Royal Family Members' Army Career
The Royals seemed to live leisurely. Of course, they are. From expensive clothes to best-tasting food, they've got it all! But, the royals are not sitting pretty. They are also serving their country! To have royals working in an art gallery might be shocking but that happened with Princess Eugenie. Even her cousin Peter Philips worked in sport management. Royals are also expected to work in an honorable but dangerous field, the military.
MILITARY RULES FOR THE ROYALS
Despite their positions and titles, royals also have rules to follow when it comes to serving in the military. Rules are needed in order to maintain discipline and order among the royals and fellow servers. Let us take a look at some of these rules.
THEY CAN SERVE BASED ON THEIR INTEREST
Being in the military is tough work, but if it is your best interest, I guess that makes it less tough, right? As for the royals, their duties could depend on their interest. They are not forced to work in which they are not comfortable.
For instance, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew served in the naval department. On the other hand, Prince William and Prince Harry served in the Royal Airforce. The branch of the military that royals should be working is again, based on one's interest and willingness.
HARD WAY TO A HIGH RANK AND TITLE
Just like any common people serving in the military, the royals should also work hard in order to gain a high rank. Sure, their position on the throne is already telling how powerful they are. But then, gaining military titles and uniforms are things that a royal can be proud of.
Take Prince Andrew for example. He worked in the military for 20 years and along the way, he became a commander. The rank is the fruit of all his blood, sweat, and tears through the years in military service. Good for you Prince Andrew!
WAY BACK CENTURIES AGO
Royals serving in the military is not a modern-day trend. In fact, it started centuries ago. The Queen herself, the head of the Armed forces that time, experienced serving in the military, but, away from the front line. I'll give her an A for effort!
In 1945, Queen Elizabeth II, who was then a young princess, joined the Auxillary Territorial Service. She was the first female from the royal family to serve in the military. Thus, her legacy continues until now. I mean she is the head of a country so might as well join the military for experience.
ROYALS AT YOUR SERVICE
It is indeed a fascinating thing to know that the Royal family served their country in a manner that their lives could be in danger. But, they did not cut the tradition. Centuries ago and until today, the royals are still active in military service. Let's explore some details!
PRINCE PHILIP, THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH
In May 1939, young Prince Philip started his career in the navy at the Britannia Royal Naval College. There he was awarded as the best cadet. In the same year, the young Prince Philip and young Princess Elizabeth fell in love with each other. In 1940, he spent six months in the Indian Ocean, as part of his duty as a midshipman.
In 1941, he was awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour because he spotted an enemy's vessel with the searchlights. Even though his official naval service ended in 1951, the now 99 years old Prince Philip is still strongly associated with the Armed Forces. His age is only a number, but his service to his country is remarkable.
EDWARD VIII AS A GRENADIER GUARD
Despite being the then heir to the throne, Edward VIII found himself playing an active role in the military during World War I. Although he loved his duty as a member of Grenadier Guards, the then heir wanted to be in the front line. Seeing the trenches first hand was not enough for Edward VIII.
Even if he's not allowed to be in the front line, he was still able to ask permission to visit there and inspect the location and the defenses. He was vocal about how he felt for not being able to really fight during the war. He was still awarded the Military Cross for his loyalty, hard work, and service. However, the young Edward felt embarrassed and he even wrote, "I can't say I feel I have earned the MC."
GEORGE VI AT THE WAR'S FRONT LINE
Years ago, George VI was known as Albert or Bertie. The then young Bertie was usually quiet and shy, a major difference between him and his brother Edward VIII. But unlike his brother, the young Bertie made it to the front line.
He was the one operating the gun turrets during the Battle of Jutland during World War 1. His experiences in one of the bloody events in British history was both terrifying and honorable. Later on, he became the first royal to be a pilot, as he was transferred to the Royal Air Force.
PRINCE ANDREW DODGED MISSILES
Being the Queen’s son means you have to be protected at all times, most especially during war. However, Prince Andrew was deployed to a dangerous military. He embarked during the Falklands War, in which the Exocet, an anti-ship missile was first launched.
He was there in the helicopter, serving as a decoy for missiles and dodge the coming Exocet as well. Imagine the fear among the people in the Armed Forces and the Palace. It was a life-threatening duty but the Prince described the war as “99 percent boredom and one percent terror”.
PRINCE HARRY AND HIS TEN YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE
In 2005, he started his journey in The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as an Officer Cadet. Entering the said academy did not go easy (even if he is a prince). He needed to pass the Regular Commissions Board (RCB) that has standards for mental, physical, and emotional aptitude. He passed the board in 2004.
In 2006, he joined the Blues and Royals, the official bodyguards of the monarchs. He was also promoted to a higher rank, as a commander. He had two tours in Afghanistan, training and serving with his fellow servicemen. Later in 2008, he was promoted as Lieutenant with The Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals).
PRINCE WILLIAM ACCOMPLISHED MORE THAN 1,300 FLYING HOURS
In the rural area of Anglesey, Prince William worked as a pilot for the military. He played a vital role in rescuing people. For the record, he was a part of 156 search and rescue operations and he helped in rescuing 149 people. His duties and accomplishments include rescue missions both in the mountains of North Wales and the Irish Sea. When he got married to Kate Middleton, who is now the Duchess of Cambridge, they stayed in Anglesey.
Prince William then still continued his service. The beautiful rural area is away from the eagle eyes of the media, giving them some fresh air. By the time the prince accomplished more than 1,300 flying hours, he was then off to bid farewell to his fellow servicemen. He and his wife, together with their then 2-year-old son moved into the Palace after his military service. Now the prince focuses on his charity works.
MILITARY UNIFORMS DURING THE ROYAL WEDDINGS
Both Prince Harry and Prince William wore their hard-earned military uniform during the special day of their lives. During Prince Harry’s and Meghan Markle’s wedding, the prince was spotted in a full Blues and Royals uniform. During Prince William’s and Kate Middleton’s wedding, the prince wore another red military uniform.
It was then reported that both of them were given permission by the Queen to wear military uniforms at the wedding ceremony, instead of suit and tie. It was another legacy from the royals that will be cherished in the history of the world.
WILL THE DUCHESS SEND THEIR SONS FOR MILITARY SERVICE?
The question seemed to be a bit early, given the fact that the kids are still cherishing their childhood days. Serving the military is already a tradition among the royals. They earned ranks and titles because of their dedication to serving. I think the footsteps of the senior royals will inspire Kate and Meghan to send their sons to military service.
As of now, Prince William and Duchess Kate have to make a decision on whether or not to send their son Prince George to a boarding school, since he will be turning seven years old this month. On the other hand, Prince Harry’s and Duchess Meghan’s son, Master Archie just turned one-year-old last March. Both kids were still too young for conversations like this but their fate in serving the military is quite intact.
When we hear the words “monarchs” or “royals”, we often think that they are luckiest people born with a golden spoon. Well, that’s true! But the royals are more than that. Despite the fact that the best workers are serving them, they also choose to dedicate themselves to the royal commitment- to serve their fellowmen.Sources: Slate, Forces, Insider, BBC, Britannica, Business Insider, Biography, Town and Country Magazine