[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 19 November 2004, 18:39 GMT
Harry looks to follow tradition
Prince Harry
Harry joined the Army back in 2005

Prince Harry will not be the first member of the current Royal Family to take part in active combat if he ends up serving in Iraq.

Harry's uncle, Prince Andrew, fought in the Falklands War.

Prince Andrew joined the Navy in 1979 and, after gaining his Royal Marines green beret, went on to elementary flying training at RAF Leeming, Yorkshire.

Active service

In April 1981, after being presented with his wings by Prince Philip, he left with the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible on active service during the Falklands War.

In 1997, after receiving various commendations from the forces, Andrew was appointed to join the Ministry of Defence in London as a staff officer in the Directorate of Naval Operations.

His 22-year service in the Armed Forces ended in July 2001.

Indeed, there is a long tradition of embarking on a military career in the Royal Family.

But not all royal military careers have been long and distinguished.

Theatre production

Harry's other uncle, Prince Edward, had only a brief stint in the Armed Forces.

He joined the Royal Marines - the first member of the Royal Family to do so - as a second lieutenant in 1983.

Prince Edward completed a two-week course at Lympstone before going to Jesus College, Cambridge, to read for history on a Marines-sponsored cadetship.

He subsequently spent five weeks a year with the Marines, including a short tour in Belize.

But he failed to adapt to military life and eventually left in 1987 to work in theatre production for Andrew Lloyd-Webber's Really Useful Group.

Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew served in the Falklands war

Harry's father, the Prince of Wales, took up his first service appointment in 1969 as colonel-in-chief of the Royal Regiment of Wales.

He went on to become the colonel of the Welsh Guards in 1975, in succession to the Duke of Edinburgh, and now holds a number of service appointments.

He spent six months at the Royal Air Force College at Cranwell learning to fly jet aircraft in 1971 and obtained his RAF wings.

In the autumn of that year, the prince entered the Royal Navy.

Flying duties

Following service on a guided-missile destroyer and two frigates, he qualified as a helicopter pilot in 1974 at the Royal Naval Air Station at Yeovilton in Somerset.

Later, the prince joined 845 Naval Air Squadron on commando flying duties, operating from the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes.

In early 1976 he took command of the coastal minehunter HMS Bronington. The prince left the Navy the same year.

He currently holds the ceremonial ranks of rear-admiral in the Navy, major-general in the Army and air vice-marshal in the RAF.

Harry's grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, had a distinguished military career, serving during World War II.

He joined the Navy as a cadet in 1939 and, after serving on a number of ships, he was promoted to the position of lieutenant in July 1942.

Prince Charles meets service personnel
The Prince of Wales holds positions in the army, navy and air force

In October of that year he became first lieutenant of the HMS Walllace on which he was serving at the time.

After serving with distinction on several other vessels, Prince Philip's naval career came to an end when the death of his father-in-law, King George VI, was announced in 1952.

Prince Philip remains close to every branch of service life, and is said to have influenced the decision of his children and grandchildren to serve.

In December 2006 Harry's brother, William, graduated from Sandhurst Military Academy in Surrey.

The 24-year-old, who joined the Blues and Royals regiment, began his career as an officer at Combermere Barracks, Windsor in January.

In March he begins a five-month training stint at Bovington Camp, Dorset.

In preparation for his future position as head of the armed forces, William will also spend time with the RAF and Navy.


SEE ALSO

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific