Prince Harry ending his military career in June, searching for another job

Prince Harry ending his military career in June, searching for another job

This news is not surprising as it has been circulating in the press for a while, but Kensington Palace officially announced today that Prince Harry will leave the armed forces in June following a ten year military career.

Before leaving the military, Harry will spend four weeks of April and May in Australia where he will be seconded to the Australian Defence Force. Harry will be attached to various units in Darwin, Perth, and Sydney to “gain an appreciation of the Australian Army’s domestic operating environment and capabilities”.

Following his attachment to the ADF, Harry will undertake an official royal tour to New Zealand in May at the invitation of the New Zealand government.

After leaving the military in June, Harry will spend part of the summer in Africa carrying out a program of volunteer work alongside field-based conservation experts, focusing his time “learning how local communities in sub-Saharan Africa are working to protect and conserve their natural resources and wildlife”.

In the Fall, Harry will work in a voluntary capacity for the Ministry of Defence’s Recovery Capability Programme and continue to support Case Officers at London District’s Personnel Recovery Unit which will “enable him to continue developing his knowledge of the entire recovery process, placing him in an informed position to further support wounded, injured, or sick servicemen and women into the future.” During this time, Harry will consider other longer term employment opportunities. He will continue his light schedule of royal duties.

Harry released a personal statement as part of the press release:

    “After a decade of service, moving on from the Army has been a really tough decision. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the chance to do some very challenging jobs and have met many fantastic people in the process. From learning the hard way to stay onside with my Colour Sergeant at Sandhurst, to the incredible people I served with during two tours in Afghanistan – the experiences I have had over the last 10 years will stay with me for the rest of my life. For that I will always be hugely grateful.
    “Inevitably most good things come to an end and I am at a crossroads in my military career. Luckily for me, I will continue to wear the uniform and mix with fellow servicemen and women for the rest of my life, helping where I can, and making sure the next few Invictus Games are as amazing as the last.
    “I am considering the options for the future and I am really excited about the possibilities. Spending time with the Australian Defence Force will be incredible and I know I will learn a lot. I am also looking forward to coming back to London this summer to continue working at the Personnel Recovery Unit.
    “So while I am finishing one part of my life, I am getting straight into a new chapter. I am really looking forward to it.”

[Kensington Palace Press Release]

<rant>

My thoughts: 1) Why is Harry being seconded to the Australian Defence Force for a few weeks just before he ends his military career? How is this beneficial for him? It seems pointless if the only thing he will gain is “an appreciation of the Australian Army’s domestic operating environment and capabilities”. 2) I wonder how long he will be in Africa and what exactly he will be doing. It’s great if he’s actually going to be working with charities, but again if the only thing he’s doing is “learning” about conservation it seems pointless, especially since Prince William is the one who is supposed to be all about protecting wildlife. Why doesn’t William do the ‘learning about conservation’ trip to Africa? And is Harry going to do anything with Sentebale while he’s in Africa, or just the conservation stuff? Why not spend part of the summer in Africa focusing on his existing charity? 3) Harry’s schedule is better than the one William took when he left the RAF, but not by much. This still seems like a “gap year” until Harry inevitably finds another non-full-time-royal-duties job to take. 4) I don’t understand what is with William and Harry leaving their military jobs without looking for and lining up a new job first. Sure, Harry has some plans that include volunteer work, and William did that dumb agriculture course that I seriously don’t think he ever finished (KP never announced that he finished that course, while they did announce that he passed all of his air ambulance pilot exams), but William still took a year to find another job (that he’s taking eight more months to start) and Harry is still ‘considering his options’. If they want to leave their military jobs, fine, but why take what basically amounts to a “gap year” before finding another job? Why not line one up before leaving the first job?

