Sunday 4 December 2016

Prince William is determined to fight in Afghanistan after wedding

Gordon Rayner in London

Published 23/04/2011 | 05:00

Prince William will not allow married life to get in the way of his continued determination to serve in Afghanistan.

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The prince, who has not been allowed on active service in war zones, is expected to put in a fresh request for a tour of duty in Afghanistan when he comes to the end of his spell as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot.

He has made little secret of his frustration at being forced to stay at home while his younger brother, Prince Harry, served in Helmand Province in 2008 with the Household Cavalry.

With the likelihood of Prince Harry returning to Afghanistan next year, when he is expected to fly Apache helicopters with the Army Air Corps, Prince William's thoughts will once again turn to his desire to serve in combat.

Last year he said in a television interview that he still had "real determination" to go to Afghanistan and that his "heart was in the army".

Sources say marriage will not change his mind.

"Nothing has changed since he expressed those views," said a source close to the prince. "He is fully aware that he is different to his brother but he would still like to do his duty.

"He is passionate about his military service and unless he publicly comes out and says otherwise, his ambition will remain to serve in Afghanistan."

Military chiefs have always said that putting the future king in harm's way was out of the question, but the prince will argue that he would be in far less danger if he was flying helicopters.

While based at RAF Valley in Anglesey, the prince is already doing a dangerous job, as it entails flying Sea King helicopters in challenging conditions and close to cliffs and mountains. His tour with 22 squadron will last for two or three years, meaning he will move on at the end of next year.

Leading figures from British society and across the globe will attend next week's royal wedding, but absent from their number will be one notable face -- the King of Cambodia.

Ceremony

King Norodom Sihamoni will not be joining other crowned heads of state, prime ministers, ambassadors and other dignitaries at Prince William and Kate Middleton's marriage ceremony.

He will be missing from a gathering of foreign royalty that includes everyone from the Sultan of Brunei to King Constantine, the former sovereign of Greece, and his wife Queen Anne-Marie.

The list of celebrities attending the Westminster Abbey ceremony is headed by David and Victoria Beckham and also features Elton John and partner David Furnish.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, will lead the government's guest list. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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