The Flying Prince: William Not Quite Ready For The Royal Life

Is Prince William feel antsy about settling down?

By , Writer/Historian
Prince William wants to spend more time with his helicopter.

That’s the gossip in this city that’s already getting a little bored with the Wills and Kate Show. Only a pregnancy will save their ratings. Twins even better - makes the Royal Succession thing more interesting.

The chopper-rich prince is due to end his helicopter tour in 2013. But it seems, he’s got the agreement of Prince Charles his father, the Queen’s son and heir, and presumably the monarch to stay in the air force for another three year tour.

kate-crowd_1934943c.jpgWonder what his princess thinks. She clearly likes the royal duties and she’s brilliant at all that keep-smiling and girlie-wave thing. Bending low to talk to toddlers and arm-chaired pensioners with standard royal one-liners such as, "Have you come far?" "What keeps you busy these days?".

But this is about her Prince not always charming. His father, Prince Charles before his tree-hugging and regal adultery days, served in the Royal Navy and commanded a small warship, HMS Bronington, that had a reputation of being so unbalanced she rolled on wet grass. The prince kept a bucket on the bridge for personal emergencies. Takes guts to do that.

The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, was at sea during the Second World War. He had a ’good war’. Then in 1947, with some sensitive manipulation by his uncle, Dickie Mountbatten, Philip married Elizabeth and that, was more or less the end of a naval career that could well have gone to the very top. Instead, he was reduced to a one step behind walk on role. He felt like a “bloody amoeba” as he told his closest friend and brother hell-raiser, Mike Parker.

Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, served at sea with considerable distinction in World War I.

harryafghanistan.jpg

So all in all, the royal family’s instinct is to have William stay in the Service. The RAF will let him out to play royal duties when he asks; they have a valuable public relations asset. The army has Prince Harry. The RAF Prince William. The Navy? Tut-tut. They had Prince Andrew, known (in spite of a brave war in the Falklands) as Air Miles Andy, a prince with a reputation of taking the perks of royalty for granted.

WillandKatecopter.jpgThere’s one more, and little talked about reason for William to hang about the squadron. In his present role, he won’t get much further than rescuing hikers and itinerant bird nesters from Welsh cliffs. But there’ll always be the one prize he, theoretically can’t have - a short tour of duty in Afghanistan.

William may have gotten the girl, but his brother got the medal, and royalty love medals almost more than anything else.

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Christopher Lee is a noted British historian, author and correspondent. Lee may be best known for his origination and writing on the 3-part BBC radio series, "This Sceptered Isle" and is a former BBC Royal Correspondent. He is advising BBC Radio 4 on the constitutional and historic aspects of the wedding…

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