I do like Harry and I hope he can find something to do that makes him happy (while giving back to his country in exchange for his free luxury lifestyle), but I’m sick of the BS “gap year” crap from the younger royals. I understand there are a lot of working royals, and that they don’t necessarily need three more full time working royals, but A) most of the other full time working royals are really old and should be winding down their duties soon, and B) the young royals are squandering their youth. It keeps being said that William, Kate Middleton, and Harry will have plenty of time to do full time royal duties in ten or more years when the other royals retire and whatnot (and Prince Charles becomes King), but the young royals are already in their 30s, in ten years they will be in their 40s and the public will be looking for a new generation of young royals because people start to care less as the royals age (William, Kate, and Harry will no longer be the hot young royals, but rather the middle-aged royals who are kind of boring). The young royals could bring so much awareness to their causes yet they run and hide and balk at the idea that they should put forth any more effort than they already do (and William wants to do less). I respect Harry’s commitment to veterans and Sentebale, and I’m sure he’s doing much more behind the scenes than we see, but it still feels like he is running from the press and his public duties, similar to William and Kate. Harry may be more charismatic and better at interacting with people than William, but Harry has a hatred of the press as well, and he’s said as much. So while I do think Harry is more dedicated and would make a better King than William, Harry still has his issues and is basically taking a “gap year” before finding another job that will allow him to put off his full time royal duties, just like William did.

</rant>

Well now that I’ve got that off my chest… I know Harry is loved by, and gets a pass from, most people, and I’m sure I’ll be in the minority with my critical comments about this. I do like him too, but while he is certainly not as bad as William, Harry still has his issues.  Harry, William, and Kate have had enough time easing in to royal duties, it’s time they stepped it up.

Below are some more photos of Harry from the Afghan service last Friday, and the header photo is from his visit to the Lesotho last December – because I just love that pic.

66 thoughts on “Prince Harry ending his military career in June, searching for another job

  1. Harry’s personality translates SO MUCH BETTER than William in photos.

    Harry’s objectives/career background sounds more “future king of the Commonwealth” than William’s. What has Will done? I mean, really? (I’m not a huge follower of the BRF, so maybe it’s just my ignorance showing.)

    A gap year is a year. That’s why it’s called gap YEAR. Right after you finish uni and before you begin working. I guess young, rich kids decide it’s not long enough and are going with a gap decade?

    1. “What has Will done?”

      Played pilot? Hid from the press as much as possible? Made a baby with his genitals? Said dumb things to foreign Heads of State? Am I missing anything?

      1. definitely all of that………there’s a lovely photo of Prince Harry in one of the UK dailies this morning; oozing personality; hope a proper job is found for him where he can use his position and influence for the greater good and be himself as well….they’d better get it right, as after Her Majesty he is probably the only one of the BRF grown ups I actually find myself caring about…..

      2. I think Harry has to tread carefully so as to not step on Williams toes. Because W is a giant over sensitive baby who must not be outshined by his less important brother.

        1. I think this is a big part of it. Harry’s work was incredibly high-profile last year. William tried to launch a new conservation initiative, he ranted about ivory, was caught hunting — and it all fell flat. Harry had Invictus Games. William cannot beat that.

        2. Red Snapper 100% in agreement with you! If the RF let Harry be the person he truly is, he would outshine PW! In fact it would be clear that Harry should be the future King, not PW. Also Harry loves PW and would never want to hurt him, so he has to find his place. Its all so very sad!!! The son who should be King and the son that shouldn’t be King.

      1. Agreed. If William isn’t willing to do full-time work as a royal and earn all those 2nd-in-line perks, Harry cannot outwork him on royal duties as 5th in line.

  2. William and Kate are just flat out hiding and using as many perks as they can.

    As Liz B said Harry’s activities come off more as future king. The Australia deployment will give him experience on a day to day basis with the people of that country. It also gives him some experience in homeland defense which unfortunately is becoming more and more important in this day and age. To me, that’s something a future ruler (regardless of how ceremonial the role is) needs to know. William knows how he likes his cheese toast.

    I can see how some people are screaming gap year, but he at least had definite plans. So we don’t know the minute by minute details. I’m just happy he’s not flying off to Mustique or Dubai to party. I’m going to cut him a little slack for the time being.

    On another note, Harry will more than likely be away for the birth of Cambridge 2.0.

