Prince William: I Would Face Front Line

I would face front line – Prince William (BBC)

Prince William has said that if he joins the Army when he finishes St Andrews University he would not shirk fighting at the front line. “The last thing I want to do is be mollycoddled or wrapped up in cotton wool,” the 22-year-old said. In an interview to mark the final year of his four-year course, he said to be kept back from war zones because of his title would be “humiliating”. He added that “life was too short” to be worried about one day becoming King. The prince, who is second in line for the throne, would not be, he insisted, a reluctant King but that at the moment he was concentrating on keeping his “feet on the ground” and “enjoying myself as much as I can “. “The thing is with me I look on the brighter side of everything. “There’s no point being pessimistic or being worried about too many things because frankly life’s too short.”

Talking about his recent role at Remembrance Sunday when he joined senior Royals including his father Prince Charles and grandmother the Queen at the Cenotaph service in London, he said it made him “very proud to be British”. “It should never be forgotten what all the war veterans have sacrificed for all of us to be as we are.” He expressed admiration for the British soldiers who were currently in action “fighting their hearts out”.

He said he had hinted before at joining the Armed Forces when he finishes his studies and said the Army would be his first choice. He said officers’ training academy Sandhurst was “very attractive” and younger brother Prince Harry was “going as a guinea pig first to see what happens”. If he serves, he said he would not expect to be “kept back for being precious”. “It’s the most humiliating thing and it would be something I’d find very awkward to live with, being told I couldn’t go out there when these guys have got to go out there.”

Indeed it would. And mighty hard to lead under those circumstances as well.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    Yet another reason I think Queen Liz should bequeath the Crown directly to him, skipping over the odious Prince Chuck.

  2. sortapundit says:

    Agreed, McGehee. Pointless as the monarchy is these days, Will seems like the kind of King to bring a bit of spirit back to the crown.

    James, can you imagine the media uproar if Prince Will got anything more than a scraped knee fighting in Iraq?

  3. Sarah says:

    yall respect it, for some reason I can’t see it as anything other than public stategy, but thats just me

  4. BigFire says:

    Re: sortapundit & Sarah

    Williams’ uncle, Princde Andrews did serve as Harriet pilot during the Falkland War, in a frontline capacity. His father’s last military command was as the captain of a mine hunter.

    As for the press, they had a field day when Prince Edwards, their uncle quit the very difficult Royal Marine commando course.

  5. Anjin-San says:

    He sounds like a pretty decent kid, the British royal family desperatly needs some real leadership if it hopes to remain relevant in the 21st century…

  6. Attila Girl says:

    It seems to me that the Royals are simply uber-diplomats at this point. I imagine this keeps some of the pressure off–not really having to rule, or to think about what could happen to the country if you were to perish.

  7. dave t says:

    Correction: Andrew flew Sea King helicopters not Harriers.

    How Harry managed to pass the Commissions Board when all he got was a B in A-Level Art and a D in Geogrraphy….still although as a 2Lt with a map he is bound to get lost at least he can draw a pretty picture to show Grannie when he is found!

  8. Ursula says:

    No British Officer/Commander/General would want the death of Prince William on their watch, so I doubt that he would see any serious combat if he were to join the military.