Prince William purportedly “snubbed” his father, Prince Charles, by instead turning to his uncle, Prince Andrew, for career inspiration when he was a young man, the Express is reporting.
It’s tradition for members of the royal family to do some form of military service; indeed, none other than Queen Elizabeth herself worked as a mechanic during the waning days of World War II, even earning the rank of Subaltern (roughly equivalent to Second Lieutenant). That tradition has been carried on by Prince Charles, who served for a few years in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and who even commanded a ship in the last few months of his career.
Charles’ sons also continued the tradition of military service, with both William and Harry having served in the royal military. William’s younger brother, Harry, even saw combat as a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan. William, for his part, never saw combat – being in direct line to the throne, that wouldn’t have been possible or acceptable. But he did use his helicopter pilot training in his later career as an air ambulance pilot, and now as patron of London’s Air Ambulance.
Of course, William has put his military career behind him in favor of the more-expected royal duties befitting the future king. But at one time, he considered a life of military service, like his uncle Andrew, writes royal biographer Katie Nicholl.
A Career Military Man
William was apparently inspired to consider a career in uniform after training with the Royal Air Force for a two-week period.
“[William] had enjoyed the fortnight he had spent working with the RAF Valley Mountain Rescue Team in Anglesey, where he learned about helicopter flying and mountain rescue.”
However, his father was never much of a military man – like William, Charles was destined from birth to become king. But there was and is another career military man in the Windsor family: William’s uncle, Prince Andrew.
Though at one time second in line for the throne, Andrew eschewed palace life in favor of a career in the military and even saw action in the 1979 Falkland’s War. To this day, he holds the rank of commander and the honorary rank of Vice Admiral.
And to William, he was a man to look up to.
“He had already decided he wanted to be a pilot like his Uncle Andrew.”
As it would turn out, though, Prince William, though he performed admirably in his military duties, found that military life wasn’t for him, and he put it all behind him.