    1. Lisa, you hit it right there. He’ll be away when baby 2 is born. It has to bring back memories of what Di said before Harry was born, how she and Charles were their closest, and he desperately wanted a girl (so no male competition with him?) but then Harry was born, and Di said that was the end of their marriage. If PW has a girl, PC will lavish affection all over her like PH has always wanted. I think PC was kind to him, and Di loved him, but PW always came first.
      He’s got Di’s charisma in spades- he’s good with whoever he’s with and never seems to be debasing his position or awkward (except in LV). He’s had to have said something to PW about how isolated by Midds PW is, and gotten raged at. PC doesn’t care, he wants to wear the crown after waiting so long and is probably happy about PW falling from favor because of KM. That’s probably why he smiles and laughs with her. The recent documentaries reveal what a plotter he is, and he wants to have a legacy. PH been gotten out of the way, PW is in the public toilet, he and Camilla look pretty good. KMR, this is a plan.

      1. This is ridiculous even by the more out there conspiracy theories.

        If anything, whatever his reaction at his birth, Charles has demonstrated more than people realise how much he cares for Harry. He ALWAYS supports Harry’s endevours personally + money. When Harry was away over Christmas in Afghanistan, Charles included a very personal coded message in his radio address which showed how much he missed Harry. He was one of the first people to arrive at Harry’s Sentebale garden at the chelsea Flower show. He often trusts Harry with personal undertakings of his personal holdings abroad eg that estate in Romania, plus Harry often sits in to meetings of the Prince’s trust and other businesses with Charles. Harry shares a love of Gardening with him. And if you are observant, recently Charles has taken to greeting Harry first in public where Harry and William are both present, protocol be damned.

        Finally, even if Charles were to get rid of his boys out of some machiavellian necessity of being the most popular, at the end of the day he is the next King. Hate him or love him, think the worst of him, and it will not change that fact that he will be King after HM.

  3. Yah, Harry is coming to NZ! Bet we see more of him than we did if Will and Kate! A mock sailing race on the Waitemata does not count as getting to meet the people of Auckland, it was a quick in and out. Kate couldn’t even spare time to meet the Maori King and see a traditional welcome, there was something about it being too long. Funny that she was able to stay for a couple of hours at the Downton Abbey studio but couldn’t last meeting the Maori King.

    1. I believe WK offered the Maori King 90 min, and he demanded 3 hrs instead. So he got nothing. I’m on WK’s side on that one, 3 hrs is/was ridiculous.

      So Harry hasn’t planned a full schedule of yachting, wine tasting and zoo visits? Doesn’t he know how things are done?

      1. Hi Red Snapper.
        The Maori King did not demand 3 hours, it was a couple of hours and that time was necessary due to protocol. It is awesome to be welcomed formally on to a marae and would have been something that William and Kate would have remembered for the rest of their life. To show respect for William’s place in the British royal family he would have be given the full works, it would have been disrespectful to have invited William and Kate, given them a cup of tea and booted them out. King Tuheitia never demanded more time than what was needed.
        Please don’t disrespect my country’s culture and traditions.
        I’m sure Harry will have some fun when here but I’m sure he will be working too.

        1. I agree with you Cathy. I think it was in poor taste for PW and KM to decline. What else did they have going on in their schedules? They could skip another day of shopping and lounging around to show some honor to the Maori KING. That was just another example of PW and KM failing at their jobs and I have no idea why anyone would think otherwise.

    2. Red Snapper, it was tradition and protocol to give the King a day and a half. That is what others do when meeting with him. The King was doing them the honor of allowing them to visit him, not the other way around. W&K refused to follow the protocol of the person (and higher-ranking royal) they were going to visit. That isn’t something to be praised.

      1. I know I’d be furious if I spent days planning and preparing for their visit and they only stayed 90 minutes. Another example of W&K having no idea about work. Why go there for only photo ops? It makes them look stupid.

    3. Jason is running the show now and probably told Kate she has to stay. He’s probably the first person to counterman Mommy. Maybe that’s why CM moved in too. To help style Kate for more work and negotiate with Jason. W&K will see this as another way CM is so good to them.

  4. I agree with everything you said KMR. My first thought when I read this news is why bother sending him to Australia, or anywhere else for that matter, to learn anything, he’s leaving in a month? Maybe it’s his reward for not being caught with his pants down for a whole year?

