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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 June, 2003, 05:27 GMT 06:27 UK
William: My duty to be king
Prince William, photographed by Mario Testino
William said the monarchy was about dedication to others
Prince William has denied rumours he does not want to be king, in his first public comments about his future role as monarch.

The second instalment of a 21st birthday interview with the Press Association (PA) was released on Sunday, along with two new photographs, by PA and celebrity photographer Mario Testino.

The second-in-line to the throne said he had no current girlfriend and spoke about the irritation caused by media attention on his love life.

But his most significant comments were on being monarch, which he said was a very important role and one he did not take lightly.

He appeared to be stung by recent suggestions that he is a reluctant royal who may one day choose not to take the throne.

The prince rehearsing with an African band at Windsor Castle

"All these questions about do you want to be king? It's not a question of wanting to be, it's something I was born into and it's my duty," he said.

"Wanting is not the right word. But those stories about me not wanting to be king are all wrong.

"It's a very important role and it's one that I don't take lightly.

"It's all about helping people and dedication and loyalty which I hope I have - I know I have."

But he admitted there were times when he was troubled by his destiny, although he first wanted to concentrate on his studies.

He said he would not conduct any royal engagements until he had finished university.

Inspiration

There was praise for the Queen, a huge role model for him.

"You only have to look at my grandmother and see the amazing things she's done," he said.

"That to me is a huge inspiration - the work she's done and the work my father's done and a lot of the family.

"The monarchy is something that needs to be there - I just feel it's very, very important - it's a form of stability and I hope to be able to continue that."

William at 21
Prince William - birthday photograph by PA

William conceded the monarchy should remain relevant to people's lives, but said it would be "dangerous" to predict changes to it.

He emphasised the "loyalty and dedication among the family", which he hoped to continue by helping people.

The prince said he did not have a steady girlfriend at the moment, but would ask a girl out, if he thought she fancied him back.

But the unwanted media scrutiny of every female friendship was a source of irritation.

He said just one meeting or photograph could lead to the girl's family being contacted by reporters, before joking:

"Only the mad girls chase me, I think."

He thanked the media for giving him space while at St Andrews, and promised to treat them with maturity when he left university.

In the first instalment of the interview, released on Saturday, William rounded on his father's critics.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Jennie Bond
"He says he sometimes gets anxious about the future"



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