Princes William (left) and Harry
James Whatling/Splash News Online
Call them brothers in arms: Prince William
gave his strongest hint yet that he would like to follow his brother Prince Harry
and go to war.
"In my eyes, if Harry can do it then I can do it," William said Thursday. "I didn't join the forces to be mollycoddled or treated any differently." And, he added that while others think it "impossible" for him to take a front line role, "I still remain hopeful there's a chance."
Harry, 24, fulfilled a 10-week tour in Afghanistan,
in March 2008 and is now learning to fly helicopters because, he says, it's his "easiest way of getting to the front lines."
He joined his brother at a special media day to talk about their training and living together while they are both based at RAF Shawbury, in Shropshire, England. William is undergoing tuition to be a pilot in Royal Air Force Search and Rescue crews, while Harry is in the early stages of learning to fly army helicopters.
The younger prince appears to have given up on the dream of flying high-tech Apache attack helicopters – opting for the more supportive roles of the utility chopper, the Lynx. "Brain capacity? I don't know if I've got it for the Apache," he told the media frankly. "I will fly what I am told to fly and wherever I'm told to fly." If all goes to plan, Harry might get his chance to fly back into Afghanistan in early 2011.
The brothers, who lodge together in a house off the base, also joked about what it was like to be under the same roof. "This is the first time and the last time we will be living together," Harry said.
"It's been an emotional experience," his older brother shot back. And he says he does all the work. "Bearing in mind I cook, I feed him every day – I think he's done very well."
But Harry – speaking in New York recently – said he did the dishes, so what gives? "Yes, Harry does do the washing up but then he leave most of it in the sink and then I come back in the morning and I have to wash it up," William explained, adding, "I do a fair bit of tidying up after him. He snores a lot too. He keeps me up all night long."
"Oh God, now they will think we are sharing a bed!" Harry replied, calling the claims "lies."
Despite all the banter, William, who turns 27 Sunday, might not get a birthday present from his brother. When reminded of the date, Harry said, "Oh God, it isn't is it?" William added, "He has just realized it now and he hasn't got my present. But I would not expect it now. I will be lucky if I get a card."
Next up for the birthday boy is a month's training in north Wales at RAF Valley in Angelsey in the fall. His course ends at RAF Shawbury in early 2010.