    I like Harry too, but I’m just not understanding these cases of arrested development among the younger royals. Although the more I read about past generations of the royal family this seems to be the norm rather than the exception, flitting from “job” to “job” until the current monarch dies and then assuming the your prescribed role.

    1. Could Australia be thinking about Harry being their next Governor General? This could be a great job for Harry, the Duke of Gloucester was GG of Australia in the 1940s so there is precedence for a member of the royal family to do this job in Australia.

  5. KMR, there is an enormous difference between what the two are doing. William is focusing on wildlife, mostly big, popular wildlife. “Come to this gala, save the elephants for my child, and pretend you don’t see my unsustainable hunting practices.”

    Harry is focusing on a human being’s daily struggle to survive in harsh conditions without destroying the ecological balance. How to have sustainable agriculture practices in difficult environments while struggling with a catastrophic HIV rate. Think World Wildlife Fund vs. http://www.heifer.org/ , the late Wangari Maathai ( http://www.greenbeltmovement.org/wangari-maathai ) , or Clooney’s attempts to help build coffee production in South Sudan.

    I think Harry’s conservation training is going to lead to hands-on useful programs with Sentebale. William’s will lead to a few galas.

    1. Well said, My2Pence. Good King Harry is an amazing young man. I hope he overshadows Will. I think that the general public are sarong who is better suited for the top job.

      Diana would be so proud of Harry.

  6. Count me in with the “Harry is the future King” group. Yes, it looks like a wasteful gap year, but I think he’s doing things that will increase his world knowledge, which will come in handy for a future King. Let me put on my tinfoil hat and share my conspiracy theory (Note: I have no proof of any of this, just my thoughts). I think Charles has sat the two men down and flat out told them that he’s going to choose Harry to be his successor (not sure if this is possible) or he would strongly support the idea of Harry as King. I believe Charles talked to William and tried to get him interested in Royal Duties, but William just threw a fit about it as per usual whereas Harry seemed more receptive. I’m guessing this happened a few years ago, which is why William craps all over Harry in public as much as possible and why Harry doesn’t ‘fight back’, so to speak. To me, it looks like William knows what’s up and is pissy about it, but won’t do anything to fix the situation. I know there’s a good chance I’m wrong, but it’s fun to speculate. 🙂

    1. Charles does not have the power to choose. There are Succession laws which proscribe the order of heirs. William is Charles’ heir, period. The only way William will not be King is if he becomes King and abdicates, or if he converts to Catholicism ever. He might be able to sign away his claim (the laws are murky), but that would force a constitutional crisis because he cannot decide for George, whose place is already assured.

      1. It is murky. If the children were underage, William probably could take them with him. It would be unethical of him to say he cannot take the pressure of the job, then force his children to do it.

        1. The succession laws are not cast iron as everyone assumes. You need to go back to the beginning and see how at various steps, Parliament has acquired power that eventually gave them final authority, including removal of a recalcitrant monarch.

          By that I mean that whilst the law itself is clear and infallible, Parliament can decide to remove him if they choose. See the cases of Charles 1 (executed), James 2 (removed), Mary + William + Hanovarians ( invited to rule by Parliament after the sitting monarch had been removed). Just like we have 2 cases on precedence for abdication, several regencies, so parliament can remove William if he absolutely refused to work to standard.

          Now of course he could remove himself before it went that far, and we’d have a crisis in all scenario, but the fact it that the paperwork is already available and woven into our constitution as a result of these previous cases.

          1. Thanks so much for the history lesson! This is one reason I find following the royals so interesting. It’s watching history being written.

  7. Harry is the brightest star in the younger generation of Royals. I don’t know if I buy into your conspiracy theory, Lazykins, but I do believe Harry is going to be King one day. My2Pence, I agree with you. How can Harry take on more royal responsibilities when William refuses to do so?
    I don’t think this “gap” year for Harry is as negative as others think. He is going to be doing meaningful things and continuing to see how others live and how they can be helped.
    He shines so brightly. I’ve not given up on PH. He truly has a bright future — one in which others are given a chance for brighter days in their parts of the world, too. I truly believe his Mum must be so proud of him.

  8. It seems like something might be happening behind the scenes. Whether Harry is being “encouraged” to spend time abroad or whether he is gaining more knowledge and experience.

