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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 May, 2004, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
William hints at military career
Prince William and Prince Charles
Prince William joked with photographers
Prince William said he may join the armed forces after finishing his studies.

He referred to his future as he chatted with the media after a relaxing stroll with his father to inspect a royal herd of cows.

The 21-year-old university student helped the Prince of Wales as they checked on his Ayrshire dairy cattle on Duchy land in Gloucestershire.

He looked every inch the farmer as he posed for pictures in a green flat cap and wax jacket at Home Farm, close to Prince Charles's Highgrove home.

But William refused to rule out a future role in the armed forces when asked about his career plans.

He said: "I haven't really ruled anything out but a career in the armed forces would be the best thing at the moment because it would be lovely to recognise all the hard work that the armed forces are doing."

It had been reported that William was pondering working in the agricultural industry after university.

But the prince said he would be happy to follow in his father's - and grandfather's - footsteps by joining the military.

Prince Charles and Prince William surrounded by cows
The princes inspect the herd

He said: "It would be a very important thing to do.

"I wouldn't do it reluctantly because I really value all the efforts and the professionalism of those guys.

"I would do it wholeheartedly and enjoy doing it."

Prince Philip's career in the Royal Navy began in May 1939. He rose through the ranks to become Admiral of the Fleet in January 1953.

Like his father, Prince Charles began his Royal Navy career at Dartmouth. It culminated in the 10-month command of the 360-ton Minesweeper HMS Bronnington.

Even the Queen undertook National Service at the age of 18, joining the Auxiliary Transport Service on February 24 1945. She qualified as a driver on April 14 1945 and was promoted to Junior Commander.

Her second son, Andrew, served in the Royal Navy for 22 years - taking part in active service as part of the British naval task force during the Falklands War.

As a future king, William will one day be head of the armed forces.

He chatted with Charles, before warning the assembled press: "Mind the cow pats".

Casually dressed

The pair had walked through the damp fields before they reached the area where the waiting media had been rounded up.

Looking relaxed, William strolled along with his hands in his pockets, while a casually-dressed Charles walked at his side with a crook-shaped walking stick.

There were more journalists and photographers than cattle in the small field.

The pair then wandered into the middle of the docile brown and white cows with William letting one lick his hand.

The BBC's Peter Hunt
"A military career is no surprise"

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