead, his Friday nights are most likely spent binging on Downton Abbey with Kate and reading stories to George and Charlotte. And after all, there’s nothing sexier than a little Netflix and chill – and a man who can appreciate the importance of a little R&R.

4. He’s got an all-around vibe of responsibility and security

Prince William and Princess Kate
There’s something about Prince William that makes him instinctively trust-able, and that something has only gotten more pronounced since he’s become a dad. When he’s driving a car, you’re not going to get in an accident. He volunteers to change the first diaper. He practices securing carseats for the big day. He literally delivers sick people to safety FOR A LIVING. And who wouldn’t feel supported and secure with that hand on their back? WHO?

5. We still get to see him in uniform.

Prince William
When William left the Royal Air Force, it was a blow for those of us who found his military garb particularly irresistible (read: all of us). Luckily, he still brings his duds out for a few special occasions – and he looks oh-so-good while doing so. Everyone may love a man in uniform, but a dad in uniform is somehow even more lovable.

6. He’s an impassioned activist.
William has always worked for charity, but now, he frequently discusses how parenthood has altered his worldview, particularly when it comes to the causes he champions. Speaking about how much he “detests” bullying during an address to tech firms and entrepreneurs, William said that “as a parent,” he was “appalled” by the growing number of reports of online bullying. Dad William is a William who stands up for what he believes in.

7. He knows when to fall in line.
On the Buckingham Palace balcony at Trooping the Color, William bent down to Prince George’s level to chat – which earned him a quick scolding from the Queen. He took it like the pro that he is, standing right up when she asked (and giving us the world’s greatest GIF in the process.)

8. He’s still in great shape.

Prince William
Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

Now that he’s out of the military, Will knows he has to keep in shape somehow – a few rounds of outdoor yoga seem to do the trick for him. Even more impressive? He can downward dog in jeans. Om-mazing.