    I think that it could be interpreted as a gap year, but I think there is a difference between Harry and Will’s approach to it. Will’s was described as him taking a year off to figure out what he wanted to do. Whereas, with Harry we have been given details and a timeline as well as what he hope to accomplish.

  9. I wanted to make a second comment as kind of an aside. I’m currently reading “King Edward VII” by Philip Ziegler since I don’t know much about King Edward and his abdication. Perhaps, I am projecting, but it seems that there are many similarities between King Edward and Prince William.

    *Prince David (King Edward) never really wanted to be a royal and resented the fact that he would be king.
    * He wanted to do things his own way and resented any overlap between his public and private lives. He wanted to be free and to be normal. To the point that he bought a ranch in Alberta, which he visited often and wished to permanently retire to.
    * He was described as a gloomy fellow who was always seeking to avoid the duties of his position.

    What I found very interesting is that King George V knew (according to this author) that his son would most likely abdicate and thus prepared Prince Albert (King George VI) for the throne.

    These are just small snippets from a very long book, but the more I read about him, the more I see Will following in his footsteps. Perhaps history will repeat itself? Part of me would not be shocked at all to learn that Harry is being prepared for the throne.

    1. Hi Bookworm, I am currently reading the same book!! As I am reading it, I too am noticing the similarities between Edward and William. I do think it would be difficult to born into a position, one that you must take on regardless of your personal preferences or abilities. Couple that with a family that isn’t close, kind, warm or very loving. No wonder some of the royals go off the deep end. On the flip side imagine being in a position to bring world wide attention to causes, to highlight service organizations, to be able to make a difference in the lives of so many. Sometimes I think William and even Harry focus to much on the downsides of being a royal, the lack of privacy, press intrusion, etc., instead of the wonderful things they could accomplish through their positions.

      1. What a coincidence! I’m about halfway through where the abdication is being put in motion.

        I agree with what you said. I don’t envy their position to grow up and live in a fishbowl and to be told that this is their destiny and duty regardless of what they want to do.

        But like you said, they also have a great platform to bring attention to issues or to organizations that are working towards the betterment of society.

    2. I think that your comments are very interesting indeed; and I would join you not being surprised at all if there is preparation afoot for Harry. As you said in your first comment, there is, or seems to be, even to the casual onlooker, (like me!) a considered timeline of events, which also appear to have been thought through to some degree at least. The similarities you point out too, are significant (between King George Vl etc.,) it will be interesting to see this unfold, as it surely will.

    3. If Will abdicates the monarchy, Kate will abdicate their marriage. She was groomed to be Queen, above all else. If that’s not happening, I don’t see their marriage lasting a day beyond his abdication announcement. I’m not a history buff, so I love when commenters chime in with nuggets like the one above. It IS uncanny how similar William and Edward are! I kinda hope William does abdicate. It would be nice to have a King who actually respects the role.

      1. She was groomed to be a wealthy man’s bed mate, not a queen. She cannot run her own household, her mummy has to do it for her. She only speaks one language. She failed to work for a decade. She cannot give a cogent speech in her native tongue. She wasn’t groomed to be a Queen but a bed mate. Not even a helpmate, because her mother seems to be the one William turns to for comfort and conversation.

        1. Just wanted to clarify my comment. I agree with all you said – she has nothing going for her in terms of being Queen one day. I should’ve said her mother has groomed her to think ‘Queen’ while she was at W’s beck and call.

        2. You’re on point, My2Pence! He should have married Carol! “She was groomed to be a wealthy man’s bed mate”. Ouch. It’s true. Even Will’s RPOs referred to her as The Mattress.

          1. I agree that Kate was never groomed to be a Queen. Although one day she will be Queen Consort, let us not forget that not even 10 years ago she was jumping in taxis showing her knickers in very short dresses on numerous occasions for the world to see through the paparazzi photos. This woman spread her legs for William so much in university he was hooked. She has a very questionable family. Uncle Gary is shady as hell and her cousin is a topless dancer. The Queen was not looking for a Charles and Di repeat so she had no choice. Wills probably threatened with the possibility of it happening again and history repeating itself if it was not his way, to marry Kate.

