Prince William Considers Military Stint

06/02/2004 at 08:00 AM EDT

Prince William Considers Military Stint
Steve Daniels/Alpha/GLOBE
He's a traditionalist, after all: Following two years of speculation about his career plans, Britain's Prince William hinted strongly last weekend that he plans to join the military after graduating from Scotland's St. Andrews University next year.

"There has been a lot of speculation," the 21-year-old said during a photo shoot at his father's farm in Gloucestershire. "I've not made any serious plans yet, but the armed forces would be the best move at the moment. I really value all the efforts and professionalism of those guys. Soldiering is a risky business and there are a lot of guys out there risking their lives for us."

According to British reports, Clarence House (the residence of William's father, Prince Charles) maintains that the military stint is the "expectation" for William – who, when he becomes king, will head Britain's armed services – though his actual post-grad status is still up in the air.

"I haven't decided anything yet. I just want to concentrate on graduating at the moment," said the Prince, who demonstrated for journalists and photographers how well he drives a tractor.

Last year it was reported that William was considering working for a New York auction house, as part of an artistic bent that he inherited from his late mother, Princess Diana. This year, stories appeared suggesting that William was now interested in working with heavy machinery and rare breeds on the family farm.

At St. Andrews, William recently switched his major from art history to geography.

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