Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, Baron Carrickfergus, son of Diana and Charles, is truly an enigmatic figure. Who is the REAL Prince William?
Probably the most interesting aspect of his personal history was the decision to pursue a military career. No doubt, the fact of having military service in his family history was part of what inspired his decision (Edward VIII served in France during the First World War, King George VI served during World War I, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, served during World War II and Prince Andrew, Duke of York, served in the Falklands War).
But were there other motivating forces?
As a member of the royal family, is it possibly that Prince William was afflicted with a bit of that guilt-of-the-priviliged-class? The fact that he was so insistent on “active duty”, i.e. seeing combat might support this theory. William, no doubt, could have served Great Britain just as well without being involved in actual combat situations. So, maybe he felt that he needed to prove that he was, in some sense, “down there in the trenches” with the rest of them before embarking on a sleepy, care-free domestic life?
Only time will tell if “Billy the fish” (as he was known in the airforce) had other intentions, even if only unconscious. Though, given his commitment to humanitarian causes (just as much in his blood as military service) it’s doubtful that he would accept such a life. Fatherhood is, indeed, one of life’s great adventures, but it is also temporary. Sooner or later I expect we’ll see Prince William back out there in the trenches.