          1. Bookworm, I totally agree! And it’s odd that her mother, who is obviously a successful businesswoman, raised kids with no discernible work ethic. So odd!

          2. I agree. I come from a pretty traditional/conservative family, and being a trophy wife would still be completely unacceptable.

      2. I can’t see him abdicating. I see him taking all the titles, money and perks, and screwing off on endless vacations and country weekends and letting the pr people tell the peasants how lucky they are.

        1. Maybe if they (Parliament? Charles?) can see the writing on the wall, they might give him a big payoff and a sweet title and land and tell him to get lost. I bet if he got a pile of money, a title and his own estate, he wouldn’t give a fig about being king. Or maybe he would because he has a ‘dog in the manger’ personality where he doesn’t want to be King, but he doesn’t want Harry to be King either. What a douche.

          1. Well that’s true, he would hate being subservient to Harry after a lifetime of being the center of the universe. I don’t think he can be bought off. I think he’s going to keep everything he feels is “owed” to him and do whatever he wants. Parliament could oust him, there’s precedent for that, but not for laziness and contempt. There have been plenty of lazy Kings before William. They just didn’t have Twitter then.

          2. Parliament would never give him a payoff. The public would never allow that again. If the people want him gone, HM is going to have to crack open her “personal fortune” and pay him a huge lump sum PLUS pay for all of their ongoing/lifetime security out of those funds.

  10. Don’t forget PW is “omniscient.” He thinks he is going in the right direction! I don’t see him walking away from the job. He and CM would destroy it first! As much as I wanted to support Kate, it is becoming clear that for CM this isn’t about Kate….its about her!

  11. If Will abdicates, wouldn’t George and this second child be in line before Harry? I would love the sweet ginger king. It’s almost as though they need not tell the first born what they are destined for, they might turn out much better. All this may be PR push anyhow.

  12. I hope with all the global travel and part-time work for Prince Harry, he finds the time to fall in love with someone suited to be his wife.

    Maybe, a C.P. Mary clone would work.

  13. From what I know when a royal child is born it joins the queue after its parent. Therefore everyone after that moves down a space. Prince Harry has done the army proud and has shone in his role. I hope it was his decision.

    1. This item was the biggest piece of drivel I’ve read in a while. Someone doesn’t like that people like Harry and their going after him. A lot of people in the comments are going after the reporter. Harry just needs to keep being himself.

      1. Harry seems to have a clear path, although not completely detailed.
        I think this announcement is one of the reasons why the elf is such a decent private secretary.

        It explained in detail what he will be doing, it included a personal statement from Harry and the timing was well thought out, right before the walk of Britain press conference.

        Harry and his elf are really getting it right these days.

        Of course the media went with the golden William, gap year Harry angle.

        When is William’s helicopter getting off the ground?
        Waity a spectacular royal? Bahahhaha

        1. At this point, it might be Charles driving the bus and William shoving Harry into the street in front of it. Harry outshines both of them.

  14. I think people don’t understand that someone fifth in line to the throne can’t just take a full time job in a private company, just as many people do. The best he can be is as an ambassador for this and that and a permanent army stint. They can’t just give him royal duties too since HM’s other children are doing the same thing.

    1. I think the slimming down of the monarchy as envisioned by Charles is why Harry’s wings are/will be clipped as far as finding a regular job.

      I also believe that he had to resign because security around the world is so bad, and keeping him in the army without deploying him due to said risk would have been difficult for him. Plus he’s not great with paperwork due to his dyslexia so a job in the field is a better option which he can’t take any further than he has already done.

      As Charles phases out his siblings, aunties and uncles and cousins from royal work, WHK HAVE to pick up the slack. There will come a point where hiding or other jobs aren’t an option which is the dilemma Harry faces. He can’t commit to something that will tie him down long term because sooner to later he will have to resign it. This is a direct consequence of being part of the nucleus of working royals that Charles envisions. In the past, Harry would have faded away like the royal cousins with no major problems for the core, but he can not do that now.

      1. The proverbial between a rock and a hard place. He cannot work more royal engagements than William, so he cannot scale up his royal work. He needs to build something outside of royal work – and WWTW, Invictus, and Sentebale are all outside.

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